COC Board to review college, bond audits

Canyons Hall at College of the Canyons (Source: COC)

Four audits for the 2016-17 fiscal year are expected to be reviewed by the Santa Clarita Community Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees, which oversees College of the Canyons, during its meeting Wednesday.

The college’s financial audit resulted in one qualified opinion and one finding related to COC’s compliance monitoring for its Disabled Student Programs & Services (DSPS) state awards.

“The qualified opinion resulted in the recommendation of district implementation of control procedures for monitoring compliance issues related to DSPS to ensure compliance requirements are met,” the agenda item read.

The rest of the financial reports—including the financial statements, federal awards and state awards—resulted in unmodified opinions and the auditor, Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co., LLP, found no material weaknesses in these reports.

“This positive audit report reflects on the strong leadership of the college and its ability to remain fiscally stable and fiscally responsible during challenging times,” COC wrote in the agenda item.  “The auditors have confirmed that the district’s financial statements are materially correct, and that the district has complied, in all material respects, with federal and state compliance requirements with the exception of one state audit finding that has since been corrected.”

This finding is the DSPS program related to DSPS student records and their Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP).

Under California Education code, colleges are required to maintain a record of interactions between students and staff members about any adjustments and instruction needed to give them equal access to education.  They are also required to update students’ Academic Accommodation Plan with measurable progress toward the goals of each class.

The auditor discovered this minded when three of 25 DSPS students selected for testing lacked an “outcome-oriented contact” and lacked evidence of updates to their Academic Accommodation Plans.

During the 2016-17 year, the college served 2,293 DSPS students.  With the rate of error noted in the auditor’s testing, this meant that 275 student files were at risk of not containing sufficient documentation and updates to their Academic Accommodation Plans.

When they were informed of the finding, COC said the DSPS team reviewed more than 19,000 contacts for the school year to make sure they were coded correctly as a disability contact before resubmitting them to the State Chancellor’s Office in August 2017.

“From then forward DSPS personnel has been well aware that a dialogue/interaction with a student is necessary to be considered a valid contact that counts for funding,” the response from COC in the audit report read.

To reach students who have not signed their AAP, COC is sending them weekly emails to encourage them to sign this form.  Those that did not sign this form were made inactive and had their DSPS services suspended until they sign the form in the future.

“It is the goal of DSPS to strive to provide quality services to students, maintain accurate records and coding,” the response from COC in the audit report read.  “All contacts for 2016-2017 were resubmitted by MIS to the State Chancellor’s Office with accurate data elements.”

COC Foundation Audit

Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co., LLP also completed an annual audit for the College of the Canyons Foundation for the fiscal year, which resulted in an unmodified opinion.

The auditor also noted that there were no findings for the foundation and that no adjustments were recommended to the foundation.

Financially, the COC Foundation reported having about $3.6 million in net assets as of June 30, 2017, which reflects a 4.6 percent increase from the same time last year.

The foundation also reported raising more than $1 million dollars during the fiscal year and received $799,237 in cash and donated assets to benefit the college’s student programs, clubs and athletics, instructional programs, scholarships, in-kind donations and MakerSpace.

The audit also included a management’s discussion and analysis report that detailed the goals of the foundation’s strategic plan during the next two years.

These goals include: raising $500,000 for the First Year Promise Program, reinvigorating the foundation’s Planned Giving Program, generating support for the visual and performing arts, strengthening the foundation’s organizational structure, developing a marketing and branding plan, and enhancing board development.

Measure E Audit

Approved by voters June 8, 2016, Measure E is a $230 million bond measure aimed at supporting projects throughout College of the Canyons.  So far, $50 million of the Measure E bonds have been issued.

Financial and performance audits completed by Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co., LLP found that the bond measure project was in full compliance with all Prop 39 requirements.

The auditor gave the Measure E audit an unmodified opinion and the audit resulted in no findings.  It also identified no material weaknesses, deficiencies in internal controls or questioned costs, according to COC.

The bond project had an ending fund balance of about $49.9 million that is available for future project spending.

Measure M Audit

All bonds of the $160 million Measure M bond measure, approved by voters Nov. 7, 2006, have been issued, according to the measure’s financial audit.  The final bond issuance of $20 million occurred in November 2016.

The financial audit, completed by the firm of Vavrinek, Trine, Day and Co., LLP, found that the district was in full compliance with all Prop 39 requirements.  The district also completed a performance audit of Measure M and found it was in full compliance as well.

This was the 11th year the district’s bond measure audit resulted in no audit findings and identified no material weaknesses, deficiencies in internal controls or questioned costs, according to COC.

The bond project had an ending fund balance of about $26.4 million that is available for future project spending.

Additional Agenda Items

  • Recognize and discuss the college’s Guided Pathways and involved with the “Work-Based Learning Planning and Tools” Pilot with the Foundation for California Community Colleges
  • Approve of student expulsion
  • Approve and ratify budget transfers for November 2017 resulting in decreases to the unrestricted general fund and restricted general fund and increases in the student financial aid fund
  • Approve of the monthly financial report for November 2017 resulted in an overall decrease of $1,004,770
  • Conduct a public hearing and approve of the re-opener proposal for negotiations with the College of the Canyons Faculty Association (COCFA) CTA/NEA for 2018-19
  • Conduct a second reading and approve of modifications to board policy: Financial Aid
  • Conduct a third reading and approve of board policy: Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems
  • Approve of 2018-19 nonresident tuition rate of $258 and capital outlay fee of $11 per unit, for a total of $269 per unit

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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