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WITCC helps pilot National Accountability System.

Western Iowa Tech Community College, Sioux City, Iowa 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.

The VFA is being developed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) in collaboration with the Association of Community College Trustees and the College Board and with funding from the Bill and 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. The VFA pilot colleges will test a series of custom metrics that community college professionals have 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.

Like other VFA pilot colleges, Western Iowa Tech 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.

"Western Iowa Tech Community College is dedicated to serving its students and communities and welcomes the opportunity to be involved in this pilot," said Terry Murrell, WITCC executive vice president. "The Voluntary Framework of Accountability will help WITCC compare itself to other community colleges and give us information on how we can continue to improve."
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Publication:ATEA Journal
Date:Mar 22, 2011
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