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VFA Clip: VFA User Group Meeting on Year Two, September 309/24/2014 9:00 AM

​The VFA will be hosting its next VFA User Group meeting on September 30th at 1:00 PM EDT. During the meeting, VFA staff will show wireframes and tell users about the additional improvements that will be implemented for Year Two.

This includes:
  • Redesign of the VFA online data input 
    • Real-time data validation and error checking
  • Introduction to a third data input method (beta release)
    • Upload raw data files and VFA system calculates metrics
  • Improved VFA data dashboards and outputs
  • Revised VFA Metrics Manual and user resources
 
This meeting promises to be one of the most informative and most popular VFA User Group meetings to date. Anyone considering reporting the VFA should plan to attend.  Click here to register. [https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/306924330]

 

VFA User Group 
VFA Clip: Year Two Changes to CTE Metrics8/25/2014 9:00 AM

​At AACC, we are dedicated to creating measures that are the most appropriate and meaningful to colleges. We recognize the impact of changing previously defined measures, and only make changes to the VFA when there is a clear value in improving or modifying the metrics collected. The VFA proposes the changes outlined below. These changes are scheduled to go into effect for the VFA Year Two (2014-15 data collection cycle, which will begin on November 3, 2014).

Members are invited to review the proposed changes and provide comment by September 12, 2014, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT).

Year Two Changes to CTE Metrics
  1. CTE Profile: the enrollment and completions data for credit and non-credit CTE at your college. Note: All colleges must report CTE Profile data, regardless of whether they are able to report the CTE measures.
    • Change for Year Two: Non-Credit Completions: collection and reporting of non-credit completions data will change so that colleges will report the two most recent years from the time of data collection (2013-14 and 2012-13). 
  2. CTE Completer/Leaver Cohort: students who have completed a CTE program or left your college with significant CTE experience
    • Change for Year Two: The definition of significant CTE experience will change to be defined as 7 credit hours for credit CTE students or 180 contact hours/clock hours for non-credit CTE students.
  3. CTE Completer/Leaver Cohort Disaggregation: break-down of the Credit CTE cohort by type of award earned
    • Change for Year Two: The VFA will disaggregate all measures for the Credit CTE cohort by: Awarded Associate in CTE; Completed CTE Certificate; or Left/No Award. The Non-Credit CTE cohort will not be disaggregated.
  4. CTE Completer/Leaver Cohort Employed with a Livable Wage: CTE cohort students who receive a livable wage after leaving your college
    • Change for Year Two: To provide more utility to the measure, colleges will now report all students in one of eight unduplicated, mutually exclusive bands. The bands include enrolled in education; not currently enrolled and earning a wage (split into six wage bands between $1 and $47,700+); and not currently enrolled, and unemployed or data unknown.

Monday Clips 
VFA Clip: Gearing up for VFA Year Two8/11/2014 9:00 AM

Renewing Your VFA Membership

In addition to the traditional one-year membership offered, we will also be offering multi-year memberships in which dues are applied for two or three years at a discounted rate. This year the VFA will also be offering a 10% early bird discount (on any membership option) if the college renews or signs up before VFA data collection opens on November 3rd. Sign-ups for all colleges will re-open on October 1st.

Year Two Data Collection

The VFA data input for the 2014-15 data collection cycle opens on November 3, 2014. The VFA Metrics Manual is currently being updated to aid in clarity and usability and will be released by November 3rd. Any changes to the metrics and definitions will be sent to VFA users and otherwise publicized as they are finalized.

VFA User Group Meeting: Year Two Show & Tell

The VFA will be hosting its next VFA User Group meeting on September 30th at 1:00 PM EDT. During the meeting, VFA staff will show wireframes and tell users about the additional improvements that will be implemented for Year Two. Click here to register. [https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/306924330]


Monday Clips 
VFA Clip: Year One Survey Wrap-Up8/4/2014 9:00 AM

​Hi. We had excellent participation in the VFA Year One Wrap-Up Survey with a majority of colleges responding. We are pleased to announce that the complimentary one-year VFA 2015 membership goes to: South Arkansas Community College.

