1. A plan that addresses the adequacy and improvement of all physical facilities and technical infrastructure has been developed and is maintained that includes, if applicable, distance education infrastructure (6-1 and 6-2).
  2. The technology used by the institution to deliver services and, if applicable, program content, meets student needs without creating barriers to student support or learning (6-1).
  3. An appropriate plan for ongoing operation and maintenance of all physical facilities, technical infrastructure, and if applicable distance education infrastructure, has been developed and is in use (6-1 and 6-2).
  4. The operation and maintenance plan addresses personnel, equipment and supplies, relevant state law, and applicable federal codes and procedures (6-1 and 6-2).
  5. The operation and maintenance plan is available to employees and students and, is regularly evaluated and revised (6-1 and 6-2).
  6. Physical facilities at all locations provide adequate, safe, and clean facilities with appropriate supporting utilities for classrooms, labs/shops, offices, rest rooms, lounges, meeting rooms, parking, etc. (6-2).
  7. An appropriate plan for assuring the health and safety of the institution's employees, students, and guests has been developed and is in use.  The health and safety plan includes a system for reporting and investigating accidents; has been distributed to employees, is available to students; and is regularly evaluated/revised with appropriate input from employees and students (6-2).
  8. An appropriate plan to ensure the privacy, safety, and security of data contained within the technical infrastructure of the institution networks, whether provided directly by the institution or through contractual arrangements, has been developed and is in use (6-3).
  9. The institution ensures computer system and network reliability and emergency back-up for all technical services whether provided directly by the institution or through contractual arrangements (6-4). 

 

Introduction

 

Accountability for WWRC's Physical Resources and Technical Infrastructure is shared and jointly administered through the Center's Facilities and Operations Division and the Information Services Department resourced through the Disability Services Agencies (DSA) Administrative Support Division, in compliance with applicable Commonwealth of Virginia policies and procedures and reflective of WWRC's mission, vision, and strategic planning goals and objectives.  

 

Physical Resources provide for the health and safety of students, faculty, administrative staff, and visitors.  WWRC, a residential facility operating 24/7, provides people with disabilities comprehensive, individualized services to realize personal independence through employment.  As such, Life Safety is a mission-essential function for the Facilities and Operations Division.  Public safety is the combined responsibility of the Center's Police Department, Facilities Services, and Office of Safety and Risk Management.  WWRC offers clean, safe, and adequate facilities that support its services and programs. Significant building renovations, construction projects, and campus improvements have been made over the past 10-15 years through the WWRC Capital Outlay Program and will continue into the foreseeable future.  Technical Infrastructure provides for the privacy, safety, and security of data and the reliable accessibility and back-up of network and system data. 

 

A Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (SWOT) Analysis was conducted by the Standard 6 COE Self-Study Committee on January 23, 2017.   There was general consensus that WWRC's Physical Resources and Technical Infrastructure operates effectively and efficiently on behalf of the Center to achieve its mission.   Recent and current renovations have improved building and space management, classroom/lab operations, and infrastructure capacities conducive to a safe, secure, and comfortable living and learning environment for enrolled students.   More specific details are provided in the analysis section of this Self-Study narrative.

 

Analysis

 WWRC, a division of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), operates under Federal Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) regulations and Commonwealth of Virginia policies and procedures.  The 2016-2018 WWRC Strategic Plan contains the following goal statements consistent with COE Standard 6 Objectives:  Enhance customer service delivery through effective and efficient management of state property, fiscal processes, use of technology and current administrative policies. Ensure that resources are used efficiently and programs are managed effectively, and in a manner consistent with applicable state and federal requirementsWWRC's Physical Resources and Technical Infrastructure services are provided by knowledgeable, well trained, creative and committed employees who support the Center's mission, vision and values.

 

A.  Physical Resources

 

WWRC operates in a state-owned facility.  WWRC's Physical Plant includes a 223 acre campus, including 21 conditioned space buildings (497,000 sq. ft.). WWRC collaborates with the Virginia Department of Transportation for road maintenance, the Virginia Department of Forestry for forestry management, and the Virginia Departments of Game and Inland Fisheries and Corrections for the lake/surrounding grounds maintenance.

 

The WWRC Deputy Director, housed on the WWRC campus, leads and manages the Facilities and Operations Division which includes Facilities Services, Capital Programs, Campus Police, and the Office of Safety and Risk Management.   Services and programs are designed and delivered, through ongoing strategic planning processes and daily operations, to protect the health and safety of students, faculty, administration, and visitors, to maintain a clean, comfortable, and effective learning environment, and to provide for efficient space management of campus buildings and grounds.   

