Description: Final report on the two-year work plan for the review and assessment of: a) ways to maintain and improve the quality of higher education, while providing for broad access and affordability; (b) the impact of financial, demographic, and competitive changes on the sustainability of individual institutions and the system as a whole; (c) identification of best practices to make the system more efficient, including shared services, institutional flexibility, and easily accessible academic pathways; (d) the evaluation of the use of distance education and online instruction across the Commonwealth and appropriate business models for such programs; (e) a review of current need-based financial aid programs and alternative models to best provide for student affordability and completion; (f) a review of the recommendations of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission on the study of the cost efficiency of higher education institutions and make recommendations to their respective committees on the implementation of those recommendations; (g) the study of the effectiveness and value of transfer students; (h) the evaluation of the effectiveness of dual enrollment in reducing the cost of higher education; and (i) the study of the effectiveness of preparing teachers to enter the K-12 system. The final report shall also include a focused review of access, affordability, quality, and autonomy issues related to Virginia's public higher education system, and will explore ways to (a) improve the quality of higher education; (b) review the autonomy and flexibility granted to Virginia's public higher education institutions, including the history of restructuring and the expansion of autonomy; (c) examine access and affordability in higher education, including the cost of education and need-based financial aid programs; (d) review the impact of financial, demographic, and competitive changes on the sustainability of Virginia's public higher education system; and (e) identify any practices that would result in more efficient outcomes regarding cost and completion, including dual enrollment and online programs.
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