Survey results and additional feedback will be discussed during the next VFA User Group meeting, which is set for September 30th.

Show and Tell at the next VFA User Group Meeting
We encourage all VFA users to join us for the VFA User Group meeting on September 30 at 1:00 pm eastern time. We will share wireframes of the new collection forms and dashboards and discuss additional improvements that will be implemented for Year Two. Please plan to attend. Click here to register.

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: VFA Dashboard Improvements7/21/2014 12:00 AM

​As we have talked about in past User Group meetings and emails, AACC is improving the VFA data dashboards for Year Two. This past weekend’s dashboard server upgrade provides VFA with the infrastructure to build and support the improved dashboards. The current user experience will remain the same until the new dashboard designs are implemented when Year Two data collection opens in November. However, we are currently creating the wireframes of the improved dashboards to build them in a development environment. We anticipate sharing the new views with users by late September.

Please note that the VFA dashboards are now supported on the following Internet browsers:
  • Internet Explorer (IE 8 – IE 10)
  • Firefox (16.x – 22.x)
  • Google Chrome (22.x – 28.x)
Data Dashboard Access: Please note that VFA accounts are set up to allow all college employees to view the VFA Outcomes Dashboard and Benchmarking Dashboard for their college. A college employee must log-in to the VFA site with their AACC credentials, then navigate to the VFA data dashboards through the My Account page. If an employee does not have AACC log-in credentials, they can create an account through the Log-in Portal; New Users can register by entering their college email address on the right side of the screen.

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: VFA User Group Follow-up7/7/2014 9:00 AM

​We would like to thank everyone who joined us for the VFA User Group meeting on CTE on June 23rd. For those who were unable to make it, we hope that you are able to join us for the next VFA User Group meeting at the end of the summer.

VFA User Group Meeting on CTE

The VFA Career and Technical Education (CTE) definitions were created to collect data that provide value to member institutions and their stakeholders. VFA staff are aware that reporting on Career & Technical Education measures provides unique challenges for VFA participants. The VFA utilizes user feedback to continue to develop in this area in order to make definitions clearer and the measures more useful and meaningful while remaining mindful of the burden and limitations of available data.

VFA Development Objectives for Year Two

During Year One of data collection and User Group meetings, VFA staff has collected all user feedback and suggestions for improvements. In response, AACC are implementing enhancements to improve the VFA user experience for Year Two. Click here to view the list of enhanements.
In the following weeks, VFA staff will be sharing more information on these improvements as the details are solidified. In addition, all improvements will be discussed at great length during the next VFA User Group meeting at the end of the summer.

Monday Clips 
VFA Data Input Now Closed7/1/2014 9:00 AM

​​Thank you for participating in VFA Year One.

The VFA data input system is now closed and colleges no longer have the ability to edit, review, or input Year One data.

Please note that the VFA Bulk Download hyperlink has been relocated to the My Account page and the VFA Data Dashboards page to allow the college to export their VFA Year One data to keep for their records. As a reminder, VFA data dashboards for all previous and current collection cycles will continue to be available to all active members (VFA Data Dashboards).

Unpublished Data & VFA Benchmarking Dashboard

The VFA Benchmarking Dashboard now only displays approved/published data to allow a user to know that the data against which they are benchmarking are reviewed, approved, and final. Therefore, any college that has errors in their data or have not published their VFA data prior to the deadline will remain unpublished. Unpublished data will not be included in the benchmarking dashboard reports and the college’s VFA College Profile page will not display a link to the public Outcomes Dashboard.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: VFA Input System Closes TODAY6/30/2014 12:00 AM

Thank you for participating in VFA Year One.

As a reminder, the VFA data input system shuts down today - Monday, June 30th (midnight eastern time). If you have corrected or updated data to input, please do so today at your earliest opportunity. Any data that have not been input and published – and any data showing errors – at the time the system closes may have to be scrubbed from the database and unavailable for use.