 

Facilities Services includes daily maintenance of buildings and grounds through its environmental services unit and administration of a comprehensive preventative maintenance system to ensure buildings, grounds, equipment, and supplies are in proper operating condition, reflective of relevant federal and state regulations, fire/life/safety codes, and other applicable policies and procedures.  WWRC's buildings and walkways are maintained in a clean, safe, and aesthetically pleasing manner, for accessibility by visitors, students, and staff.  Housekeeping services are provided to all areas of the Center such that facilities are maintained to the highest standard. 

 

Through internal and external safety inspections, WWRC's Facilities Services ensure that equipment is maintained in safe and functional operating conditions.  Preventive equipment maintenance is conducted, per manufacturer recommendations, to achieve maximum "equipment life".  A "spare parts" inventory is maintained to ensure needed repairs are completed with minimal disruption to services.

 

Equipment and supplies are purchased, inventoried, maintained, and surplused through routine Center purchasing, fiscal, and fixed asset tracking mechanisms, in compliance with Commonwealth of Virginia policies and procedures.   Instructors purchase and/or surplus equipment, as needed, through appropriate processes.  All classrooms have adequate storage for equipment and supplies.  All items are catalogued in accordance with applicable policies and procedures of the Virginia Department of General Services, Division of Purchases and Supply.  

 

Capital Construction and Renovation Services include comprehensive planning, new construction and renovation, a Maintenance Reserve Program, administration and coordination of multiple energy savings and conservation initiatives, and coordination of the Facility's Master Plan which is submitted to the Department of Real Estate Services (DRES) and indicates how a parcel of state property is developed and/or intended to be developed. Significant Capital Construction and Renovation projects have been accomplished in recent years and will continue throughout the 2016-2018 biennium and into the foreseeable future.       

 

Construction activity related to Phase I Renovation of the Anderson Training Building is underway. Planning activity is active for Phase II Renovation of the Watson Activities Building as well as Phase II Renovation of the Anderson Training Building with construction activity to commence on both projects later this biennium period.  Additionally, funds for Phase III Renovation of the Watson Activities Building have been requested in the latest Capital Outlay Budget submission. In addition to enhancing life safety and security of WWRC clients, Capital Improvements allow for better utilization of campus space.  This contributes to improved services for clients and increased feasibility of new programs and services for an increasing client population.

 

The WWRC Police Department is a full-service sworn law enforcement agency devoted to the welfare of the WWRC campus, clients, staff, visitors and the local community.   The Department enforces state laws, local ordinances and WWRC policies, rules and regulations on all property owned or controlled by the agency, as well as on adjacent streets and sidewalks.  The primary purpose of the WWRC Police Department is to support the rehabilitative process through the maintenance of a peaceful and orderly community and through the provision of general and emergency services. The accomplishment of this purpose is fulfilled through constant attention to the areas of public safety, security, law enforcement and service assistance to the various departments, offices and staff at WWRC.

 

All occupied buildings are protected by fire alarm systems and are inspected on a routine basis.  Adequate space is provided for classrooms, labs, and shop areas, in accordance with federal and state safety regulations and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  The transportation vehicle fleet, operated under the governance of the Virginia Department of General Services, Office of Fleet Management Services (DGS/OFMS), offers safe, reliable, and clean transportation for persons with disabilities.

 

Programs mandated by the Occupational Safety Hazard Act (OSHA) or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are closely supervised through WWRC's Office Safety and Risk Management and Facilities Services.  These programs include, at a minimum:  asbestos management; lead base paints management; storage, shipping, and handling of regulated chemicals and materials, and management of underground storage tanks.

 

Per established and routine "New Employee Orientation" procedures, all new staff members, interns, and volunteers participate in a comprehensive overview of WWRC's Safety and Risk Management Program, including awareness of WWRC's Emergency Prevention, Preparation, Response and Recovery Plan, which includes its Life, Safety, and Health Plan and a system for reporting and investigating accidents.   Similarly, safety and security issues are discussed with the Center's students/clients during their New Student Orientation.  During their orientation, each student is given a copy of the WWRC Student Handbook which is also available to them prior to admission on the WWRC website.

 

The WWRC Office of Safety and Risk Management operates a Safety and Risk Management Committee, under a written charter, to continuously assess and reduce safety hazards and potential risks to students, employees and visitors in order to create a safe living and work environment. The Safety and Risk Management Committee is an advisory committee which makes recommendations to the WWRC Executive Staff regarding safety and risk management issues.   

