Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
12/2/2022

Chapter 160. New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program Regulations

8VAC40-160-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Board" means the Virginia Board of Workforce Development.

"Competency-based" means awarded on the basis of demonstrated knowledge and skills rather than completion of instructional hours or participation in an instructional course or program.

"Completion of a noncredit workforce training program" means that the student has satisfactorily completed the instructional program based on the criteria developed by the eligible institution and is prepared to complete a workforce credential.

"Cost of the program" means the cost of the workforce training program. Costs may include direct and indirect costs of the training program to the student. Institutions that charge additional fees that are not included in the costs of the program, such as books, supplies, or the cost of a workforce credential should list these fees with the cost of the program to ensure that students are aware of the full cost of the workforce training program.

"Council" means the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

"Eligible institution" means a comprehensive Virginia community college, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, New College Institute, Richard Bland College, Roanoke Higher Education Center, Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, or Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.

"Eligible student" means any Virginia student enrolled at an eligible institution who is domiciled in the Commonwealth as provided in § 23.1-502 of the Code of Virginia as determined by the eligible institution.

"Fund" means the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Fund.

"Grant" means a New Economy Workforce Credential Grant.

"High-demand field" means a discipline or field in which there is a shortage of skilled workers to fill current job vacancies or anticipated additional job openings.

"Industry-recognized" means demonstrating competency or proficiency in the technical and occupational skills identified as necessary for performing functions of an occupation based on standards developed or endorsed by employers and industry organizations.

"Noncredit workforce credential" means a competency-based, industry-recognized, portable, and third-party-validated certification or occupational license in a high-demand field.

"Noncredit workforce training program" means a program at an eligible institution that leads to an occupation or a cluster of occupations in a high-demand field, which may include the attainment of a noncredit workforce credential. A noncredit workforce training program may include a program that receives funding pursuant to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006, P.L. 109‑270. A noncredit workforce training program shall not include certificates of completion.

"Portable" means recognized by multiple employers or educational institutions and, where appropriate, across geographic areas.

"Program" means the New Economy Workforce Credential Grant Program.

"Satisfactory proof of completion of a workforce credential" means that an institution validates that an individual received a workforce credential as a result of completing an approved noncredit workforce training program. Validated sources include (i) a copy of the workforce credential, (ii) a credential identification number that may be searched and validated by an individual through a website link or written confirmation from the organization that issues the credential, or (iii) a record match from the designated entity authorized to issue the workforce credential. Other sources are subject to approval by the council prior to claiming satisfactory completion of a workforce credential.

"Third-party-validated" means having an external process in place for determining validity and relevance in the workplace and for continuous alignment of demonstrated knowledge and skills with industry workforce needs.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-20. Council or council staff responsibilities.

The council or its staff shall conduct the following activities as part of the council's or its staff's responsibilities:

1. Administer the program. The council or its staff is responsible for the overall administration of the program to ensure alignment with the goals and purpose set forth in Article 4.1 (§ 23.1-627.1 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of Title 23.1 of the Code of Virginia.

2. Conduct periodic program assessments. The council staff is responsible for conducting periodic assessments of the overall success of the program and recommending modifications, interventions, and other actions based on such assessments. These assessments shall include a review for both adherence to the regulations and legislative intent of the program and the overall success of the program. These assessments may include an onsite review of records related to the program, interviews with individuals responsible for the administration of the program, surveys of students and staff, and analysis of data.

Upon completion of such assessments, the council staff shall issue a report that provides a summary of findings, recommendations, and appropriate actions to improve the success of the program. Institutions shall be asked to submit a corrective action plan within 30 days of receipt of report for any findings that do not comply with existing regulations and recommendations to improve the program. The corrective action plan shall describe actions the institution shall take and shall include expected completion dates. If an institution does not complete the proposed actions within an agreed upon time period or is found to be noncompliant with a similar finding in a subsequent review, then the council staff may take action to reduce or eliminate funding to a noncredit workforce training program or the institution.

3. Allocate and disburse funds. On a monthly basis or agreed upon time with council staff, eligible institutions shall submit student record data based on the requirements set forth in 8VAC40-160-70. Upon verification of the data by council staff, funds shall be:

a. Allocated to an eligible institution based on the total number of students enrolled in and the total cost of the noncredit workforce training program. The maximum amount of allocated funds shall be two-thirds of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program but shall not exceed $3,000.

