1. A qualified financial officer or department oversees the financial and business operations of the institution (7-1, 7-2).
  2. Financial records are maintained so that the institution's fiscal position may be analyzed in a timely manner (7-1, 7-2).
  3. The institution demonstrates responsible financial management with funds sufficient to maintain quality educational programs and to complete the education of all students enrolled (7-1, 7-2).
  4. The institution considers its financial resources as a basis for strategic planning (7-1, 7-2).
  5. The institution uses adequate auditing and budgetary controls and procedures consistent with local, state, and federal requirements (7-1, 7-2).
  6. The institution exercises proper management, financial controls, and business practices 7-1 through 7-3).
  7. All persons handling institutional funds or revenues from any source are bonded or are covered under an employee-dishonesty insurance policy 7-2).
  8. Financial aid programs utilizing public and/or private funds are capably administered and accurately documented (7-3).
  9. Qualified personnel are responsible for proper record-keeping, reporting, and auditing (7-4).
  10. The institution has reported all contingent liabilities in a timely manner (7-3)
  11. The institution has submitted notices and copies of all lawsuits filed against the institution within 5 days of being served (7-3).
  12. Compliance with the Higher Education Reauthorization Act Title IV eligibility and certification requirements is maintained, including compliance with default management and audit benchmarks (7-3).
  13. A written, comprehensive student loan repayment program addressing student loan information, counseling, monitoring, and cooperation with available lenders is utilized (7-3).
  14. Students are informed of their ethical responsibilities regarding financial assistance (7-3). 
  15. The institution clearly identifies sources of funds and revenues and shows evidence of fiscal stability (7-1, 7-2).
  16. (criteria #16-18) Special Financial Stability Requirements for Non-Public Institutions – N/A – WWRC is a public institution, therefore, criteria #15 applies.
  17. (criteria #19-24) The institution has a fair and equitable refund policy for the refund of tuition, fees, and other institutional charges in the event the institution cancels a class or if a student does not enter or does not complete the period of enrollment for which the student has been charged. The following elements are present and indicative of a fair and equitable refund policy (7-4):
    • The institution's refund policy is published in the catalog and uniformly administered.
    • Refunds, when due, are made without requiring a request from the student.
    • Refunds, when due, are made within 45 days (1) of the last day of attendance if written notification has been provided to the institution by the student, or (2) from the date the institution terminates the student or determines withdrawal by the student.
    • Retention of tuition and fees collected in advance for a student who does not commence class does not exceed $100.
    • The institution complies with the refund policies adopted by the Commission unless a different policy is mandated by a non-public institution's licensing agency or a public institution's governing body.

 

Introduction

The current annual budget for the Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC) is approximately $26.5 million, as approved by the Governor of Virginia as part of the 2016-2018 Biennial Budget.  Available funds support a campus staffed 24 hours per day, seven days per week, providing vocational and medical rehabilitation services for an estimated 330 residential clients on any given day, serving approximately 2700 individuals with disabilities each year.  Approximately 260 full-time staff across all Center operations are employed to deliver services.   WWRC's ability to meet its mission in a quality, customer-responsive manner, is dependent upon sound financial management and controls, in addition to its ability to identify and acquire sufficient funding for its programs.  WWRC exercises proper management, financial controls, and business practices through a variety of strategic planning processes and application of Commonwealth of Virginia laws, regulations, policies, and procedures. Its policy on Strategic and Financial Planning and Management is contained in the Administrative Governance Manual (AGM). 

 

WWRC meets all Objectives of Accreditation related to "Financial Resources" as documented in this self-study narrative, related hyperlinks, and corresponding exhibits.

Analysis

WWRC's financial resources are managed through a consolidated DARS/WWRC Fiscal Services Division.  Fiscal staff located on the WWRC campus oversee all financial and business operations for the Center.  The WWRC Fiscal Director/Purchasing Manager, Patricia M. Lancey, reports to John W. Thaniel, DARS Chief Financial Officer, reporting to Ernie F. Steidle, DARS Deputy Commissioner for Administration.  Commonwealth of Virginia personnel policies and procedures related to recruitment, hiring, and retention of employees ensure qualified staff within WWRC's Fiscal Services Division are responsible for proper record keeping, reporting, auditing, and fiscal controls. 

 

Financial records, accounting, and controls are administered  in accordance with Commonwealth of Virginia regulations, policies, and procedures.  Financial reports are maintained electronically for timely and responsive analysis and are reviewed daily by the Fiscal Director and monthly by the WWRC Director, WWRC Executive Staff, and Center Cost Code Managers.  Audits are required and conducted by the Auditor of Public Accounts (APA) on at least an annual basis, with the final report distributed to the Commonwealth of Virginia Comptroller, DARS Commissioner, DARS Chief Financial Officer, WWRC Director and WWRC Executive Staff and also available through the APA website.  Responses to correct identified deficiencies are prepared by the WWRC Fiscal Services Division, reviewed by agency management, and submitted within thirty (30) days of report receipt.