After today you will not be able to edit, review, or input Year One data. On July 1st the data input forms will be closed to prepare for Year Two data collection and, therefore, we cannot grant more extensions for Year One data entry. Data dashboards for all previous and current collection cycles continue to be available to all active members.

 

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: CTE User Group Meeting6/23/2014 12:00 AM

VFA User Group Meeting

AACC sent the agenda for today’s VFA User Group meeting on Career & Technical Education. Please dial into the call and join the webinar by 11:30 am eastern time. The meeting is scheduled for up to 90 minutes. Anyone involved with the extracting, reporting or using of CTE measures is encouraged to join. If you haven’t already, please register: https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/500050938.
 
Reminder – VFA System Closing
 
The VFA system shuts down Monday, June 30th at midnight eastern time. The last time AACC will run error checks on PUBLISHED data is Thursday, June 26th. Please make sure your data are PUBLISHED to be included in the error check. Any data that you have not corrected and re-published by June 30 (midnight eastern time) may have to be scrubbed from the database and unavailable for use. After June 30, there will not be the ability to check, edit, and resubmit data. Data dashboards will continue to be accessible as long as you are an active VFA member.

Monday Clips 
VFA Data Check Process6/18/2014 9:00 AM

​As you are aware, AACC is running error checks on all PUBLISHED data. More detailed information on the error checking process is provided below.

  • VFA staff runs error reports on published data on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week. The last time AACC will run error checks is Thursday, June 26th.
  • Your college will not be included in error checking if your data are not published. The “publish” state is the way we know to run your corrected data for errors and track if you have made corrections and re-submitted.
  • When errors are found, we un-publish your data and send the errors to you so that you can correct the data. Please republish once you have corrected the data (see bullet above). 
  • Any data that have not been checked, corrected, and re-published by June 30 (midnight eastern time) may have to be scrubbed from the database and unavailable for use.

After June 30, AACC will be transitioning to Year Two and there will not be the ability to check, edit, and resubmit data. Data dashboards will continue to be accessible as long as you are an active VFA member.

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: CTE User Group Agenda & Questions6/16/2014 9:00 AM

​The next VFA User Group Meeting is on Monday, June 23rd at 11:30 AM EDT. If you have not done so already, please click here to register [https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/500050938]. The preliminary agenda is below.

Preliminary Agenda

  • How CTE was Developed for VFA (rationale; purpose of these measures; aspirational; policy platform)
  • Research & Development Agenda and PCO
  • How did VFA members do CTE for VFA?
    • Non-Credit vs. Credit (information systems; pulling the data)
    • Availability of data
    • Utility of the measures in VFA
  • Where do we go from here?


Questions on CTE

Please respond to the following questions and be prepared to discuss them during the call. Also, please let us know if there are any additional topics surrounding CTE that you would like to discuss.

  1. Did you report any CTE measures for Year One?
    a. If yes, did you report the CTE enrollment and completions for Year One?
    b. If yes, did you report the CTE Completer/Leaver Cohort for Year One?
    c. If you did not report CTE measures, why?
  2. Do you plan to report CTE measures next year?
  3. What departments at the college were involved with reporting CTE measures?
  4. How did you pull the data?
    a. What additional data sources do you use?
        i. For example, how did you identify CTE course work? (CIP; Perkins; state or local resource?)
  5. What feedback can you give or have you gotten about the utility of these measures in the CTE area?
    a. What measures could be more useful; what should we consider including and excluding?

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Data Checks and Register Meeting on CTE June 236/9/2014 9:00 AM

​IMPORTANT REMINDERS

AACC is running error checks on all PUBLISHED data. Your college will not be included in error checking if your data are not published. When errors are found, we un-publish your data and send the errors to you so that you can correct the data. Please republish once you have corrected the data. The “publish” state is the way we know to run your corrected data for errors and track if you have made corrections and re-submitted. 
  • Any data that has not been checked, corrected, and re-published by June 30 (midnight eastern time) may have to be scrubbed from the database and unavailable for use. Post this date, AACC will be transitioning to Year Two and there will not be the ability to check, edit, and resubmit data. Data dashboards will continue to be accessible as long as you are an active VFA member.


