Friday, April 4, 2014
Facing changes in funding game, CCs define new rules
Community college systems, which have increasingly seen their state funding shift away from the number of students they enroll to how many they graduate, seek to influence the way their performance is gauged by redefining the rules of accountability. Two states have adopted the Voluntary Accountability Framework, an initiative of the American Association of Community Colleges, as a system to report how how their colleges are performing, and several other states are considering adoption. The framework seeks to broaden accountability metrics beyond a narrow focus on degree completion and to consider the performance of part-time, not just full-time, students. Community colleges have long argued that federal accountability systems place too much emphasis on the types of degree completion metrics that favor the 4-year university model. By contrast, they argue they serve a more diverse set of students who have a more complex set of goals and educational pathways.