The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Progress Report: Community College Budget Incentives and Interagency Articulation Improve, But Graduation Rates Still Inflated, Report No. 01-30, June 2001
Full report in PDF format

In response to our 1999 report, the Legislature and the Division of Community Colleges have implemented several of our recommendations.

The Legislature added several measures to the performance-based incentive fund, developed statewide performance measures for the community college system, and approved increasing the proportion of funds tied to performance to a minimum of 10%. The division conducted a formal review of interagency articulation agreements between community colleges and school districts and reports that it intensified verification of data integrity.

However, some recommendations have not been implemented.
  • The division continues to inflate and present misleading graduation rates when it excludes from calculations students who drop out of school before earning 18 credit hours.  We continue to recommend that the division develop benchmarks for and report graduation rates for all first-time-in-college students.
  • Although the state still allocates the majority of community college funds that are not tied to performance or categorical funds using a base-plus approach, the Legislature recently allocated $23.9 million in new money to the colleges for the 2001-02 fiscal year using an input-based formula.  We continue to recommend that the state fund community colleges using a combination of input-based and performance-based funding.  Such an approach will serve to equalize funding by taking into account program offerings and student populations, while providing incentives for colleges to improve the level and quality of services.
  • While the state requires community college students to pay 100% of the credit hour cost for courses that they have failed or withdrawn from more than two times, the state has not established policies to address the number of excess hours taken in relation to total degree requirements.  The Legislature should closely monitor the excess hours performance measures to determine if efforts to reduce excess hours are effective.  If this problem continues, the Legislature could consider requiring students to pay 100% of the costs for courses that exceed a specified percentage of degree requirements (such as 120%).

What were our earlier findings?

Report No. 98-06A Program Evaluation and Justification Review of the Florida's Community College System, published in August 1998.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

School District Workforce Education
Associate in Arts
College Preparatory and Remediation
Student Financial Assistance
Florida College System

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 08-50 Workforce Estimating Conference Streamlined; University Funding Is Not Directly Tied to Workforce Demand, published in September 2008.
  • Report No. 06-28  Workforce Estimating Conference Potential Not Realized; Barriers Can Be Addressed, published in March 2006.
  • Report No. 04-42 Progress Report: Students Benefit from Workforce Education Programs, But Performance Can Be Improved, published in June 2004.
  • Report No. 04-19 Information Brief:  Workforce Development System Overview, published in February 2004.
  • Report No. 02-32 Justification Review: Workforce Development Education Program, published in May 2002.
  • Report No. 02-05 Program Review: Articulation Works for Most Community College Transfer Students, But Some Problems Continue, published in January 2002.
  • Report No. 01-56 Program Review: Workforce Development Education Program, Florida Department of Education, published in November 2001.
  • Report No. 98-07 Program Evaluation and Justification Review Supplemental Analysis: Community College Revenues and Expenditures, published in August 1998.
  • Report No. 97-49 Review of the Community College System's Performance-Based Program Budgeting Measures and Incentive Fund, published in February.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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