(1) The allocated funds shall be retained by the council until institutions submit data to validate that the students have completed the noncredit workforce training program and provided satisfactory proof of completion of a workforce credential as described in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subdivision 3 a.

(2) Funds shall be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis as eligible institutions enroll and approve applications of students.

(3) If moneys in the fund are expected to be expended prior to the end of the fiscal year, council staff shall notify eligible institutions through regular reporting of the remaining amounts in the fund and shall work with eligible institutions to manage the remaining disbursements of funds through the end of the fiscal year. In addition, institutions should provide expected enrollments and cost data when available to allow adequate planning and notification to institutions and students when funds are limited.

b. Reimbursed for students who complete the noncredit workforce training program. Council staff shall reimburse eligible institutions for one-third of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program not to exceed $1,500 per noncredit workforce training program per student.

c. Reimbursed for students who complete the workforce credential. Council staff shall reimburse eligible institutions for the remaining one-third of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program not to exceed $1,500 per noncredit workforce training program per student.

d. Reduced from the initial allocation based on those students who do not complete the noncredit workforce training program or the workforce training credential. Allocated funds shall be reduced by one-third, not to exceed $1,500 per student, for those students who do not successfully complete the noncredit workforce training program. Allocated funds shall be reduced by one-third of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program, not to exceed $1,500 per student, for those students who do not complete the workforce training credential and who do not provide satisfactory proof of completion of a workforce credential. These recovered funds shall be allocated to other eligible students under subdivision a (1) of this subdivision 3.

Council staff shall not disburse more than one-quarter of the money in the fund to any one eligible institution in a fiscal year.

4. Administer an appeals process. The council staff shall make final decisions on any dispute between eligible institutions and grant recipients related to the administration of the program.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-30. Virginia Board of Workforce Development responsibilities.

The Virginia Board for Workforce Development shall conduct the following activities as part of its responsibilities:

1. Maintain a list of high-demand fields. The board shall maintain a list of high-demand fields based on the criteria established by the board. The list shall be updated annually by January 31 for the upcoming fiscal year (i.e., July 1 through June 30). In addition, the board shall establish a procedure for updating the list outside of the annual review process based on additional demand.

2. Upon establishing and updating the list, the board shall post this list on its website within 15 calendar days of establishment or update.

3. Provide recommendations to eligible institutions to help determine high-demand fields for which noncredit workforce training programs may be offered. Upon updating the high-demand fields list, the board may make recommendations to institutions of the high-demand fields for which noncredit workforce training programs may be offered. These recommendations shall be posted on the board's website with the updated list.

4. Maintain a list of related noncredit workforce training programs and credentials. By July 1 of each year, an eligible institution shall submit its list of governing board approved noncredit workforce training programs and related workforce credentials considering alignment with the high-demand fields to the board. If additional high-demand fields are identified outside of the annual review process by the board, then eligible institutions may submit approved updates to the board. The noncredit workforce training programs and workforce credentials list shall be updated within 15 calendar days of receiving the updated list from the eligible institution.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-40. Eligible institution governing board responsibilities.

An eligible institution governing board shall conduct the following activities as part of its responsibilities:

1. Determine a list of noncredit workforce training programs and workforce credentials considering alignment with the board's list of high-demand fields. The list shall be approved by June 1 of each year and shall be submitted within 15 calendar days to the board and the council. If additional noncredit workforce training programs are identified during the program year, the eligible institution must notify the board within 15 days.

2. Adopt a policy for the award of academic credit to any eligible student who has earned a noncredit workforce credential that is applicable to the student's certificate or degree program requirements. If the eligible institution is a higher education center and does not award academic credit, then the policy should identify how the institution shall develop an agreement with at least one institution to articulate the workforce credential aligned with the noncredit training program for academic credit. If the institution is unable to develop an agreement, then it may request assistance from the council.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-50. Eligible institution responsibilities.

An eligible institution shall conduct the following activities as part of its responsibilities:

1. Submit an intent to participate in the program to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and attest that the institution agrees to be in compliance with the requirements and procedures of this chapter prior to offering the program to students enrolled in noncredit workforce training programs.

