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ERIC Number: EJ1092300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1067-1803
Made to Measure: College Leaders Come Together to Strengthen Institutional Accountability
Boerner, Heather
Community College Journal, v85 n5 p28-30, 32, 34 Apr-May 2015
Since the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) launched the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) in 2011, accountability measures have sprung up in just about every corner of higher education. There is the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), the National Governors Association's Complete to Compete program, the Student Achievement Measure, and the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA), as well as state-sponsored systems. While accountability is gaining momentum, measurement systems are not interchangeable. Many systems track vastly different metrics, making it difficult for college leaders to tell their stories and make changes that improve outcomes. If community colleges are going to reach new levels of success--with the funding to match--reality needs to support accountability. This article discusses how the VFA is designed with community colleges in mind, measuring community college performance and the work community colleges do. The VFA uses two-year and six-year cohorts, allowing leaders to gauge progress in developmental education, persistence, accrual of credit hours, and other benchmarks that are critical to a student reaching completion. It also tracks every student, not just first-time, full-time students. For colleges with access to employment and wage data, it allows them to track whether credentials resulted in wage and career advances. The VFA is an opportunity to frame the debate about accountability in a way that puts community colleges at the center, rather than the periphery. A section titled "At the Convention" discusses how the AACC Annual Convention is going beyond the typically included session on the VFA by offering an additional workshop to show how VFA data can be used for institutional improvement and to influence conversations on community college accountability, funding, and infrastructure at the statehouse and on Capitol Hill.
American Association of Community Colleges. One Dupont Circle NW Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-728-0200; Fax: 202-833-2467; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa; Kentucky
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A