What is the VFA?
The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is the first comprehensive national accountability system created by community colleges, for community colleges.
Community college leaders – facilitated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) – conceived, developed and pilot-tested the first set of VFA metrics, which gauge how well our institutions perform in serving a variety of students and purposes.
The VFA has three parts:
1. measures of student progress and outcomes;
2. measures of workforce, economic, and community development; and
3. an approach for assessing student learning outcomes.
These three parts are described in more detail in the VFA Brochure.
AACC has made the VFA Metrics available to all colleges and will be releasing an online data tool in 2013.
Why do we need a VFA?
Existing accountability measures in higher education do not adequately measure the unique mission of community colleges. For example, existing measures may exclude part-time students or non-credit career and technical students who are a key part of community colleges’ mission. In light of the inadequacy of existing measures, the VFA stands to provide community colleges with a significantly improved ability to assess their performance, identify areas for improvement, and demonstrate their commitment to their academic mission.