2. Develop and implement procedures for determining domicile in Virginia.

3. Develop and maintain procedures for noncredit workforce training programs that address the following:

a. Withdrawal from a noncredit workforce training program;

b. Refunds in whole or in part for the cost of a noncredit workforce training program;

c. Repeating a noncredit workforce training program or portion thereof;

d. Completion of a noncredit workforce training program and noncompletion of a program, including how the student shall be notified of satisfactory completion or noncompletion of the program;

e. Expected time period for completion of a noncredit workforce training program and of a workforce credential;

f. Payment policies, including expected time to submit payment if the student does not complete the noncredit workforce training program and the processes for collection of funds if the account is in arrears;

g. Satisfactory proof of completion of a workforce credential; and

h. Complaint process for students.

4. Develop an agreement and the required procedures for a student to complete for each approved noncredit workforce training program that addresses the following:

a. Agreement requirements:

(1) Acknowledge that the grant is awarded to the eligible student, conditioned upon completion of the approved noncredit workforce training program. If the eligible student does not complete the approved noncredit workforce training program within a specified time period, then the student is obligated to reimburse the institution for one-third of the cost of the program.

(2) The eligible student agrees to the withdrawal, refund, repeat, completion, and noncompletion procedures identified by the eligible institution for the noncredit workforce training program.

(3) The eligible student agrees to provide proof of satisfactory completion of the workforce credential.

b. Procedures for filing a complaint if the student disputes the terms of the agreement. The procedures for the agreement shall identify the application period for which agreements may be accepted and completed for the approved noncredit workforce training program and how students will be notified of this requirement.

5. Submit electronic student level records to council staff for those students enrolling in noncredit workforce training programs, the completion status of the noncredit workforce training program, and the completion status of the workforce credential. These records should be submitted monthly to council staff unless an alternative schedule and submission is agreed upon by both the eligible institution and the council staff.

6. Retain all records regarding the application and award process for at least three years after the last award year for the student unless directed otherwise by the Library of Virginia's Virginia Records Retention and Disposition, Schedule GS-111.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-60. Awards of student grants.

Students may be awarded grants based on the following activities and requirements:

1. In order for an individual to receive a grant for an eligible noncredit workforce training program, the individual must:

a. Be enrolled in an approved noncredit workforce training program that begins at an eligible institution after the fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) for which the noncredit workforce training program is approved unless otherwise stated by the eligible institution.

b. Be domiciled in the Commonwealth as provided in § 23.1-502 of the Code of Virginia. This determination is made by the eligible institution.

c. Submit a completed agreement during the eligible institution's published application period for the noncredit workforce training program based on the criteria outlined in section 8VAC40-160-50 C.

d. Provide initial payment of one-third of the cost of the noncredit workforce training program.

2. Students shall be funded on a first-come, first-served basis within the institution's published application period based upon the application receipt date. Students shall be funded in this order until all allocated funds are obligated.

a. If a student fails to provide all requested information necessary for determination of eligibility by the first day of class, the next eligible applicant shall receive the grant.

b. Due to the first-come, first-served nature of the program, the application period must specify both the first and last date an application shall be accepted.

3. A student may use other forms of financial assistance to pay for his responsible cost of the noncredit workforce training program, which includes the initial one-third cost of the noncredit workforce training program and an additional one-third cost if it is determined that he has not completed the noncredit workforce training program in accordance with the institution's policies. Forms of financial assistance may include financial aid, employer assistance, or vouchers through other training assistance programs or other third party payers, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

4. Grants may be reduced or eliminated if moneys in the fund are fully allocated prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

8VAC40-160-70. Reporting requirements.

A. No later than January 1 of each year, each eligible institution shall submit to the council a report with data from the previous fiscal year on noncredit workforce training program completion and noncredit workforce credential attainment by eligible students participating in the program that includes:

1. A list of the noncredit workforce credentials offered, by name and certification entity; (even if no student enrolled benefits from this grant);

2. The number of eligible students who enrolled in noncredit workforce credentials programs;

3. The number of eligible students who completed noncredit workforce credentials programs;

4. The number of eligible students who attained noncredit workforce credentials after completing noncredit workforce training programs, by credential name and relevant industry sector; and

5. The average cost per noncredit workforce credential attained, by credential name and relevant industry sector.

B. Eligible institutions also shall submit student record data to the council based on the data field requirements, submission process, and submission timeframes developed by council staff to (i) verify the data submitted in the reports outlined in subsection A of this section, (ii) determine the allocation of funds as described in 8VAC40-160-20 C, and (iii) assess the program per 8VAC40-160-20 B.

Statutory Authority

§ 23.1-627.3 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 33, Issue 7, eff. November 17, 2016.

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