VFA User Group Meeting on CTE Measures

Please mark your calendars and register for the next VFA User Group Meeting on Career and Technical Education (CTE) measures, Monday, June 23rd at 11:30 AM EDT.

We will begin with a brief overview of the rationale and goals of the CTE measures and a glimpse of our plans for future research and development in this area. The majority of the session will be spent gathering feedback and allowing users to ask questions to their peers. How did your college report CTE? How are you tracking non-credit CTE students? Is it different from credit CTE? What additional measures would be useful to your college? A draft agenda along with discussion questions about CTE will be sent to you in mid-June. Anyone involved with the extracting, reporting or using CTE measures is encouraged to join.

Click here to register [https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/500050938]


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Publishing Deadline Today6/2/2014 9:00 AM
  • Publishing Deadline
    As you are aware, today is the publishing deadline for VFA data. Please be sure to thoroughly check your work and click “Data Approved/Published” by midnight (EDT) tonight. For further instructions on how to review and publish your data, please see How to Review Data section of the VFA User Guide.
  • What Happens Now
    • The VFA staff will review VFA data and run basic error checks.
    • If errors are found, the Key Contacts are notified of errors and are to correct and publish the college’s corrected data.
    • To allow sufficient time for the error checking, you must publish your data by midnight tonight.

After June 30, the VFA system shuts down and users will not be able to edit, review, or input Year One data. The shutdown is necessary to transition to Year Two data collection and, therefore, we cannot make exceptions for Year One data entry. Any data that we do not have the ability to review and that are found to be incorrect might not be available for use.

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: VFA at AIR5/19/2014 9:00 AM

​VFA at AIR

The VFA team will be out of the office next week from May 26-30 attending the AIR Annual Forum in Orlando, FL. During this time, the response time for emails and phone calls will be delayed.  Please direct all questions or issues to VFA@aacc.nche.edu and we will reply as soon as possible.

As a reminder, all colleges must publish their VFA data by June 2nd so that data can be checked prior to the collection year being over. Any data that AACC or you do not have sufficient time to review and correct by the publishing date might not be available for use.

We encourage all colleges to thoroughly check their work. In addition, VFA staff will perform basic error checks on any college who has published their VFA data and notify the college of any errors found.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Instructions on Reviewing VFA Data5/12/2014 9:00 AM

​In reviewing submitted VFA data, we are finding a few common errors. Please thoroughly review and check your data. Instructions are available online at: http://vfa.aacc.nche.edu/Documents/HowtoReviewData.pdf.

As you review your data, please check that the following are true:

  1. No measure should be more than the Cohort Count
  2. The sum of disaggregation = All Student Count (for each outcome and measure)
  3. # Credit Hours Attempted  >  # Credit Hours Completed
  4. # Attempted Any Dev < or =  # Developmental Need
  5. # Developmental Need  < or =  Cohort Count

REMINDERS

All colleges must publish their VFA data by June 2nd so that data can be checked prior to the collection year being over. Any data that we do not have the ability to review and that are found to be incorrect might not be available for use.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Optional vs. Required Measures5/5/2014 9:00 AM

Upon joining the VFA, all colleges have agreed to report the following reporting measures:

REQUIRED
  • Six Year Outcomes measures for the Six-Year Cohort
  • Developmental Education Progress measures for the Six-Year Cohort
  • Two-Year Progress & Outcomes for the Two-Year Cohort
  • Career & Technical Education measures (if data are available)
  • Adult Basic Education/GED measures (if data are available and applicable)

OPTIONAL
  • Two-Year Progress & Outcomes for the Six-Year Cohort
  • Developmental Education Progress measures for the Two-Year Cohort


As you continue to review and vet your data, please be sure that you are reporting all of the required measures for which you have data. If you are unable to report one or more of the required measures, though, please send us an email at VFA@aacc.nche.edu.
Monady Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Benchmarking Colleges & Publishing Deadline4/28/2014 9:00 AM

Tthe Benchmarking Dashboard is currently set-up to display ANY data that has been entered by colleges. The data can be in ANY of three states: “in progress”, “completed”, or “published”. In the future, the Benchmarking Dashboard will only pull in “published” data. We will notify all users when this change takes place.

