Among community college leaders there is a growing concern that providing access to students is not enough and that colleges must also assume responsibility for increasing success rates. Additionally, pressure has been building for institutions of higher education to provide greater accountability to the public and other stakeholders.
Lack of commonly accepted performance measures has often led to misperceptions and frequently an underestimation of community college effectiveness and contributions. It has also limited the ability of the institutions to identify problems and to set goals for improvement of outcomes. Thus, the VFA is designed to help community colleges create sector-appropriate reporting formats and share them publicly.
As a national accountability framework FOR and BY community colleges, the VFA will provide:
- Measures appropriate to community college missions and the students served
- Usable and consistent definitions to enable benchmarking and collaboration
- Measures by which community colleges should be held accountable and therefore can be used to influence policy conversations with stakeholders