Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math-Science Project Directors
Dear Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Project Directors:
It is time to prepare your annual performance report (APR) for reporting year 2015–16. As you know, prior experience (PE) points for your project will be based on APRs submitted for the 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 project years; before the Department can calculate total scores for the 2017 grant competition, we must finalize your 2015–16 PE points. For the U.S. Department of Education to make new grant awards on time in 2017, it is imperative that all Upward Bound (UB) and Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS) grantees submit their 2015–16 APRs by the deadline: December 2, 2016.
You may find the updated APR form and instructions, plus links to the secured UB-UBMS APR Web site maintained by our contractor, at this address: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/report.html.
Do not rely solely on the UB-UBMS APR Web site in completing your APR; be sure to read thoroughly the U.S. Department of Education’s APR documents at the address above.
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. You may recall that last year we identified approximately 19,600 prior-year participant records whose data was not required for PE calculations or for other measures needed by the UB-UBMS programs. Grantees had the option to drop these records from their 2014–15 APRs. We are not removing any additional records from the download file his year. If you included in the 2014–15 APR any of the records that we removed from last year’s download file, you will find the record(s) in this year’s download file and will need to include the record(s) in your 2015–16 APR.
The Department provides the data in the download file 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 2015–16.
Establishing cohort year 2016: For those participants who graduate with a regular secondary school diploma during school year 2015–16 and enroll in postsecondary education by fall term 2016, please make every effort to report all relevant data in this year’s APR (2015–16). Not only must the dates of high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment be correct in your APR if a student is to be included in the 2016 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 2015–16 APR, participants cannot be added to the 2016 postsecondary education enrollment cohort.
For summer bridge participants in June- and July-start projects, you must provide postsecondary enrollment data in the 2015–16 APR on participants served in 2016 summer bridge to include such students in the 2016 cohort, even though summer 2016 is part of the 2016–17 reporting period for summer-start projects.
Protecting personally identifiable information (PII): The only location in the APR in which you should provide participants’ birth dates and Social Security numbers (SSNs) is the data file that you will be uploading securely. Do not include PII in such places as the text boxes within the APR Web site for the Current Participants and Eligibility Status Report and the Critical Fields Verification Report.
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 the 2014–15 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 2010 cohort achieved an associate or bachelor’s degree by August 31, 2016, 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.
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 2, 2016. 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. 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. And remember—don’t miss the December 2 deadline!
TRIO Upward Bound and Educational Opportunity Centers Division