 

WWRC demonstrates responsible financial management with funds sufficient to maintain quality educational programs and to complete the education of all enrolled students, as documented in the annual Blueprint for Direction

 

WWRC's base budget is developed as part of Commonwealth of Virginia strategic planning processes, through a formal biennium budget process which is submitted for approval through the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget to the Virginia General Assembly.  "Decision packages" justify strategies and proposed actions, with budgetary impact described.  Approved budget allocations, in addition to other sources of revenue, form the basis of Center-wide resource availability and annual Blueprint for Direction goals and priorities.  

 

WWRC considers its financial resources as a basis for strategic planning.  Currently, primary sources of funding include:  Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services support (76%); direct appropriations from the Virginia General Assembly (19%); program and miscellaneous income (includes collaboration/financial participation by other state agencies and similar benefit collections) (4%); and, Federal grants (1%).  100% of Capital Outlay funding is provided by appropriation from the Virginia General Assembly.

 

Evidence of fiscal stability is contained in audit reports as well as monthly Revenue & Expenditure Reports analyzed and monitored by the Executive Staff.  The Commonwealth of Virginia operates on a July 1 - June 30 fiscal year.  Adjustments to the budget are made throughout the fiscal year, based on actual revenue generated and expenditures, as well as actions of the U.S. Congress and the Virginia General Assembly.  The Commonwealth of Virginia operates on the cash basis of accounting, per the Department of Accounts, Office of the Comptroller; cash is earned and spent within an existing year.  Because WWRC is a non-profit governmental organization, revenues must equal expenditures and there is no profit or loss.

 

Costs are captured by program and subprogram, as well as by individual departments or cost centers.

 

Being a state owned and operated facility, WWRC complies with all applicable Federal and state mandates, policies, procedures, and guidelines.   All employees, including those handling funds and revenue, are bonded through a blanket statewide program.  Specific procedures are followed to purchase materials and supplies.  Established internal and budgetary controls meet Commonwealth of Virginia requirements.  Reporting of program funds and expenditures, as well as the tracking of property, plant, and equipment, occurs through internal and FRATE Disability Services Agencies' (DSA) systems, and the Cardinal Accounting and Reporting System.

 

The Commonwealth of Virginia mandates that the State Auditor of Public Accounts conduct audits of DARS, of which WWRC operates as a division.  In addition, DARS/Office of Internal Audit, conducts periodic audits of fiscal records on a random basis, and the Virginia Department of Accounts, Decentralization Unit, audits financial records.  Audits are conducted in accordance with Government Auditing Standards and contain a management letter with findings and recommendations for the facility.  

 

WWRC does not have any contingent liabilities nor are there any filed lawsuits. 

 

Although DARS sponsors the majority of students in WWRC's training programs, other sponsors and/or sources of funding include:  state agencies; private funds; and, Federal PELL Grant awards.  The Federal PELL Grant Student Financial Aid program is administered through WWRC's Admissions Department, in collaboration with the WWRC Vocational Training Department, per defined WWRC Administrative Governance Manual policies and procedures. The WWRC Fiscal Services Division works in collaboration with designated staff in the WWRC Admissions Department regarding the transfer of funds from the U.S. Department of Education to WWRC.  Written AGM Procedures, recently updated to align with changes to Title IV eligibility for students without a valid high school diploma under new Ability to Benefit Alternatives, ensure that all aspects of the Federal PELL Grant Program are capably administered and accurately documented.  Students who are eligible for PELL grant funding are informed of their ethical responsibilities regarding financial assistance.   WWRC does not have a written student loan repayment program as it does not participate in the Title IV student loan program. 

 

WWRC's Student Accounts Receivable System is modeled after a comprehensive rehabilitation facility system which bills for services received on a per diem basis rather than pre-payment on a quarterly or semester basis.  Although WWRC has a refund policy, it would rarely, if ever, be used for the reason noted above.  Should this need arise, however, under extremely rare circumstances, a decision will be rendered on a case-by-case basis.  Refunds, when appropriate, will be made in accordance with AGM 2.4.10 and the Virginia Prompt Payment Act. All elements of AGM 2.4.10 and AGM 3.4.3 meet COE-defined requirements.   

Challenges & Solutions

The most significant challenge related to this accreditation standard is unavoidable fluctuations in state funding.  These sources of revenue are vulnerable to reductions as a result of the current economic downturn and deficit reduction activities of the federal government.  Dwindling matching state funds directly impact our ability to access a portion of the federal funds.  As various initiatives are undertaken to expand programs and obtain grants, WWRC is committed to matching percentages of grant funds from our operational budget so responsible fiscal planning is essential.   WWRC utilizes its annual Blueprint for Direction process to adjust for budget shortfalls as they occur, and to insure appropriate, 'mission-centric' alignment of programs and services with available resources. 

Summary

This Accreditation Self-Study Committee believes WWRC to be in full compliance with the COE Accreditation Standard relative to financial resources.  WWRC meets all related requirements, as established by state and federal laws, regulations, policies, and procedures.

 

Evidence of compliance with COE Standard 7 will be verified through staff interviews, student interactions, team member observations and review of Self-Study materials, and file/document/record audits, as indicated. 

 

Self-Study Exhibits

  • Key Contact:
Name/TitleCampus LocationEmailPhone Number
Pat Lancey, WWRC Fiscal Director Building 701Pat.Lancey@wwrc.virginia.gov(540) 332-7181