Voluntary Framework of Accountabiltiy (VFA)

Important Things to Know BEFORE Beginning

Institution ID is 310

  • PELL recipients include anyone receiving PELL in the reporting period. For instance, for the six year cohort beginning in Fall-2011, anyone receiving PELL between 201108 and 201705 is considered a PELL recipient. Also, a recipient is anyone OFFERED PELL, the standard for SIRIS and IPEDS.
  • Information is stored in VFA-Jims.accdb (file:///M:\IAssess\VFA\VFA-Jims.accdb), an Access database. Some older information is stored in file:///M:\IAssess\VFA\VFA-Jims - 080118.accdb.
  • User manuals with detailed information about metrics - who and what to include in submissions - are stored in M:\IAssess\VFA\Manuals.
  • All cohorts are stored in tblCohorts in the VFA database. Make a copy of the table BEFORE appending any new records.


High school graduates that are first time at MVCC, excluding ESL Students (students taking exclusively ESL classes). Dual enrollment students are any high school taking a course, regardless of locations - that is, dual enrollment does not mirror dual credit, which is located in the high schools only.


These instructions are not even close to being complete

Appending New Records to tblCohorts

BACKUP UP THE TABLE by copying the table and appending the date to the name - tblCohorts_080118
1. Run qryCohorts_Append to append new records to tblCohorts.
2. Determine which students are high school grads or have a GED before they enrolled at MVCC - an inexact science - and update HS_Grad with Y/N as appropriate. Begin with SOBYSDS_HS_STATUS, if it equals '1' then SIRIS believes the student is a high school grad, which is good enough. Most of the rest can be identified by examining SAAADMS, SORHSCH, and SORDEGR. Be aware that transcripts may have been received and recorded there in SAAADMS, but not in SOAHSCH.
  • Ideally graduates have an appropriate diploma code in SORHSCH_DPLM_CODE and a transcript date (SORHSCH_TRANS_RECV_DATE) greater than or equal to their graduation date (SORHSCH_GRADUATION_DATE), which must be before they began classes.
  • Others include a graduation date before classes begin and the student is matriculated at MVCC.
  • Sometimes a GED diploma is dated shortly after classes begin, which probably means we didn't receive the paperwork on time.
  • Look for students with a prior advanced degree (Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate) in SORHSCH_ADMR_CODE or SORHSCH_DPLM_CODE.
  • Students without an appropriate diploma code and no transcript received date are not graduates and should not be included.
  • Others are up to your discretion
  • Delete any students that are not high school graduates/have not completed their GED.
3. Verify that TransferHours_1-2 and TransferHours_3-6 are correct. Use the functions TransferHours_1to2 and TransferHours_3to6.
4. You must update dual credit hours - run qryDual_Credit_hrs to create table tblDual_Credit_Hours. Use the information in that table to update the hours in tblCohorts. Dual credits should only include courses with a grade of D or better.

Generate Files to Upload

Always check the results before submitting files for upload - look for strange values and other anomalies.

1. Student Demographics - Edit qryDemographics_Output for the correct parameters (SOBYSDS_TERM_CODE, PELL, and Cohort_Year_Type), then run and export to an Excel workbook. Convert the workbook to a comma separated (CSV) file, and upload it to VFA. Note: Some students appear in ESS and subsequently drop all of their courses with "NA"; they will cause an error when VFA validates the files after all of the files have been uploaded (the VALIDATE AND PROCESS RAW FILE COLLECTION button has been clicked). The solution is to delete them from the demographics file and upload it again. Another error is thrown when students have only taken CS courses. Again, the solution is to delete them from the demographics file and upload again. Students deleted from the demographics file will almost certainly need to be removed from the developmental need file as well.

2. Student Course - Information is extracted with qryCourses_Output, which does not need to be edited, just be careful to follow to use the correct parameters when prompted. Extract the data into an Excel workbook and then save as a comma separated (csv) file, which is uploaded to VFA.
  • Before converting it to CSV, check Course_Subject. Currently two SL courses are English and two are Remedial.
  • Also, look at the courses to see if Course_Level is rational. Currently four SL courses are "Coreq".

3. Student Completion - Run qryStudent_Completion, careful to enter the correct parameters, to generate an Excel workbook. Save the workbook as a comma separated (csv) file and upload to VFA.
  • Before converting and uploading the file, verify the dates included are within the period covered.

4. Student Developmental Need - Run qryStudent_Developmental_Need_Output, entering parameters for Cohort and Cohort Year. Export to an Excel workbook and covert to a comma separated (csv) file before uploading to VFA. Note: The query may return extra columns with original placement values, which do not conform to VFA expected values. The extra columns are to allow values for older terms to be examined and appropriate values entered in the VFA columns before submission. Older values include Developmental converted to 1; ESL converted to 1; College converted to 0, MVT* converted to 0. The extra columns must be deleted before submission.

5. Student Transfer -

Information is submitted online through the VFA home page , which requires username credentials.