Participation

The VFA a clear, consistent, and effective way to measure student progress and outcomes and institutional effectiveness.

2022 VFA Participation is now open. Please follow the steps below to activate your participation. 

  • For Tier 1 Participation (Complimentary with 2022 AACC membership) 
    • Select Tier 1 participation and provide the requested information
    • Your order will process within 24-48 hours
  • For Tier 2 Participation ($1,050 with 2022 AACC membership)
    • Payments by Credit/Purchase/Corporate Cards:
      • Select Tier 2 and provide the requested information
      • Your order will process within 24-48 hours and your account will be activated upon receipt of payment 
      • Select Tier 2 participation and provide the requested information
      • Your order will process within 24-48 hours and you will receive an electronic invoice
      • Your account will be activated upon receipt of payment

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Questions regarding VFA participation? Please contact us at VFA@aacc.nche.edu.


Participation FAQ

Q. Why participate in the VFA?

The VFA is the foundational accountability framework for our colleges for now and into the future and it gives community colleges what has long been lacking in reporting outcomes to the public and policymakers: specific metrics that assess how they do in areas such as student progress and achievement and career and technical education programs (credit and noncredit).

The data collected and shared is specific to community colleges and focused on telling internal and external audiences what they need to know to shape improvement strategies and provide resources. With better, more appropriate measures, our colleges can use the VFA for reporting to boards and local, state, and regional stakeholders; responding to calls for performance funding; shaping policy and advocacy; improving practices; identifying institutional effectiveness; and benchmarking to peer colleges.

Also, the VFA Data Tool has the potential to streamline accountability reporting and improve transparency. It enables the colleges to do more, systematically, with data than ever before. The tool gives colleges and IR staff methodologies and processes for data collection, in addition to an easy way to display and benchmark the data. The intention is to ease the burden on IR staff and, as community colleges and state systems adopt the VFA, leverage the data for multiple purposes (internal improvement, as well as external accountability) to further mitigate the burden on overly-taxed IR offices. There is enormous potential for the VFA to be the framework that satisfies a variety of reporting requirements and simplifies the work of institutional researchers, accountability and effectiveness professionals, and presidents.

The more colleges that join, the greater our voice will be.

Q. How do I participate in the VFA?

All community colleges that are AACC members are eligible to participate in the VFA. 

Activation is done on the VFA website in the "Participation" section. During activation, a college will choose its tier of participation and walk through a simple process so that AACC can collect your VFA Key Contact and set-up access to your VFA account. Following activation, the Key Contact will receive detailed instructions on logging into the college's VFA account and the data collection process. For now, please fill out this very brief form and we will add you as a contact to be sent information about the VFA and activation.  

To note,all VFA memberships begin on January 1 (or whenever your particpation election date is) and end on December 31 of the respective collection year (regardless of particpation election date).

Q. Which community colleges can participate in the VFA?

All community colleges that are AACC members are eligible to participate in the VFA. AACC member colleges are regionally accredited, predominantly associates degree-granting institutions. For community colleges offering baccalaureate degrees, the VFA reports the earning of a baccalaureate as a student outcome.

Q. When can colleges sign up to participate in the VFA?

All AACC member colleges can activate their VFA participation from the Participation page of the web site once data collection sign-ups open (this usually occurs between November-January). AACC will be reaching out to all of its prior VFA member colleges with a reminder and instructions on how to activate the college's participation in the VFA.

Participation is rolling but all colleges are expected to meet the data submission deadline regardless of when they activate their participation.

Q. When is the VFA Participation Year and the Data Collection Cycle?

Participation in the VFA is for one calendar year, January 1 to December 31. The Data Collection process begins with the release of an updated Metrics Manual in February, followed by data collection opening in March and closing in August. The college's VFA data are to be completed and locked by August when the data collection system closes. Throughout the participation year, AACC offers trainings and user groups focused on navigating the data tool, understanding and entering data, and metric development topics.

Q. What is required to participate in the VFA?

All AACC member colleges are eligible to participate in the VFA. VFA paticipants must agree to the terms and conditions set forth in the VFA Participation Agreement including assigning a VFA Key Contact to their account and submitting data according the deadlines set forth in the VFA Data Collection Schedule.

The Key Contact is responsible for maintaining the VFA College profile and for assigning user roles to people at their college.

Q. Are AACC membership dues the same as VFA participation dues?

The Voluntary Framework of Accountability is an AACC membership benefit and Tier One is included with a college's AACC membership dues. Tier Two participation in the VFA offers additional data services, tools, and products and the annual price is $1,050 per college. Please visit the Participation page of the web site for details about each tier of participation.

Q. Can my district, system office, association, commission, or state office participate in the VFA?

Yes. There is a state-level VFA participation model, which provides data services and products that are of use at the state-level. For detailed information, please visit State-Level Participation in the VFA.