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Voluntary Framework for Accountability (VFA)


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An Overview

The Iowa Department of Education has partnered with the Iowa Association of Community College Presidents to implement the Voluntary Framework for Accountability (VFA), a national effort to report on two-year college institutional effectiveness.

The VFA was designed by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to serve as an accountability framework for community colleges with success measures tailored for this sector of higher education. Designed specifically with community colleges in mind, the VFA contains measures which encompass and reflect the full breadth of the community college mission and the diversity of students' goals and educational experiences. Partnering with the community college presidents, the Department's Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation funds the VFA membership costs for the community colleges and supports the statewide initiative as a data clearinghouse to ensure consistency in data reporting.

The VFA system provides the opportunity for internal, inter-college, and state-wide comparisons and benchmarking, both in pre-set and customized groups of colleges or states. The VFA Measures are subdivided into three major categories: credit Student Progress and Outcomes (SPO), credit and noncredit Career and Technical Education (CTE), and Adult Basic Education Outcomes (ABE). SPO is based on two-year and six-year cohort tracking, while CTE and ABE track only one year cohort progress during the year and one year past the cohort’s formation.

More information about the VFA can be found at the AACC website.


VFA Brochure – A short document from American Association of Community Colleges describing the Voluntary Framework of Accountability.

Metrics Manual – This technical manual provides a detailed description of the cohorts and measures included in the Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA).

Iowa Calculations Methods Manual for VFA Data Submissions


VFA Official Timelines Information

2021 VFA Reporting Schedule – updated 02/11/2021

Final draft posted: Iowa Calculation Methods Manual for VFA Submissions – 2021

Time Frame Task
02/15/2021 Send College Academic Year Calendars to Department
03/01/2021 Collection System Opens
06/01/2021 Data Elements submitted by IDOE to VFA website
07/01/2021 Data Validations between IDOE/Colleges Completed
07/25/2021 Data Locked into VFA system (no more submissions)
08/25/2021 Data System closes (no more review or corrections)

Steering Committee and Workgroups

President's VFA Steering Committee

  • Michael Ash (SCC-President)
  • Jane Bradley (HCC-CAO)
  • Lisa Breja (IVCC-IR)
  • Chris Duree (IVCC-Chancellor)
  • Terry Murrell (WITCC-President)
  • Marlene Sprouse (IHCC-President)
  • Erin Volk (WITCC-IR)
  • Jeremy Varner (Department)

VFA Credit Workgroup

  • Erin Volk (WITCC-IR) - Chair
  • Lisa Breja (IVCC-IR)
  • Connie Buhr (HCC-IR)
  • Nancy Dugan (EICC-IR)
  • Janet Emmerson (DMACC-IR)
  • Cort Iverson (KCC-Dir IR)
  • Katherine Knoblock (NCC-Applications Administrator)
  • Stacy Mentzer (ICCC-IR)
  • Vlad Bassis (Department)
  • Lisa Gard (Department)
  • Chris Russell (Department)

VFA CTE Workgroup

  • Brenda Ireland (KCC-Mgr CE Ops) - Chair
  • Cort Iverson (KCC-IR)
  • Wendy Knight (NICC-Exec Dir Business & Community Solutions)
  • Kim Oaks (SWCC-Bus Coord)
  • Jolene Rogers (ILCC-Exec Dir Non Cr)
  • Daniel Terrian (IHCC-Economic Development)
  • Dennis Hardin (Department)
  • Vlad Bassis (Department)
  • Lisa Gard (Department)
  • Chris Russell (DE)

VFA Guides and Training Webinars

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) has developed webinars to provide guidance and training of Voluntary Framework of Accountability (VFA). View the listing of available webinars.

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on January 23, 2022 at 5:06pm.