Voluntary Framework of Accountability


Voluntary Framework Accountability logo

The Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA) is the first comprehensive national accountability system created by community college, for community colleges. Community college leaders – facilitated by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) – conceived, developed, and pilot-tested the VFA metrics.

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 college’s 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 mission.

The VFA has three parts: measures of student progress and outcomes; measures of workforce, economic, and community development; and an approach for assessing student learning outcomes.

Outcomes Internal Reports

The VFA’s Internal Outcomes Report includes the data that colleges are required to report (Student Progress and Outcomes (SPO) Measures) and the data that are optional (Career and Technical Education (CTE) Measure and Adult Basic Education (ABE) Measures) to report.

2020 Outcomes Internal Report

Student Progress and Outcomes (SPO) Measures

Student Progress and Outcomes (SPO) is the umbrella term for the measures that include:

  • Developmental Education Progress Measures
  • One-Year Progress Measures
  • Two-Year Progress Measures
  • Six-Year Outcomes Measures

These measures capture incoming student populations and document progress by the end of their first year, process and attainment outcomes by the end of their first two years, and outcomes by the end of six years.

2020 Full SPO Report
2020 Development Education Progress Measures
2020 One-Year Progress Measures
2020 Two-Year Progress Measures
2020 Six-Year Outcomes Measures
2020 Comparison Report – Federal Graduation Rate of VFA Outcome

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

The Career and Technical (CTE) Education measures are designed to assess the value of education and training in job-specific programs to the students who have completed a program or have had significant exposure to training in these areas.

2020 Career and Technical Education Report

Adult Basic Education (ABE) Measures

Adult Basic Education and preparation for passing a GED or other high school equivalency are important missions for many community colleges. The metrics in this area look at enrollments and transitions from ABE course work or programs into further education or the workforce.

2020 Adult Basic Education Report