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Audit of Greenfield Community College Objectives, Scope, and Methodology

An explanation of what the audit of the college 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 Greenfield Community College (GCC) 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; the conclusion we reached regarding each objective; and, if applicable, where each objective is discussed in the audit findings.

Objective

Conclusion

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

No; see Finding 1

  1. Has GCC 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 GCC 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 GCC and evaluated the design of controls over the emergency evacuation training process, the disability accommodation process, and the policy and procedure review process that we deemed significant to our audit objectives.

We obtained and tested data from the Disability Services Database for students who received disability accommodations. To test the reliability of these data, we reviewed existing information security plans and policies, tested user access 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 the Disability Services Database were sufficiently reliable for the purposes of this report.

We reviewed the emergency evacuation plan to determine whether it took into account the needs of students with disabilities and was distributed to all GCC faculty members and students. We interviewed four GCC faculty members to determine whether they were aware of their role in an evacuation.

To determine whether GCC properly provided disability accommodations to students, we selected a nonstatistical random sample of 60 out of 468 students who received disability accommodations during the audit period. We reviewed student files, which included Accommodation Agreements, Voluntary Statements of Learning Needs, and Equipment / Learning Aid Agreements (if applicable). Because this sample was nonstatistical, we could not project the results of the test to the entire population.

We interviewed GCC’s Wellness Center1 coordinator to determine whether policies, practices, and facilities for admissions, student support, and other aspects of student life were periodically reviewed. We also reviewed meeting minutes from the board of trustees, finance committee, and president’s staff to determine whether this review occurred. 

1. GCC’s Wellness Center houses its Office of Disability Services, which ensures that students covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 receive academic accommodations that address their needs.

 

Date published: June 20, 2018
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