Mid-Plains selected to help pilot national accountability system
Mid-Plains Community College has been selected as one of 40 community colleges to pilot a new Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) that is designed to redefine what “success” means for two-year institutions nationwide.
The VFA represents the first national system to provide accurate data, operational transparency and the ability for colleges to benchmark student progress and completion data against peer institutions.
Dr. Jody Tomanek, MPCC Area Vice President of Educational Services and Student Development, submitted the application for the college several months ago.
“We felt we should apply for this pilot testing because we wanted to be on the leading edge of this,” she said. “We were very pleased to learn that we were selected to be a pilot site for the VFA.”
Dr. Michael Chipps, MPCC President, stated, “The college continues to be in a primary leadership role at the local, state and national level. The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) recognizes MPCC as a progressive and innovative college that is willing to submit to being a test site for accountability.
The VFA is being developed by the AACC in collaboration with the Association of Community College Trustees and the College Board and with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Lumina Foundation for Education. The pilot colleges include 37 institutions, two statewide systems and one multi-college district in 29 states.
Starting in mid-January, the VFA pilot colleges will test a series of custom metrics that community college professionals developed over the last several months. The project fills what community college advocates have seen as a void in measures appropriate to the unique two-year college mission.
VFA pilot colleges will work from a draft technical manual developed by four VFA working groups, a technical committee and a national steering committee made up of veteran research experts and educators from within the college community.
Project leaders are developing the VFA in stages so that they can release and test core measures for which there is broad consensus on technical definitions and available data. Additional measures will be proposed as the participants report outcomes and assess how well they gauge institutional effectiveness.