Delta looks to future under new state budget formula

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Delta College is looking to a revised financial future under the new Student Centered Funding Formula (SCFF) introduced during the 2018-19 school year statewide.

The formula change helps meet the needs of students on campus as advised by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO).

The new formula replaces an older model known as the Total Computational Revenue (TCR).  Both models are being simultaneously utilized in order to work out inconsistencies found in the new model. Delta plans to phase out the TCR model during the 2020-2021 school year.

Vice President of Administrative Services, Chris Nguyen, explained the differences between both models.

“The older model rewarded colleges for students at the college…the new model is designed to ensure that students are successful as to why they are in college,” said Nguyen.

Nguyen, whose departmental duties include overseeing the fiscal services of the college’s operational budget, further elaborated on just how part of the revenue is obtained from the state towards Delta.

According to Nguyen, the TCR model only valued the number of units a student took for the calendar year.

A student taking 30 units per year was considered a full-time enrollment student (FTES). To figure revenue, the college would then take all students attending and convert them into a FTES score based on the total units registered divided by all students.

Even though Delta has approximately 24,000 students, the combined FTES score is converted to approximately 14,500 students.  The state, pending a dynamic, intricate formula based on tax revenue, places a dollar value to a single FTES.

At the current state of the economy, the FTES score has a current dollar value approximated at $5,000.

If one does the math, the apportionment granted by the Chancellor’s Office toward Delta College is approximately $72.5 million as part of the combined revenue toward the operational budget for Delta College.

Nguyen said the new SCFF model no longer awards dollar value solely on FTES score alone but instead, enables funding based on three parts: FTES score, an equity score for students that fall under the category of underrepresentation, and student success rate.

Success rate includes the number of certificate graduates, transfer students to a four-year college, and students who selectively took specific courses in order to improve their skills for better employment.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, who serves as the CEO of the Board of Governors and oversees the system’s executive office, had stated the purpose for the SCFF in previous interviews.

“…California’s state leaders have truly delivered on a promise to put students first and set an example for the rest of the nation by adopting a new funding formula that incentivizes student success…,” Oakley said.

The change in formula aligns the entire system to a new approach. Questions to Vice President of Instruction Dr. James Todd were answered by District Public Information Coordinator Alex Breitler.

“The College is aligning its budget and educational services with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Vision for Success. The Vision for Success and the Student Centered Funding Formula are designed to best ensure that California’s diverse students reach their goals and improve their lives through higher transfer rates to CSU and UC,  reducing the time-to-degree for students, increasing the number of certificates and degrees that lead to good jobs, and eliminating achievement gaps across student populations,” said Breitler.

The goal of the SCFF is to be multi-functional in providing system resources.

“For the students who go to a community college to transfer to a four-year, this formula is designed to help them … for those students that want to go to college and then get a degree so that they can get a well-paying job, this formula is designed to help them do that. And,  for those students that just want to go and just take some classes and dabble and learn, it also has a mechanism  to fund colleges to allow students to do just that,” said Nguyen.

Administration is already moving plans in place to monitor and ensure student success, said Breitler.

“The College is planning to introduce Guided Pathways to students in Fall 2020, which includes providing students with structured and efficient onboarding processes, clear maps of degree and certificate programs, consistent monitoring of students and their progress (with a focus on student equity), and coaching to completion and post-graduation outcomes,” said Breitler in an email response.

For more information on the SCFF, visit bit.ly/scffBudget.