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Annual Performance Report Letter to Talent Search Project Directors

March 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 2016–17, which was the first year of the 2016–21 grant cycle.  The Web application will "go live" on March 1, 2018 and will close on March 30, 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.

New to the Talent Search 2016–17 APR

Target Schools Dual Enrollment: In addition to providing the school’s identification number in the Common Core of Data (CCD) of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the name of the school, and its city, state, and zip code in section II. M, grantees will be required to provide information on dual enrollment program participation within each target school.  Grantees will report on:  (1) Whether the given target school has a dual enrollment program; and (2) The number of participants in the target school who are enrolled in the dual enrollment program in the reporting period.   In the column for the number of participants in the dual enrollment program, you will be required to enter either “0” or a whole number for target school(s) you identified as having a dual enrollment program.  For the target school(s) that you identified as not having a dual enrollment program, projects will be required to enter “9999” for “not applicable.” For the target school(s) for which the status of a dual enrollment program is “unknown”, enter “9999”.

Subsection 1 -- Establishing Cohorts of Participants for the Denominator of the Postsecondary Attainment Calculation: Every project will be required to indicate, by selecting one of the two options discussed in the instructions, which interpretation of the objective the project used when it established the objective rate for postsecondary attainment in its FY 2016 application. On page 18 of the instructions, you will find a full description of each option.  

TS projects will also choose to track all postsecondary enrollees that graduated high school within a given project year or only a random sample of those students. Once the Department accepts the 2016–17 APR, the selection a grantee makes in the APR cannot be changed for the entire duration of the grant cycle to maintain consistent tracking methodology. Please refer to page 18 of the instructions for further information on establishing a 2016-17 cohort for postsecondary attainment.

Subsection 2 -- Calculating Postsecondary Attainment for the 2011-12 Cohort:  Grantees that were funded during the 2011–16 grant cycle will be reporting on postsecondary attainment of cohorts beginning with the 2017–18 year of the 2016–21 grant cycle. 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, six years after 2016–17, the first year of the grant cycle. 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 is making available in this year’s APR (2016–17) the data on participants in the 2011–12 cohort that grantees reported on in the first year of the 2011–16 cycle. That cohort’s participants’ data will appear both in the PDF that will be available once you have submitted your report, and also in a separate Excel file that projects will be required to download. If the project provided its own identifying numbers for the students in the 2011–12 cohort, those identifiers will appear only in the Excel file, and not in the PDF. The Excel file for the 2011–12 cohort will be provided again in the 2017–18 APR.

Timeout Feature:  New in this year’s 2016-17 APR, is a system 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 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.  

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 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 March 1, 2018 until March 30, 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 March 30th deadline, and don’t forget to scan and upload the signed Section I page within five business days of your online APR submission.

Sincerely,

Eileen Bland
Director
GEAR UP, TRIO Talent Search and College Access Challenge Grant Division
Student Service

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Last Modified: 03/06/2018