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Program audit leads to savings for students, families and Virginia’s Community Colleges – 7.24.13
~VCCS program credit audit will save students and taxpayers $10 million over three years.
~Audit removes nearly 1,100 credits from VCCS programs.
~A strategy of the VCCS Reengineering Taskforce, the audit took just over a year to complete.

VCCS Credit Audit Saves Millions of Dollars for Students and Taxpayers
~ Internal audit removes nearly 1,100 credits from credential programs ~

RICHMOND — Students and taxpayers will save more than $10 million dollars over the next three years following an exhaustive credit audit of the programs offered across Virginia’s 23 community colleges. The audit is a strategy of the VCCS Reengineering Taskforce to fight so-called “credit creep,” well intended though nonessential credits that are added to programs over time. The VCCS internal initiative removed 1,069 credits from programs that lead to a transfer degree, an applied degree, a certificate or a diploma.

“This is a promise made and kept to the people we serve,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of Virginia’s Community Colleges. “While individuals always have the option to take additional classes to round out their learning or fulfill a personal interest, they should be confident that when a class is described as essential to earning a postsecondary credential, it is truly essential.”

The audit worked by establishing recommended credit totals for each type of credential offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges and then examining how individual programs compare to that standard. Altogether, three out of every four programs (77 percent) offered through Virginia’s Community Colleges align with the recommended credit thresholds articulated in the audit.

“Virginia’s Community Colleges maintain a delicate balance between offering high-quality programs and ensuring that Virginia students and families can access those offerings,” said Peter Blake, director of the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia (SCHEV). “I applaud them for continuing that work with this internal credit audit. This work represents true cost savings for students and taxpayers at a time of deep concern over the issues of tuition costs and student debt.”

The credit audit took just over a year to complete. The estimated savings resulting from the credit audit were calculated from the estimated annual tuition, mandatory fee and state General Fund savings, based on the expected number of graduates over an average three-year period.

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 www.vccs.edu.

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