The number of colleges to which you are benchmarking is shown next to the words “Benchmarking Colleges”.

DATA ENTRY NOT STARTED: If a college has not STARTED any of its data entry, the data will not be included/displayed in the benchmarking dashboard. If you are one of these colleges, please email VFA@aacc.nche.edu with the date by which you intend to enter your data.

Please Note: All colleges – regardless of data entry extensions – must publish their data by June 2nd. There will be no extensions granted for publishing data.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Benchmarking Dashboard -- Now Available4/21/2014 9:00 PM

​AACC has revised and re-launched the VFA Benchmarking Dashboard. All users can now access it from your “My Account” page on the VFA web site. As you work within the Benchmarking Dashboard, please send us an email (VFA@aacc.nche.edu) if you experience any access issues. In addition, it is essential to alert us to any problems with the format and function of the dashboards. All feedback is encouraged.

IMPORTANT NOTE ON BENCHMARKING DATA
The Benchmarking dashboard is currently processing and showing all dataregardless of the status of that data. Going forward, it will be important for a user to know that the data against which they are benchmarking are reviewed, approved, and final. Therefore, we will change the data process so that only approved/published data will appear in the Benchmarking Dashboard. We will notify all users when this change takes place.

REMINDER: User Group Meeting

The VFA will host the next user group meeting this Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2:00 PM EDT. AACC staff will be joined by a data consultant and will discuss revisions to and new development of the data collection process, including changes to the data upload process and work flow (calculate/validate; submit; publish). Anyone involved in the VFA data collection and data entry – especially IT and IR staff – is encouraged to attend. Please click here to register for the meeting.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Reviewing Your VFA Data4/14/2014 9:00 AM

All colleges should be in the process of reviewing and approving your VFA data for Year One. In order to aid in your review process, we have put together the next section of the VFA User Guide – Reviewing VFA Data. This section of the User Guide provides tips on error checking as well as information on required vs. published data, the calculation & validation function, exporting VFA data, and the publishing process.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: VFA Schedule and Special User Group Session4/7/2014 9:00 AM

​Based on the Year Two Collection Schedule survey, the majority of users have indicated that the VFA should continue with the current collection schedule of November – June.

Year Two Collection Schedule
​November 1, 2014– October 31, 2015​
November 3, 2014​ ​Data Entry Opens
March 20, 2015​ ​Deadline for Data Entry
March 21 – May 31, 2015 ​Data Review & Publishing Period
June 1, 2015 ​Deadline to Publish VFA Data


VFA Special User Group Session


Please join us for the user group session on Wednesday, April 23rd at 2:00 – 3:30 pm EDT, focused session on revisions to and new development of the data collection process. Please click here to register for the meeting.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip: Year Two Collection Schedule & AACC Convention3/31/2014 9:00 AM
 
​As we prepare for Year Two, VFA is revisiting its data collection cycle and time frames. We would like feedback from all users on what the preferred collection schedule could be for Year Two.

