Shoddy record keeping costs community college $39M

Dive Brief:

  • The Community College of San Francisco (CCSF) has been ordered to pay a $39 million fine over 10 years as a result of losing records for 16,000 distance learning students taught between 2011 and 2014.
  • A state audit revealed the discrepancies, which school officials claim were a result of improper training of faculty on the school's learning management system for online classes. 
  • That lack of training, which began in 2011 and prompted several attempts to strip the school of its accreditation led to a downturn in its enrollment, which is costing the school millions annually. The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges will rule on CCSF's fate in January.

Dive Insight:

There are many other campuses across the country facing this very issue and possibly unaware that it exists, or the extent of its existence. It underscores the importance of having regular audits of record-keeping software and systems, not only in the academic enterprise by also in student health, athletic offices and other areas of data management. 

It becomes a particular issue when campuses are changing over to new systems, and are seeking to get faculty and staff trained on new software with little turnaround before classes begin. Working with vendors to pilot and make systems compatible with specific campus cultures and faculty feedback is the ideal way to prevent this kind of penalty or public disclosure.

Filed Under: Higher Ed Online Learning
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