Despite inclement weather in some parts of the state, a large portion of the Data Advisory Task Force met earlier this month to discuss what will be collected in the new noncredit reporting system and to outline next steps for implementation.
The group had a very robust discussion about the supplemental data file, which outlines the information that will be collected in the new system. The changes that have been made are included below, along with a link to materials from the meeting. Based on the discussion, the supplemental data file has been updated and further feedback is requested no later than February 26.
One significant item that was discussed was what exactly would be collected in the system. Consensus among the group was that ETPS and courses with the purpose of career skills/training attainment would be included, but more hobby or interest oriented courses would not be tracked.
The group also discussed current staffing and IT limitations which may pose as challenges for the colleges going forward. Colleges were directed to start looking at what it will take to upload flat files into the new system, and to get their half FTE in place so they can begin populating their quarterly reporters as soon as possible. It’s important to note, that there is some flexibility in the role that the half FTE can play. Colleges may want to explore using this resource for IT or data management depending on their needs.
As was discussed in the meeting, if data collection can begin this summer, then schools could begin reporting as early as this fall through the Noncredit Supplemental Data File. It was decided at an earlier meeting that these reports would occur quarterly for the period that the grant provides funding for additional support. This should help to work out any reporting bugs.
Schools were also asked to send sample reports to email@example.com at least a week prior to the next meeting, which is March 23. This will give the team a chance to see the common reporting needs among the schools. In addition, we will also be discussing the ETPS info and files, so that schools will be able to upload course info.
All of the documents from last month’s meeting, including the PowerPoint timeline for the project, can be downloaded here.
Now – Put in place the half FTE provided by the grant to help manage workload
February 26 – Feedback is due on the revised supplemental data file
March 16 – Send sample reports to firstname.lastname@example.org
March 23 – Data Advisory Task Force Meeting – Colleges are asked to submit sample reports
Late summer 2017 – Colleges begin populating the new system on a quarterly basis
Supplemental Data File Changes
#5 – Schools wanted a separate field for the student ID number instead of using field #4 for either SSN or Student ID. This eliminated the need for the SSTAT1 field to identify the number as SSN or Student ID.
#12-#15 – The need for the student’s street address, city, state and zip code was debated, with some schools wanting that level of detail for institutional reporting while others did not. It was decided that these fields would be optional for the data file. In addition, #14 was changed from the State FIPS Code to the 2 letter postal code.
#17 – Concerns were raised on how to report students in different scenarios, including time limits to consider someone a readmitted student, if a person would be considered a first time student if they had attended noncredit courses, would a student taking noncredit courses and decided to take additional coursework would be considered a continuing student, etc. It was decided that colleges could code based on their internal policies, but additional examples would be provided as a guide.
#23 – Remove code #75 Some College, but no Reward as it is redundant of code #99 No college-level degree held.
#25 and #26 were changed. Instead of reporting the academic term and calendar year of the start of the program, it was decided that coding the date of the report by quarter and year would be more beneficial. Schools will initially be report at the end of each quarter, and this date will provide a better indicator of the student’s progress. On #25, it was decided that we would not report academic term and calendar year because non-credit programs do not necessary align to the credit term structure.
#27 – Removed the words “at least 30 days” from the description of the data. Early in the process, there was discussion the definition of a program, and a 30 day minimum. As we have worked through the process, it was decided that noncredit courses with career/wage outcomes would be included in the scorecard and that the 30 days would not be a factor. Furthermore, non-credit programs with career/wage outcomes can also be thought of as those programs listed on the Eligible Training Provider System list
#34 – Schools suggested adding codes for different levels of completers in order to differentiate between students that complete an academic program of study and those that go on to attain a third-party credential. This will be particularly relevant for programs that prepare students for certain credentials, but cannot offer the test for the credential itself. This will be available for internal reports.