The PRICE Model of Success: What it Means for Students & Staff

At Herzing College, we live by a core set of values that informs our culture.

We believe that true professionals show up on time, use appropriate language, treat everyone with respect, and take responsibility for their actions. They actively contribute to discussions and projects, and always display a positive attitude.

The PRICE model embodies those values. PRICE stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Caring, and Engagement. Herzing students and staff are expected to exhibit these qualities in all of their dealings with others.

To learn more about how the PRICE model is incorporated at Herzing, check out the following interview with National Director of Academics Robin Day.

Q. How did PRICE come about?

Robin: We wanted to put more emphasis on the so-called soft skills. I actually hate that term because it downplays their importance. These are essential qualities that employers want.

Students often think that if they get the highest marks, they’ll get the best jobs. But a lot depends on your professionalism, respect, integrity, caring, and engagement.

I've had students who performed not great academically land fantastic jobs because their soft skills were top-notch. They had an excellent attitude and were great with customers.

So we tried to package the soft skills in that kind of philosophy. And we figured it would be better if it was a bigger concept, something that’s not just for the students, but for us as well.

So it became a philosophy more than a way of teaching.


Q. How do you make PRICE part of daily interactions at Herzing?

Robin: We begin by talking about it at orientation. We also talk about it within our courses, especially career development, because this is where we really focus on how important those things are to getting a job and getting clients.

As a staff, we will call each other out for not having exhibited PRICE. We talk about it in reviews. We talk about it when we’re talking to each other.

Employers very much like the model because it’s succinct. It’s something that’s easy to relate to. When you see somebody not quite doing what they’re supposed to, you can say, “That’s not very PRICE.”

It’s easier to tell somebody that they’re not quite up to a really high standard as opposed to they’re doing a bad thing.


Q. How do you keep students accountable to PRICE?

Robin: We want to have some element of assessment related to PRICE. An idea I’m working on is journaling, where the student would write in their journal about how they exhibited PRICE positively, or how they could have exhibited PRICE but didn’t.

They could even talk about how somebody else did or didn’t exhibit PRICE. For instance, somebody might write that they were in McDonald’s the other day and this woman was going off on the poor cashier because of a mistake, or this employee was rude to the person who was placing the order.

And the student would write about how they would handle the situation and what they took from it. Then we would mark what they produce.

I don’t care about the actual content. I want to know: Are they evaluating? Are they self-reflective? Are they reflective on the actions of others?


Q. Are the faculty also evaluated?

Robin: Absolutely. The PRICE questions are built into the instructor survey that students fill out at the end of every course.

We actually have an award for the faculty member who exhibits the PRICE attributes to the highest. We’re looking for people who always hold themselves to that high standard.

But we’re also looking for people who are the first to say when they’re wrong, to admit to an issue or to say, “I don’t know, but I can find out for you.” You know, the people who are really trying to portray Herzing teaching and their profession to that high level.

Maybe an instructor arranged a one-on-one Teams call to help a student struggling with homework, or helped arrange a visit to a government agency to help a student with rental assistance.

Things like that that are above and beyond what we expect a faculty member to do. Those are the elements that we look at for the PRICE award.


Q. Is Herzing’s PRICE success model unique among colleges?

Robin: Every college attempts to talk about soft skills because we all know how important they are. But I think that this is a little bit unique to us because it’s not just for the students, it’s for the staff and faculty as well. We’re held to the same standard. I can call out a student for not exhibiting PRICE behaviours, and I can call out a staff member for not exhibiting PRICE behaviours.

So I think it’s more of a culture aspect as opposed to something we’re trying to impose on the students.

It's one of those things that we are quite proud of because it's something we can rally around. It's a good touchpoint.


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