Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science Project Directors
Dear Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Project Director:
It is time to prepare your annual performance report (APR) for reporting year 2014–15; the report is due December 4, 2015. You may find the updated APR form and instructions, plus links to the secured APR Web site maintained by our contractor, at this address: http://www.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/report.html.
Do not rely solely on the contractor’s site in completing your APR; be sure to read thoroughly the U.S. Department of Education’s documents on the APR at the address above.
Reductions in the download file: As you may be aware from recent experience, the Department has required that you include in your APR data file all student records found in the previous year’s APR. To assist you in doing this, in the Web application we have provided a file for you to download that contains your data from the previous year. We are aware that, for many grantees, the accumulated student records of the project require considerable work to update and maintain. While the Department must be certain that grantees report on all individuals whose records bear on PE calculations for the 2012–17 cycle, or whose records have influence on other measures on which we must report for the UB and UBMS programs as a whole, we have identified approximately 19,600 prior-year participant records (all of which originated in the 2007–12 cycle or earlier) whose data is not needed for these purposes. We have therefore removed these records from this year’s download file; if one or more of your records are among those we have deleted, you will not have to report on those specific individuals.
To help you identify the records in advance, on page 2 of the General Instructions we have provided additional details on the criteria we used in identifying the records to be removed. To avoid accidentally deleting any records that you may be required to keep on your file, you should delay any deletions until you have verified which of your records (if any) the Department has removed from the download file that will be available to you in the Web application for 2014–15. All records in the download file must be included in your 2014–15 APR.
Prior experience (PE) calculations: You may recall that the Department will calculate your prior experience points for the 2012–17 cycle using the data that you provide in your APRs for 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16. Last year’s report included our first-ever calculation for the postsecondary education completion objective, using the 2008 postsecondary education enrollment cohort (established only for projects funded in the 2007–12 cycle) to determine the percentage of participants who had completed an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years of high school graduation. Using the 2014–15 data that you will report this fall, we will determine this year’s postsecondary completion calculation using the 2009 cohort.
Establishing cohort year 2015: For those participants who graduate with a regular secondary school diploma during the school year (i.e., 2014–15) and enroll in postsecondary education by the fall term (i.e., fall 2015), please make every effort to report all relevant data in this year’s APR (2014–15). Not only must the dates of high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment be correct in your APR if a student is to be in the 2015 cohort; you must also have coded the student as 3 (Received regular secondary school diploma) in the High School Graduation Status field (#34). Once the Department accepts the 2014–15 APR, participants cannot be added to the 2015 postsecondary education enrollment cohort.
For summer bridge participants in June- and July-start projects, you must provide postsecondary enrollment data in the 2014–15 APR on participants served in 2015 summer bridge to include such students in the 2015 cohort, even though summer 2015 is part of the 2015–16 reporting period for summer-start projects.
Data that must not change: Note that Section II of the APR, as it appears on the Department’s Web site at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/performance.html, indicates by checkmarks which data must not change from reporting year to reporting year. Section II indicates in addition that, for certain date fields and the postsecondary education enrollment cohort field, a grantee might initially might enter “Not applicable,” but in a later reporting period enter specific data. Once the specific data has been submitted, it must not change in later years. Also remember that, while you may indicate a name change in field #67, the participant’s first and last names in fields #5 and 6 must not deviate from the data in 2013–14 APR.
Completing the APR
The APR contains many data validations to help you keep your APR accurate, but because of finite funding available for implementing data validations, certain errors must be caught by grantees if they are going to be caught at all. For example, consider field #65 (PSE completion objective--numerator). To indicate that a participant in the 2009 cohort achieved an associate or bachelor’s degree by August 31, 2015, and that the student therefore should count towards the postsecondary completion objective, a project must not only provide data on graduation in fields #59–62, but must also must select option 1 or 2 in field #65.
An additional example may be found in field #32 (high school cumulative GPA). If in that field you select option 9.999 (not applicable, prior participant) for a student served during the reporting year who had a GPA of 2.5 or above, the student cannot be counted as a success for the GPA objective.
Please note as well that, in field #26 (deceased or incapacitated), options 1 and 2 refer to prior-year participants, while 3 and 4 refer to those served during the reporting period. Be sure that your use of these options is consistent with the very important participant status field (#27), in which you indicate whether the participant is new, continuing, reentry, prior, or transfer. Also be alert for inconsistencies between options chosen for fields #58 and 59, and/or between options chosen for #60 and 61 (date and degree codes for associate and bachelor’s degrees).
We would also like to bring to your attention a misinterpretation of field #28 (participation level) that sometimes occurs with projects having June or July start dates. For the 2014–15 reporting period, any summer bridge student in these projects can be served only in summer 2014, since bridge students will presumably be attending college in the fall of the same year. These projects should therefore be sure to code summer bridge students in field #28 with option 5 (participated in summer bridge only) and not with option 2 (participated in academic year and summer bridge).
The Department is providing last year’s data to you for your convenience and to increase accuracy. It is your responsibility, however, to provide updated information on current and prior participants and to ensure the accuracy of the data submitted in 2014–15.
All grantees must register for a user ID and password in order to protect the security of their APR data. Register by clicking on the "Register Here Each Year" link and enter your name and e-mail address. If your name and e-mail address match our records, you may proceed to select and answer two security questions.
For new project directors or directors who have recently changed e-mail addresses, it is likely that your name or e-mail address is not updated in our records. In this situation, you will receive an e-mail message from the Help Desk informing you that your program/grants specialist must approve the changes before you can complete registration. The Help Desk will forward the request to Department staff for approval; this typically can be done within 48 hours. Once the changes have been approved, you will receive an e-mail informing you that you can proceed with registering and submitting your APR.
The Help Desk
If you encounter technical problems accessing the Web site or using the Web application, please contact the Help Desk by either telephone at (703) 846-8248 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the Help Desk will try to contact projects within 24 hours of receiving the telephone call or e-mail. The Help Desk will be available to respond to your questions on weekdays that are not Federal holidays from the “go-live” date of the Web application through December 31, 2015. During peak times, it may take longer for you to receive a response; thus, I encourage you to prepare and submit your performance report as soon as you have collected complete data.
After electronically submitting the APR, please submit a signed copy of the Section I cover page by scanning and uploading it directly into the APR site. Should you have difficulty in uploading the Section I cover page, please contact the Help Desk for assistance.
If you need to revise the APR after it has been submitted, please contact the Help Desk. The Department will accommodate revisions only until the due date for submitting the APR. For any questions regarding the APR requirements, please contact your program specialist directly; to ascertain his or her name, telephone number, and e-mail address, please visit http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/trio/staffdirectory-cupt.html.
Thank you for the time and effort you devote to the performance reporting period each year and for your commitment to providing complete and accurate data. Please retain source documents in a readily accessible form so that they can be verified during an on-site visit.
TRIO Upward Bound and Educational Opportunity Centers Division