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Audit of Berkshire Community College Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An explanation of what this audit examined and how it was conducted.

Table of Contents

Overview

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of certain activities of Berkshire Community College (BCC) for the period July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.

We conducted this performance audit in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.

Below is a list of our audit objectives, indicating each question we intended our audit to answer and the conclusion we reached regarding each objective.

Objective

Conclusion

  1. Has BCC developed an emergency evacuation plan that takes into account the needs of students with various disabilities, made it known to all relevant parties, and trained faculty members on the plan?

Yes

  1. Has BCC taken appropriate measures to ensure that students with disabilities have timely and user-friendly access to supplemental learning aids, services, and alternative testing formats?

Yes

  1. Does BCC periodically examine all existing policies, practices, and facilities for admissions, student support, and other aspects of student life to ensure that they do not have a disparate impact on qualified students with disabilities?

Yes

To achieve our objectives, we gained an understanding of the internal control environment at BCC and evaluated the design of controls over the processes for emergency evacuation training, disability accommodation, and policy and procedure review that we deemed significant to our audit objectives.

We obtained and tested data from the Colleague information system for students who
received disability accommodations. To test the reliability of these data, we reviewed existing information security plans and policies, tested selected system controls, and interviewed knowledgeable officials about the student data. Additionally, we traced a sample of student disability accommodations from the information system to source documents. Based on these procedures, we determined that the data obtained from Colleague were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report.

We reviewed BCC’s emergency evacuation plan to determine whether it took into account the needs of students with disabilities. We interviewed BCC faculty members to determine whether they were aware of their role in an evacuation for both the general student population and students with disabilities. We also reviewed training documentation to determine whether BCC faculty members were trained on the emergency evacuation plan, including evacuation of students with disabilities.

To determine whether BCC properly provided disability accommodations to students, we selected a nonstatistical random sample of 60 out of 443 students who received disability accommodations during the audit period. We reviewed student files, which included Intake Forms, Accommodation Tracking Sheets, and Equipment Loan Agreements (if applicable). Because this sample was nonstatistical, we could not project the results of the test to the entire population.

We interviewed the Disability Resource Center coordinator and the assistant to the assistant dean of Student Affairs to determine whether policies and procedures regarding students with disabilities were periodically reviewed and amended as necessary. We also examined meeting minutes for the board of trustees, finance committee, human-resources committee, executive committee, nominating committee, and academic planning committee to determine whether these reviews occurred.

Date published: May 24, 2018
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