Dear McNair Project Director:
It is time to prepare the Annual Performance Report (APR) for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate (McNair) Program for program year 2013-14. The Web application you will use to submit your report will "go live" on December 17, 2014; the due date for submitting your APR is January 30, 2015.
Please find the data structure and instructions for the report, plus links to the secured APR Web site maintained by our contractor at http://www.ed.gov/programs/triomcnair/report.html
Who needs to be on your APR data file?
All participants on your 2012-13 APR data file, except those participants whose Graduating Cohort Year of Bachelor’s Degree (field 29) is prior to 2003-04;
All new participants who were served in the reporting period; and
All participants who earned a Bachelor’s degree in the 2013-14 academic year.
Are there any changes to the Web application for the 2013-14 reporting period?
Yes, some changes have been made to the Web application system to address data issues and improve the quality of the APR data. They are as follows:
A few data validations have been added to address data reporting issues mainly with field 36 (Date of First Graduate School Enrollment) and field 40 (Current Year of Graduate Study).
A new report has been added to Tier 2 entitled “Current Year of Graduate Study” to address data issues with the fields mentioned above.
Each year the Department of Education (ED) conducts a data quality analysis on the APR data as reported by McNair projects. After reviewing the 2012-13 APR data, ED discovered two potential reporting errors among some grantees in field 40 (Current Year of Graduate Study) and field 36 (Date of First Graduate School Enrollment).
The first problem is an inconsistency between field 40, Option 1 (1st yr. graduate/professional) and field 36 (Date of First Graduate School Enrollment). There were many participant records in which the student was reported as a “1st yr. graduate/professional” in 2012-13; however, the “Date of First Graduate School Enrollment” was in the next academic year (e.g., August 26, 2013). This may have occurred because of the delays in collecting the 2012-13 APR data; consequently, some projects may have incorrectly reported the participant that enrolled in graduate school during the 2013-14 academic year as a 1st year student in 2012-13. The McNair data shows that the range for the academic year is typically August 1 through July 31; therefore, a “Date of First Graduate School Enrollment” of August 26, 2013 would indicate that the participant was a 1st year graduate in 2013-14 and not in 2012-13. Since reporting the year of graduate study is critical in determining Prior Experience (PE) points for the “Continued Enrollment in Graduate School” objective and the GPRA measures, it is imperative that projects report this information correctly.
To address this problem, the Web application contains a series of messages (i.e., Message) that will trigger if the Current Year of Graduate Study for a 1st yr. graduate/professional is not consistent with the Date of First Graduate School Enrollment, that is, if the date is outside the typical academic year of August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2014. Please note that these messages are “soft validation edits” used to alert the grantee to a possible data entry error. If the project determines the information entered is correct, the project may continue with their submission. Even though the message will continue to appear during the data submission, the project will be able to submit their data provided they have fixed all of the other data errors.
The second problem is a longstanding data issue whereby some grantees fail to update field 40 (Current Year of Graduate Study). There are two types of issues related to data updates: (1) reporting a participant as a “1st yr. graduate/professional” in two consecutive reporting periods, and (2) reporting a 2nd, 3rd, or Beyond 3rd year graduate/professional as a 1st year graduate/professional in the current reporting period. These data issues will be addressed via the new “Current Year of Graduate Study Report” which will be generated in Tier 2. The report will flag any participants listed as a 1st year graduate in 2013-14 who was also reported as a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, or Beyond 3rd year graduate/professional in the 2012-13.
For those participants who were reported as 1st year graduate/professional in 2012-13 and 2013-14, the report will allow a one-time only reporting of this status. The grantee will be asked to provide an explanation as to why the participant(s) is a 1st year graduate/professional in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
For those participants who were 2nd, 3rd, or Beyond 3rd year graduate/professional in 2012-13 and are being reported as 1st year graduate/professional in 2013-14, the project will be required to change the year of graduate study to something other than 1st year graduate/professional. The reason for this check is to ensure that the participant’s year of graduate study does not revert to an earlier graduate level. A participant’s year of graduate study should increase by one if they enrolled in the reporting period.
New to the 2013-14 reporting period, McNair projects will receive their PE scores for assessment year 2013-2014 upon successful submission of their annual performance reports. The PE report will contain the policies used to assess your PE points, a table that summarizes the project’s approved and actual attained rates along with individual PE tables for each criterion. The formula for the PE calculations are available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/triomcnair/report.html.
Registration. All projects must register for a user ID and password in order to protect the security of the APR data. Register by clicking on the "Register Here Each Year" link, enter your name, e-mail address, and select and answer two security questions. You are required to provide responses to these questions should you need to use the "Forgot Password" link to receive a new, temporary password.
Help Desk. If you encounter technical problems accessing the Web site or using the Web application, please contact the Help Desk at (703) 846-8248 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that the Help Desk will try to contact grantees within 24 hours of receiving the telephone call or e-mail. The Help Desk will be available to respond to your questions on weekdays from December 17, 2014 through January 30, 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 the complete set of data.
After electronically submitting the APR, please submit a signed copy of Section I of the APR by scanning and uploading directly into the APR site. Should you have any problems uploading Section I, please contact the Help Desk for assistance at (703) 846-8248.
If there is a need to revise the APR after it has been submitted, please contact the Help Desk for assistance. Please note that the Department will only accommodate revisions until the due date for submitting the APR.
Thank you for the time and effort you devote to the performance reporting process and for your commitment to providing complete and accurate data for the McNair Program. Please retain source documents in a readily accessible form so that they can be verified during an on-site visit.
Katie E. Blanding, PhD
Graduate and Special Focus Programs Division