Program audit leads to savings for students, families and Virginia’s Community Colleges – 5.14.13
Program audit leads to savings for students, families and Virginia’s Community Colleges
RICHMOND — Virginia’s Community Colleges have completed the first phase of a comprehensive credit audit that will reduce the amount of time it takes to earn an associate’s degree in a transfer program – and save students and the commonwealth money in the process.
The initiative is part of a range of options being implemented as part of the Chancellor’s Reengineering Task Force. The savings so far, to students and to the colleges, is $1.9 million – every year.
As part of the audit, VCCS faculty and staff looked at all 214 transfer programs across the system, and found that more than three-quarters of them required more than 61 credits – or more than two years at a full time schedule – to complete.
Chancellor Glenn DuBois initiated the audit in the fall of 2011, asking colleges to look closely at all of their programs to see if the same goals could be accomplished with fewer credits. “Trimming this credit creep ensures the continued vitality of our two-year transfer programs, and saves students and families both tuition and time,” he said.
Now that colleges have completed their audits and made changes in the transfer programs, that percentage has flipped, and more than 80 percent of transfer programs now are within the 61 credit goal. In all, 232 credits were removed (from one to six credits each) from 137 targeted transfer programs.
Among the remaining programs are those that were already at the 61-credit total, and programs where additional credits were justified, such as engineering.
The credit reduction for each program is small and incremental, noted Dan Lewis, director of educational programs, but across the board, makes a big impact.
Colleges are now completing similar work in applied programs and in certificate programs, and final results are due soon.
About Virginia’s Community Colleges: Created more than 40 years ago, the VCCS is comprised of 23 community colleges located on 40 campuses across the commonwealth. Together, Virginia’s Community Colleges serve more than 405,000 students a year. For more information, please visit myfuture.vccs.edu.