Accountability & Credibility Plan FAQs


Q: What exactly is the Accountability & Credibility Plan, and what is its purpose?

A: The Accountability & Credibility Plan is basically a set of criteria that the college’s Continuing Education and College and Career Readiness programs must adhere to in order to ensure proper use of public funds. The Plan, which is required by the State Board of Community Colleges, is a system of checks and balances designed to achieve a quality-learning environment as well as institutional effectiveness and efficiencies in the management of continuing education programs.

Q: Which areas of the college are affected by this Plan?
A: As stated in the State Board of Community Colleges Code 1D SBCCC 300.96(c), the criteria within the Plan only pertains to classes that are held within the Corporate and Continuing Education and College and Career Readiness divisions of the college.

Q: What are the requirements of the Accountability & Credibility Plan?
A: There are five sections of criteria that must be followed. These are:

  1. On-Site Class Visitations (by authorized personnel)
  2. Student Membership Verification
  3. Instructor Verification (payroll issues and verification of total hours worked)
  4. College Approval Process for Conducting a Continuing Education Class
  5. College Responsibility for Accuracy in Reporting Practices


Q: Is this subject for review during an annual FTE audit conducted by the System Office?

A: Yes, the Accountability & Credibility Plan is always a part of the annual FTE audit.

Q: Who is responsible for conducting class visitations? Are there different levels of visitations?
A: The class instructor’s supervisor, or an approved representative designated by the dean of each division, must conduct class visitations during each term including summer. This type of visit is considered “first level.”
There are also “second level” visits, which must be conducted by either the senior continuing education administrator or his/her upper level administrator designees.

Q: Do all Corporate and Continuing Education and Basic Skills classes have to be visited? If not, what percentage is required?
A: No. These class visits are completed on a selective basis. Fifty (50) percent of all off-campus and distance education classes and twenty-five (25) percent of all on-campus classes must be visited by the “first level” individuals, and documented using the automated class visitation form. Ten (10) percent of all off-campus and distance education classes must be visited by the “second level” individuals, and documented using the automated class visitation form.

Q: Which classes are exempt from visitations?
A: Self-supporting and community service classes and classes which meet 12 hours or less are exempt from visitations.

Q: How are class visits documented? When and to whom is the documentation due?
A: You should use the automated class visitation record (CVR) for the appropriate level of the visit (ie, First Level CVR form, or Second Level CVR form). Timely submission of class visitation records to the Compliance and Audit Office within five working days of the class visit will reduce potential audit findings, and a possible shortfall of these records at the end of each term.

Q: How are visits conducted for internet (distance education) courses?
A: For internet courses for which it is not possible to physically visit the class, visitation should be conducted electronically, using a system that allows the opportunity to log-on and check the class activity. These on-line “visits” must also be documented using the automated class visitation record.

Q: Why is student membership verification necessary?
A: This is required by the State to confirm that each student counted for FTE purposes was properly enrolled.

Q: How is student membership verification documented?
A: Each student in a class must complete registration either online, through customer service, or in-person.  Documentation will be kept to support enrollment of students in Continuing Education and College and Career Readiness whether a class meets physically with the instructor, or does not physically meet (such as internet or other distance education method of instruction).

In accordance with current state regulations and North Carolina Community College System Office memorandums, the following are required when student signatures have not been obtained:

  • SBCCC 2D.0324(a)(2) verification of fee payment or waiver, and
  • SBCCC 2D.0324(b)(2) instructor signatures on official college attendance records, or instructors’ electronic signatures.
  • In cases where no registration fee is paid, the verification of fee waiver eligibility is determined at the time of registration.  The most current edition of Tuition and Fee Waivers Clarification from the North Carolina Community College System and state regulations should be used to determine fee waiver eligibility.

Q: Is the Plan criteria affected if class location changes are not updated?
A: Yes. As a part of the approval process for conducting a continuing education class, the course master schedule and the directions for all off-campus classes must be periodically reviewed and updated by the appropriate division. This is very important whenever the FTE auditors are trying to visit classes as a part of the annual FTE audit process. They must be able to locate a class to verify its legitimacy.

Q: How does the college community know that the Accountability & Credibility Plan is being followed?
A: The Compliance and Audit Office conducts a review each semester to evaluate compliance. A written report is then sent to the Cabinet, deans, and associate deans. Also, the FTE auditors review the results of the Accountability & Credibility Plan annually.

Q: What do I do if I have more questions, concerns, or need additional training?
A: You may review the complete Accountability & Credibility Plan, or contact Richard Redman, Director of Enrollment Reporting, at extension 6049 in the Compliance and Audit Office.