Baker Tilly coordinated with college leadership to perform an enterprise-wide risk assessment to understand, prioritize and map risks facing the institution. This then informed a multi-year internal audit plan to drive internal audit activity, including audits in areas such as information technology, human resources, institutional data, Title IX and student success. Audit and advisory areas were selected based on risk areas identified as higher risk in the risk assessment, as well as areas with increasing prevalence and inherent risk across higher education. Given the demand and attention on student success, paired with the institution’s focus on retention, a student success and retention audit was performed.
Baker Tilly collaborated with the Vice President of Student Affairs to define objectives and scope for the student success and retention audit. Our higher education risk advisory team then inventoried the functions across the institution involved in student success, such as academic success coaches, advising, counseling and tutoring, and conducted interviews. The institution had previously administered ah-hoc surveys related to student success and planned for a larger, institution-wide survey. Baker Tilly assisted in analyzing results to understand feedback received and provide additional guidance on leading practices to engage and obtain student feedback. Recommendations to address factors impacting student success and retention were aggregated in a report and presented to senior leadership and the audit committee.
Recommendations were leveraged to inform the institution’s strategic plan, as well as support budget decisions in the next fiscal year (e.g., to identify areas where additional resources and/or technology could best be utilized). Further, leading practices the college implemented regarding soliciting student feedback helped shape future student success-related surveys (e.g., format and types of questions asked).
Baker Tilly continues to perform assurance and advisory services for the institution based on previous audit results (e.g., to follow up on or perform a more targeted assessment in a high-risk area), input from senior leaders (e.g., during risk assessment refresh processes) and by understanding and recommending higher risk areas in higher education.
For more information or to learn how Baker Tilly’s higher education team can help your community college assess and manage risk and enhance student success, contact our team.