 

During the January, 2017 SWOT Analysis, the COE Standard 6 Self-Study Committee identified the following Physical Resources strengths:

    • Access to an electronic system for management of work orders and preventative maintenance
    • Well-qualified staff
    • New systems and infrastructure from capital project upgrades
    • More comfortable dorms and living areas for students due to renovations

 

Challenges and Opportunities identified will be discussed in the next section of this Self-Study narrative.

B.  Technical Infrastructure

As identified in WWRC's 2016-2018 Strategic Plan, Information Technology Services (IS) provides computer applications development and support, web services, and computer operations. Both in partnership with the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and Northrop Grumman and independently for education, video teleconferencing and client related technology services, IS provides systems engineering services including voice and data communications networks and hardware and computer support services. IS also collaborates with other agencies where possible to maximize staff, computer and financial resources. They participate in planning and implementation of the Secretary of Health and Human Resources Information Technology Strategic Plan.  The 2016-2018 WWRC Strategic Plan also identifies that decreased reliance on servers at the Commonwealth Enterprise Service Center (CESC), more frequent updates to current technology, implementation of Managed Print Services, expansion of the use of document and content management software, improved records archiving for compliance with Library of Virginia standards, implementation of Voice over IP phone networks statewide, increased use of wireless networks, implementation of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), tablet and smart phone technologies, and replacement of file/print services with network assisted storage solutions have decreased technology costs resulting in more efficient use of technology.

 

WWRC's Technical Infrastructure is administered and resourced through the Disability Services Agencies (DSA) Administrative Support Division, in compliance with applicable Commonwealth of Virginia policies and procedures and reflective of WWRC's mission, vision, and strategic planning goals and objectives.  Designated staff in the Information Services (IS) Department are housed on the Center campus and assigned to support WWRC operations and ensure the privacy, safety, and security of data as well as the reliable accessibility and back-up of data.  

 

The Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) is the consolidated information technology (IT) organization which supports the Commonwealth of Virginia by providing cybersecurity, IT infrastructure services, and IT governance.  Users of the WWRC network are held accountable to VITA Standards and Acceptable Use Policies and Procedures and are required to complete cybersecurity and data privacy/security training within the first 30 days of hire and annually thereafter.  IT users acknowledge their understanding of VITA requirements through the Information Security Access Agreement (ISAA) which is signed and annually updated, as well as through completion of mandatory training documented on individual training transcripts in the Virginia Learning Center.   Students also receive an orientation to use of WWRC computer systems, internet access, and data privacy/security during their first week of arrival to the Center.    

 

WWRC's Information Services (IS) Department is accountable for computer installation and maintenance as well as secure and reliable network services on behalf of the Center.  The IS Department is also accountable for maintenance of a secure network system for client records and communications. Designated IS staff provide on-site technical support to the training programs, classrooms, and labs, as well as to student computer services.    The WWRC network is backed-up daily through automated DSA systems, with ongoing system maintenance and security updates.

 

The WWRC Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) operates under a written charter and is an advisory committee to the WWRC Executive Staff.  ITAC tracks and monitors technology issues that present barriers to effective and efficient student services, classroom operations and business processes relative to implementation of WWRC's mission, vision, and values.  ITAC supports the user end of WWRC's Technical Infrastructure, with representation across WWRC divisions and within the IS Department. In this way, ITAC ensures that technology used to deliver services and program content to students meets instructional needs without creating barriers to student support or learning.

 

In supporting the user's end, ITAC provides technical support for the Center's Case Management System (AWARE) and its electronic documentation system (DocFinity).  These systems supplement WWRC's Technical Infrastructure through systemic tracking and monitoring of consumer services and consolidation of data and documentation in electronic format.  These two systems are critical in providing access to consumer records for applicable staff members.  The AWARE system is used to extract data and generate reports for state and federal regulations as well as center-wide operations.

 

During the January, 2017 SWOT Analysis, the COE Standard 6 Self-Study Committee identified the following Technical Infrastructure strengths:

    • Dedicated and well-qualified IS staff housed on the WWRC campus who can deliver timely, responsive services
    • Access to adaptive equipment and specialized staff expertise through the Assistive Computer Technology (ACT) Team for enhanced student services reflective of the Center's mission
    • Ability to monitor and repair the WWRC network remotely allowing for faster response times.
    • Access to VITA for 24/7 system technical and help desk user support.