Option 1: (Same as Year One)
November 1 – October 31 Collection Cycle
  • November: Data collection begins
  • March: Deadline to complete data Entry
  • June: Deadline to publish VFA data Published ​
​Option 2:
January 1 – December 31 Collection Cycle
  • January: Data collection begins
  • May: Deadline to complete data entry
  • August: Deadline to publish VFA data Published
 
Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - Bulk Upload Process Update3/24/2014 9:00 AM

​AACC has made some back-end improvements to the bulk upload file in order to streamline the process and make it less cumbersome for users. Please note that these changes do not affect the reported measures or definitions, but only how the bulk upload file is processed. Please review the revised Bulk Upload Instructions and let us know if you have any questions. Update includes:

  1. Opening document in Notepad and removing excess commas is no longer necessary.
  2. Null (blank) values in the bulk upload file will now be null (blank) values in the database.
  3. Caution: Deleting data is now possible using the bulk upload process.
Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - VFA User Group & Data Dashboards3/17/2014 9:00 AM

​Reminder: VFA User Group

On Thursday, March 20th at 2:00 pm EDT, the VFA will host its first official VFA User Group. Anyone involved in the VFA data collection and data entry is encouraged to attend.  We encourage active participation by all attendees – please speak up and share your experiences. If you have not done so already, please click here to register.

VFA User Guide – Data Dashboards

AACC has developed the next section of the VFA User Guide – VFA Data Dashboards. This document will walk you through navigating and using the VFA Outcomes dashboards.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - The VFA Data Tool3/10/2014 9:00 AM

​As the deadline for data input draws near, we wanted to highlight the process for completing VFA data entry. The VFA Data Tool – is the next section of the VFA User Guide and details how to enter, upload, review, calculate and validate, and export your VFA data. You’ll find information on:

  • Manual Data Input tool
  • Bulk Upload tool
  • Bulk Download function

Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - VFA Metrics Manual2/24/2014 9:00 AM

​Due to feedback from the user community, we have updated the VFA Metrics Manual to aid in clarity. Some language in the Metrics Manual has been updated but all measures remain the same.

The updated VFA Metrics Manual can be found in the Data Help Center.


Mondays Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - Credits, Credits & More Credits2/17/2014 9:00 AM

Many VFA users have asked for additional explanations about the ways to determine:

  • 12-Credits Earned (for placing students in the Credential-Seeking Cohort
  • Credits Successfully Completed (for reaching credit thresholds in Two Year Progress & Outcomes)
  • Reaching Credit Thresholds (by end of year two reported in Two Year Progress & Outcomes)
  • Credits Earned (for reporting the students that left institution with less than, or equal to/greater than, 30 credits in the Six Year Outcomes)

Click to read more.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - VFA Webinar Schedule2/10/2014 9:00 AM

​VFA’s Year One collection cycle is in full swing. Do you need help navigating the website? Have you been doing the VFA and have questions? Join AACC for one of these targeted webinars:


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - Key Contact Responsibilities 2/3/2014 9:00 AM


The VFA Key Contact is a critical part of your VFA Membership and is vital for AACC to communicate with our VFA colleges. To make clear the Key Contact’s responsibilities and to ensure that they have all useful information, we have created the attached document: Key Contact Responsibilities. This is the first section of the VFA User Guide – a resource that AACC is developing to instruct fully in the VFA membership and data collection process.


Monday Clips 
VFA Monday Clip - VFA Metrics Manual & First User Group Meeting1/27/2014 9:00 AM


VFA’s First User Group Meeting
Please join us for the VFA’s first User Group session on Thursday, March 20th at 2:00 pm EST. Click Here to Register.

VFA Cohorts & Metrics Manual
Frequently, VFA users ask for clarification on the “First Time in College Cohort (FTIC)” reported in the VFA. To create this cohort, colleges should determine who in the Main VFA Cohort fits the FTIC definition. The FTIC in the VFA is intended to parallel what colleges report to IPEDS. Please see page 16 in the VFA Metrics Manual.


Monday Clip 
VFA Monday Clip - Assigning Access1/20/2014 9:00 AM
 

​​As you begin to dive into the VFA metrics and measures for Year One data collection, we would like to remind you of the different roles for VFA users.

Key Contact
Data Administrators
Data Inputters

Roles are hierarchical, meaning rights flow down. Therefore, you do not need to hold more than one type of role.


Monday Clips 
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