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Annual Performance Report Letter to Talent Search Project Directors

November 2018


Dear Talent Search Project Director:

It is time to prepare the Annual Performance Report (APR) for the Talent Search (TS) project for program year 2017–18, which was the second year of the 2016–21 grant cycle. The Web application will "go live" on November 1, 2018 and will close on December 5, 2018. The data structure and instructions for the report plus links to the secured APR Web site maintained by our contractor are available on the TS Performance Report page.

Prior Experience (PE) Report: The APR is designed to improve the transparency of the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) calculations of the Prior experience (PE) points. Beginning this year (2017-18 reporting year), TS projects will receive PE scores annually at the time of the submission of the APR. The PE report contains the policies used to assess the PE points, a table that summarizes the project’s approved and actual attained rates along with the PE scores (i.e., for each objective and overall). The formulas for the PE calculations are provided in the Appendix to the PE report that will also be available for download via a link, once the project has successfully submitted the APR .

New to the Talent Search 2017–18 APR

Prior Experience (PE) Assessment: The PE assessment years for the 2016-21 grant cycle are 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20. The calculation of PE points for the three assessment years is based on a project’s approved number of participants to be served; a project’s approved objectives; and the data a project submits in its annual performance report (APR). For the 2016-21 grant cycle, TS projects that are currently funded under the TS FY 2016 competition and received TS funds during the 2011-16 grant cycle can earn up to a total of 15 PE points. TS projects that are currently funded under the TS FY 2016 competition but did not receive TS funds during the 2011-16 grant cycle can only earn up to a total of 13.5 PE points. The final PE score that will be applied under the FY 2016 competition is the average of the scores for the three years assessed (2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20).

Subsection 2 -- Calculating Postsecondary Attainment for the 2011-12 Cohort: In this year’s APR, grantees that were funded during the 2011–16 grant cycle will be reporting on postsecondary attainment for the 2011-12 cohort. Due to the six-year point of measurement for this objective, grantees first funded in the 2016–21 cycle will not be able to report on attainment during this period. The first year of measurement for this objective for projects initially funded in the 2016–21 cycle will not occur until the 2022–23 APR. Please refer to pages 19 & 20 of the instructions for further information on calculating postsecondary attainment.

To give grantees enough time to determine the postsecondary status of members of the 2011–12 cohort, the Department made available in the 2016-17 APR, the data on participants in the 2011–12 cohort that grantees reported in the first year of the 2011–16 cycle in an Excel file and PDF. As noted in the APR instructions for the 2016-17 APR, if the project provided its own identifying numbers for the students in the 2011–12 cohort, those identifiers appeared only in the Excel file, and not in the PDF. For your convenience, the Department has made available again the Excel file of the 2011–12 cohort that can be downloaded via the button/link provided on the “Cohort Download” tab on the APR website.

Important Reminder:

Save Button: Please keep in mind, when navigating through each section of the APR, that the “Save and Go to the Next Section” button gives you the option to save your changes with/without errors; or you may click “Cancel” to stay in that section and correct the error(s). The data that has already been entered in other sections of the APR system will be automatically saved.

Timeout Feature: The APR system has a timeout feature. Within 20 minutes of the APR system being inactive, a warning pop-up box will display and within five minutes the system will log out. Grantees will have the option within that five-minute period to click OK to continue or click Cancel to end the session. If you do not click OK and click Cancel to log out of the system, all data entered in that section will be lost.

Important Information on Completing the APR

The APR Web application is not designed to provide comprehensive instructions on completing the report; therefore, it is imperative to read and follow carefully the full instructions provided on the Department’s Web site on theTS Performance Report page.

The APR is comprised of four sections; you must complete all four sections of the APR.

  • Registration

  • In order to protect the security of the APR data, all grantees must register for a user ID and password. To register, click on the "Register Here Each Year" link and enter the name and e-mail address of the most recent Project Director. If the name and e-mail address entered match our records, you may proceed to the next step by selecting and answering two security questions. As part of the initial registration, you must select and answer two security questions. By answering the two questions, you will be able to reset your password using the “Forgot Password” link.

    If the information you entered during the registration process does not match the information on file, this information will be sent to your assigned TS program specialist requesting verification. Upon verification from your assigned TS program specialist, the Help Desk will contact you using the e-mail address your program specialist verified. The verification process typically may take up to two business days. The Department highly encourages grantees to register early!!!!!

  • The Help Desk

  • For all technical problems accessing the Web site or using the Web application, please contact the Help Desk by either telephone at (703) 885-8008 or e-mail at generaltrio@collabralink.com. Please note that the Help Desk will try to contact projects within two business days of receiving the telephone call or e-mail. The Help Desk will be available to respond to questions on weekdays that are not Federal holidays from November 1, 2018 until December 5, 2018. During peak times, it may take longer to receive a response; we therefore recommend that you prepare and submit the performance report as soon as you have collected complete data.

Please note, you must scan and upload the signed copy of the Section I Cover Page within five business days after you submit your online APR. Should you have any issues or concerns with uploading the Section I Cover Page, please contact the Help Desk for assistance at (703) 885-8008.

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. For any questions regarding the APR requirements, please contact your assigned program specialist directly; to ascertain your program specialist's name, telephone number, and e-mail address, please visit the TS Contacts page.

Thank you for the time, effort, and dedication 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 5th deadline, and don’t forget to scan and upload the signed Section I page within five business days of your online APR submission.

Sincerely,

Linda Byrd-Johnson, Ph.D.
Senior Director
Student Service

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Last Modified: 10/26/2018