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 2013–14. As you know, 2012–13 was the first year of the 2012–17 grant cycle, and the first in which you responded to significantly revised APR instructions following implementation of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and the UB and UBMS programs’ revised regulations. While all these changes unfortunately delayed our “go live” date for the 2012–13 APR, we are happy to announce the availability of the 2013–14 Web application. UB and UBMS grantees must submit their APRs by December 31.
You may find the updated APR form and instructions, plus links to the secured APR Web site maintained by our contractor at:
Changes in the 2013-14 APR
While most project directors are now familiar with the changes implemented in the 2012–13 APR, you will see some important new developments in the 2013–14 report as well.
Prior Experience (PE) Points
You may recall that the three reporting years’ data on which your PE points will be based are 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16. You will therefore find at the end of your APR submission a link to a PDF that will include not only the information about your APR data that we have provided in the past, but also an individualized report on the PE points that your project may have earned during 2013–14. On our Web site (at the addresses above), you will find an “Appendix” to the PE report explaining the policies, calculations, and procedures that the Department used in generating your report.
Postsecondary Education Completion Objective
PE calculations for the postsecondary education completion objective use as the denominator the postsecondary education enrollment cohort (field #54). In the 2013–14 APR, grantees that were funded in the 2007–12 cycle will report on whether participants in the 2008 postsecondary education enrollment cohort had achieved an associate or bachelor’s degree within six years of high school graduation (i.e., by the end of August 2014). This data will be used to determine whether the grantee meets its target for the postsecondary completion objective. Projects first funded in 2012 are ineligible to receive PE points for this objective in 2013–14.
Using data grantees reported in prior-year APRs, the Department established a postsecondary education enrollment cohort year (field #54) for each participant who qualified for one. In preparing your 2012–13 APR, you were able to download a file that, for projects funded in the 2007–12 cycle, contained 2008–12 cohort data for your students; all projects’ 2012–13 APRs established 2013 cohorts for participants who met the parameters for high school graduation and postsecondary enrollment. Once the postsecondary education cohort year has been established, you may not change this data.
As was the case in 2012–13, the 2013–14 APR Web application includes in Tier 2 the Postsecondary Education Enrollment Cohort Year Report, which verifies that a project’s cohort data for 2008–13 agrees with the Department’s system of records. This year we have added a feature to ensure the accuracy of 2013–14 cohort data for students who were coded 8888 (not yet completed high school) in the 2012–13 report. You will also find the Cohort Comparison Report, which adds further assurance of cohorts’ accuracy by comparing the number of participants with various values for field #54 in both the UB system of records and your 2013–14 data file.
- In response to grantees’ requests, the 2013–14 APR includes a new option (#17) in field #22 (Other Academic Need) so that projects can report participants served in the previous grant cycle whose need was low GPA or low achievement test scores.
- In field #27 (Participant Status), since we are no longer using options 5 and 0, these values are excluded from the APR.
- In field #30 (Start Grade Level), we have revised options 13, 15, and 99 to make them parallel with options in field #31 (End Grade Level). Pay particular attention to these changes when updating your APR data.
- In reviewing our calculations for prior experience points, we determined that field #37 (Secondary School Retention and Graduation Objective—Numerator) would be reliable only if several data validations were added. We decided, therefore, to revise the calculation using several fields other than #37; details of all PE calculations are available in the Appendix document on the “report” Web page (http://www2.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/report.html). We have, therefore, provided only a “no longer used” option for field #37.
- In fields #57–62 (postsecondary certificates and degrees), we have established options 3 and 33/33/3333 which grantees may use to indicate that a participant’s institution of higher education has accepted the student but deferred his or her enrollment until the next term.
Completing the APR
The Web application and instructions for completing and submitting the report online will be available at our Web site, found at the beginning of this letter. Do not rely on the Web application alone to prepare your APR. The postsecondary education enrollment cohort field is a good example of the need for grantees to pay close attention to the instructions in Sections I and II of the APR and to the general instructions, all of which are found at our Web site. 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 2014 cohort; you must also have coded the student as 3 (Received regular secondary school diploma) in the High School Graduation Status field (#34).
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, if in field #36 (rigorous secondary school program of study completed) a project accidentally chooses option 8 (which indicates that a participant did not graduate high school during the school year with a regular diploma) for a participant who actually did earn a diploma during that period, the student cannot be counted as a success for the objective on secondary school graduation after having completed a rigorous program.
Another such instance pertains to field #65 (PSE completion objective--numerator). To indicate that a participant in the 2008 cohort achieved an associate or bachelor’s degree by August 31, 2014, 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.
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 2013–14 reporting period, any summer bridge student in these projects can be served only in summer 2013, 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 2013-14.
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, 2014. 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 at (703) 846-8248.
If you need to revise the APR after it has been submitted, please contact the Help Desk. Please note that the Department will only accommodate revisions until the due date for submitting the APR. For any questions regarding the APR requirements, please contact your program specialist directly; to ascertain your program specialist’s name, telephone number, and e-mail address, please visit: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/trioupbound/contacts.html or http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triomathsci/contacts.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