Other Matters

Although there were no significant deficiencies, the audit found North Shore Community College could take steps to improve its documentation and data collection related to the MassTransfer and Commonwealth Commitment programs.

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For Students in the Commonwealth Commitment Program, North Shore Community College Did Not Have Stro

Although our audit uncovered no significant deficiencies with program administration, we did note a few deficiencies that North Shore Community College (NSCC) should address. Our sample of 20 Commonwealth Commitment Program applications revealed one missing NSCC authorizing signature and two missing “intended four-year college” designations. In addition, NSCC did not retain copies of acceptance or denial notices sent to students or the applications of students who applied to the Commonwealth Commitment Program and were not accepted.

NSCC should ensure that Commonwealth Commitment Program applications are properly processed with signatures and dates and that all relevant information is entered in students’ files. We also recommend that NSCC retain all submitted Commonwealth Commitment Program applications, as well as notifications of students’ acceptance or denial, for three years as recommended by Section H03-01 of the Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule.

NSCC Did Not Designate MassTransfer Students in Its Student System.

During our review of NSCC’s administration of the Commonwealth’s MassTransfer Program, we noted that the college did not designate MassTransfer students in its student system, Banner. This designation is not required by Department of Higher Education guidance. However, it was difficult for us to analyze the performance of the MassTransfer Program because the college could not isolate populations of students participating in the program. We suggest that NSCC incorporate a field in its student system that will allow it to easily identify students who are participating in the MassTransfer Program.

Auditee’s Response

The vice president of administration and finance provided the following response to the report:

As discussed during the audit, the College reiterates that choosing to transfer and receive benefits as a MassTransfer student is something that a student does as they leave us, not while they are here. We can track that students are in a program that has MassTransfer opportunities and have been made aware of those MassTransfer benefits.

Nevertheless, the College agrees with the recommendation of the State Auditors to keep all applications for Commonwealth Commitment for three years, whether accepted or denied; we will also investigate options with our new educational planning software to address the suggestion to more easily identify and track Mass Transfer students.

Date published: January 7, 2021