Date of Award

12-1984

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. David Lyon

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

The present study consists of a performance audit of a graduate training program. The performance audit is an engineering model created by Gilbert (1978) to design, analyze, and evaluate organizations. This performance audit was applied to the Behavioral Systems Analysis Program (BSAP), a graduate training program of the Psychology Department at Western Michigan University. The mission of BSAP consists of training behavioral systems analysts to effectively create or improve systems that benefit humanity.

This study had two objectives: first, the identification of the areas of BSAP with greatest potential for improvement and the identification causes of their deficiencies; second, to determine the feasibility of application of Gilbert’s performance audit to an educational system. The method used consisted of identifying the accomplishment of BSAP, determining the performance deficiencies of BSAP by comparing typical with ideal standards and by determining the causes the differences between the ideal and the typical performance. The results of this study indicate that the major areas of deficiencies of BSAP were the processing and management of data and the functioning of the staff supervision system; the major causes of these deficiencies were the insufficient number of well trained staff, and the lack of some performance measurements. In addition, the application of Gilbert’s performance audit to a complex educational system was feasible by modifying some aspects of the model: the simplification of terms and levels of analysis of the performance audit, the establishment of standards based on exemplary performance, the measurements of the performance deficiencies, the estimation of stakes and deficiencies, and the clarification and definition of the concepts involved in Gilbert’s behavioral engineering model.

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