 

Challenges and Opportunities identified will be discussed in the next section of this Self-Study narrative.

 

Challenges and Proposed Solutions

 

WWRC continues to focus on providing the best possible campus and facilities services for staff, students, and visitors.   However, as buildings and areas are closed for renovations and upgrades, there is an expectation that there will be no decrease in enrollment or provision of services.  Creative and careful planning and organization have and will continue to assure a safe, comfortable and compliant environment.  The Center is working diligently to ensure that renovations are scheduled in such a fashion that the 'domino effect' of moving departments, students, equipment, machinery and personnel are as least disruptive, most efficient and cost effective as possible.  Multiple meetings and planning sessions help ensure that those involved have input in the sequence, method and location of moves. During these renovations, upgrades and improvements, the Center will comply with the latest applicable codes, rules and regulations. By utilizing energy conservation measures, and upgraded equipment, high energy costs are anticipated to be better managed.  Improved lighting, easier monitored, safer and better assessable buildings and grounds allow for the improved safety of our students, staff, and visitors.    

 

The Anderson Training Building houses the majority of WWRC's training programs, classrooms, and labs.  Current and Phase II Renovation Plans for this building have and will continue to necessitate consolidated operations of Center training programs with partial building closures over a multi-year period.  Construction noise and periodic interruptions in power and water supply is an ongoing challenge.   These issues have been exacerbated by unanticipated, extended contractor construction delays requiring intervention by the WWRC Director, Facilities and Capital Services.   Delivery of quality instructional services has been a challenge during compressed services, but staff and student have met, and will continue to meet, this challenge with an eye to the finished product and opportunities for expanded capacity and curriculum enhancements when renovations are completed.

 

The automated work order system is currently non-operational and the WWRC Facilities Services is exploring replacement system options.  In the interim, contingency plans have been put into place and staff have been alerted to an alternate method to communicate building and grounds repair needs. 

 

Recent Agency Internal Audit findings and recommendations have resulted in plans for significant expansion of cybersecurity and data security/privacy standards and oversight will impact staff users, records management business processes, computer infrastructure, and technology procurement. Revised business processes and related training for network and IT system users is in development.

 

The 2016-2018 WWRC Strategic Plan identifies the following Technical Infrastructure strategies for the upcoming biennium:

  • Enhanced VITA reporting and analysis functions will improve overall network and server performance and allow enhanced informed technology decision in support of WWRC services, programs, and customers.
  • Increasingly stringent cybersecurity and information technology project management standards will continue to require increased resources and increased costs. This includes better aligned DSA technology policies, standards and guidelines, formal technology Continuity of Operations Plans and improved Disaster Recovery Planning. It will also drive software maintenance to comply with security standards, improved change management practices, and implementation of improved server and email access and encryption software.
  • Implementation of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible curriculum for mandatory training on Information Security, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and consumer privacy and confidentiality will promote these programs and better protect consumers and Commonwealth of Virginia data assets.
  • Improvement in the effectiveness and new services offered by VITA will provide opportunities for cost savings. Fine tuning of business processes and better cooperation and consolidation of infrastructure between in­scope and out­of­scope components of the DSA Technology program will continue into the next biennium. 

     

The Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC) along with staff members from the Pre-employment Readiness and Education Program, Career & Workforce Development Division, and the Assistive Technology Engineer, recently formed an Instructional Technology Subcommittee to assist instructional staff in identifying and using appropriate technologies in the classroom/educational environment that will readily transfer into an occupational setting. 

 Summary

The Accreditation Self-Study Committee finds WWRC in full compliance with Standard 6.  

 

Evidence of compliance with COE Standard 6 will be verified through staff interviews, student interactions, team member observations and review of Self-Study materials, and file/document/record audits, as indicated. 

 

Additional Self-Study Exhibits

The following key contact and supporting documentation for Standard 6 are provided to supplement hyperlinks integrated within this narrative.

 

  • Key Contacts

Name/Title

Campus Location

Email

Phone Number

Kerr Sloyer, Director, WWRC Facilities and Capital Services

Building 708, Facilities  Administration Office

Kerr Sloyer@wwrc.virginia.gov

540-332-7133

Steve Conley, IT Director, WWRC

Building 702

Steve.Conley@wwrc.virginia.gov

540-383-6945

James Hall, Director, Career and Workforce Development Division (CWDD)

R.N. Anderson Training Building, CWDD Administration Office

James.Hall@wwrc.virginia.gov

540-332-7222