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Background

 

The addition of the Outcome Measures (OM) component was based on suggestions made by the IPEDS Technical Review Panel (TRP). Meetings of the IPEDS TRP are convened by RTI International, the contractor for the IPEDS web-based data collection system; subject areas for the meetings are determined by legislation, emerging areas of concern in postsecondary education, and an ongoing goal of decreasing reporting burden while retaining the federal data necessary for use by policy makers and education analysts. Detailed summaries of each meeting are posted (https://edsurveys.rti.org/IPEDS_TRP/Default.aspx) and comments on panel suggestions are solicited by RTI.

Changes to the Academic Libraries (AL) were based on feedback from the initial 2014-15 collection, and tie back to the TRP when possible.

 

TRP Meetings Relevant to Changes to IPEDS for 2015-16

Topic (Date)

Summary

Survey Components Affected

Academic Libraries

(August 2011)

Based on a review of the current Academic Libraries Survey, which is not part of IPEDS, the Technical Review Panel suggested that a number of data elements be integrated into IPEDS in order to retain federal data necessary for policy making and analysis, while also improving response rates and reducing reporting burden for institutions.

·  Institutional Characteristics-Header

·  Academic Libraries

Selected Outcomes of the Advisory Committee on Measures of Student Success

(February and October 2012)

The Committee on Measures of Student Success recommended that the Department of Education broaden the coverage of student graduation data to reflect the diverse student populations at 2-year institutions and improve the collection of student progression and completion data. In response, the Department released an action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success in support of the Administration’s college completion agenda and based on those recommendations.

 

Two IPEDS Technical Review Panel meetings were convened to address these needs. The first panel suggested that the definition of a degree/certificate-seeking student for IPEDS reporting purposes be clarifies, and that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for first-time, part-time students. The second panel suggested that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for non-first-time students similar to information that was proposed by the first panel for first-time, part-time students. The panel also suggested that similar outcome information be collected for first-time, full-time students.

 

·  New Component on Outcome Measures

 

Detailed descriptions of all proposed changes are included in the following section, by survey component.


 

 

 

2015-16 Detailed Changes by Component

 

Outcome Measures (OM) – Winter 2015-16

 

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 established the U.S. Department of Education’s Committee on Measures of Student Success to advise the Secretary of Education in assisting 2-year degree-granting institutions of higher education in meeting the completion or graduation rate disclosure requirements outlined in the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended. The Committee completed its work in December 2011.

 

In its final report to the Secretary, the Committee noted that the "current federal graduation rate measure is incomplete and does not adequately convey the wide range of student outcomes at 2-year institutions." In addition, the Committee observed that "data are not collected on other important outcomes achieved by students at 2-year institutions."

 

The Committee recommended that the Department:

·  Broaden the coverage of student graduation data to reflect the diverse student populations at 2-year institutions

·  Improve the collection of student progression and completion data

·  Improve technical guidance to institutions in meeting statutory disclosure requirements

·  Encourage institutions to disclose comparable data on employment outcomes and provide incentives for sharing promising practices on measuring student learning

 

Although its work focused on 2-year institutions, the Committee suggested that its recommendations be considered and implemented for 4-year institutions as well. The Committee’s final report is available at http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/cmss-committee-report-final.pdf .

 

In April 2012, the Department released an action plan for improving measures of postsecondary student success in support of the Administration’s college completion agenda and based on the recommendations of the Committee on Measures of Student Success ( http://www.ed.gov/edblogs/ous/files/2012/03/Action-Plan-for-Improving-Measures-of-Postsecondary-Student-Success-FINAL2.pdf ).

 

The Department’s action plan is designed to improve the quality and availability of student success data at the federal level for consumers, institutions, policymakers, and researchers. This plan also includes activities to help institutions, systems, and states increase their capacity for collecting and disseminating data on student success. Various offices within the Department are responsible for implementing the activities within the plan. In the plan, the Department has committed to "revise, where feasible under its current authority, existing data collection vehicles to include more comprehensive measures of student success for a broader group of students."

 

As part of this activity, the NCES has taken steps to enhance graduation rate and transfer rate reporting in IPEDS. Using existing processes for considering changes to IPEDS, NCES examined the feasibility of broadening measures by collecting outcome information for part-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students and non-first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduate students in IPEDS.

