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Institutional Data Center

Voluntary Framework of Accountability Performance


what is voluntary framework of accountability?


North Central, along with 23 of Michigan's 28 community colleges, and more than 200 other colleges nationwide, participates in the Coluntary Gramework for Accountability (VFA), an initiative coordinated by the American Association of Community Colleges.

The VFA has developed metrics and measures of success specifically tailored to community college students.  North Central has been a member of the VFA initiative since 2014. 
More information on the VFA is available at 


what are we tracking?

The VFA asks that we track the success of two different groups of students:

  • A two-year cohort (the latest entered in Fall 2014), and

  • A six-year cohort (entered in Fall 2010)

The measurements are slightly different for the two cohorts, but overall they both are gauging student progression, completion and transfer, along with developmental (pre-college coursework) progress.

VFA Metrics Tracking

There is a great deal that we track with the VFA metrics (and all is available at the links above), but perhaps most of it can best be summarized with the following graph, which shows the progression of credit-seeking students (those who completed at least 12 credits within their first two years) who entered in Fall 2010.


6 year cohort, credit-seeking, f10 assoc with transfer - 16%. assoc without transfer - 13%. cert with transfer - 0%. cert without transfer - 2%. no award, transfer - 31%. no award, still - 3%. Left, greater than or equal to 30 cr - 14%. left less than 30 cr - 21%. 62% graduated and/or transferred.

You can see that 29% of these students received a North Central degree, with a little more than half of them also transferring.  Only 2% of the students received a certificate. 

A substantial portion, 31%, transferred without receiving a degree or certificate—still a successful outcome for the student. 

The black arc superimposed on the chart indicates the sum of the awards and/or transfers of 62% within six years for this cohort.


A few things to keep in mind when reviewing these statistics:

  • The progression of the students changes considerably when we consider all students or first-time-in-any-college students that entered in Fall 2010.  The overall success rate can drop by as much as 10% for these groups.  Clearly, completing 12 credits greatly improves students’ chances of progressing.

  • Transfers include all other colleges to which students go, including other two-year colleges.  When one restricts the definition of “transfer” to just four-year senior institutions, the numbers can fall by as much as one-third.  While we’re happy to see students continue their education anywhere, we’re especially pleased when it’s at a four-year college or university.

  • Historically, 25% – 30% of incoming North Central students eventually transfer to a four-year school.

  • While these values reflect progress after six-years, most awards and/or transfers occur within three or four years.