 

IPEDS TRP 37 was convened in February 2012 to discuss the feasibility of collecting outcome information on first-time, part-time students. The TRP suggested that the definition of a degree/certificate-seeking student for IPEDS reporting purposes be clarified, and that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for first-time, part-time students.

 

IPEDS TRP 40 was convened in October 2012 to discuss the feasibility of collecting outcome information on non-first-time students. The TRP suggested that certain outcome information be collected in IPEDS for non-first-time students, similar to information that TRP 37 proposed for first-time, part-time students. The TRP also suggested that similar outcome information be collected for first-time, full-time students. Institutions would report outcome information for four cohorts in mutually exclusive categories, as outlined below.

 

The new outcome information that institutions would report to IPEDS is designed to provide consumers, policymakers, and researchers context for and an alternative to the graduation rates calculated for the purposes of the Student Right to Know and Campus Security Act of 1990.

 

To expedite the availability of data that will be useful to consumers, policymakers, and researchers, TRP 40 suggested that institutions report on student outcomes retrospectively. If a prospective reporting model were used, outcome measures data would not be available until 2023.

 

As a result of TRP suggestions and public comments, NCES requested and received clearance to implement a new Outcome Measures component in the Winter collection.


New Outcome Measures (OM) Component

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Collect outcome measures data from degree-granting institutions on 4 degree/certificate-seeking student cohorts as shown below.
Academic reporting institutions will report on Fall cohorts; program and hybrid reporters will report on Full-year cohorts.

·   Full-time, first-time students

·   Part-time, first-time students

·   Full-time, non-first-time entering students

·   Part-time, non-first-time entering students

Note: Data will not be disaggregated by race, ethnicity, or gender.

Note: No outcome data will be collected from non-degree-granting institutions.

 

For each of the 4 cohorts, collect a status update using the following categories:

·   Received award

·   Did not receive award, still enrolled at reporting institution

·   Did not receive award, subsequently enrolled at another institution

·   Did not receive award, subsequent enrollment status unknown

 

A total of students who did not receive an award will be calculated.

 

Collect the status update from both 2-year and 4-year institutions at 8 years after the cohort enters the institution, with award information collected for both the 6-year and 8-year timeframes. Outcome Measures data collection will begin in 2015-16. Institutions will report on their 2007 cohorts.

 

2015-16

 

 

Outcome Measures TRPs

 

 

Substantial


 

Finance (F) Changes – Spring 2015-16

 

Effective Fiscal Year 2015, public institutions using the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) accounting standards were required to implement GASB Statement No. 68, "Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions – an Amendment of GASB Statement No. 27.” This new statement instructs public institutions with defined benefit pension plans to report an actuarially based pension liability and related pension expenses and deferrals in their General Purpose Financial Statements (GPFS). As a result, public institutions that participate in their state’s employee retirement system or have systems of their own will have to add their portion of unfunded pension liability and recognize expenses related to this liability on their GPFS. The change will have a significant impact on the reporting of balance sheet information and expenses to the IPEDS Finance component.


After consultation with the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) – which represents more than 2,500 colleges, universities, and other higher education service providers across the country to maintain the quality of measurement for postsecondary education financial data collection – NCES has decided to add a new screening question and screen to the Public GASB Finance Form for the 2015-16 collection cycle. The new screening question asks institutions to indicate whether they have additional (or decreased) pension expense, additional pension liability (or assets), or additional deferral to report as a result of GASB Statement 68. For the institutions that answer “yes”, a new screen with four fields has been added to collect the amounts of the additional (or decreased) expense, additional liability (or assets), deferred inflows of resources, and deferred outflows of resources. Adding these four fields will allow NCES and IPEDS data users to proportion out the amount of increases or decreases due to liabilities, assets, net position, and benefits expenses that occurred as a result of the new standard and to properly calculate ongoing per capita costs (e.g., cost per Full-Time Equivalent Student) of education. Without these additional fields, IPEDS would collect inaccurate higher education costs showing a one-time increase representing ongoing pension liabilities accrued through 2015.


Changes to the Finance (F) Component for GASB Institutions

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

Add a new screening question:

·   Did your institution recognize additional (or decreased) pension expense, additional liability (or assets), or additional deferral related to the implementation of GASB Statement 68 for one or more defined benefit pension plans (either as a single employer, agent employer or cost-sharing multiple employer) in Fiscal Year 2015?

 

Based on the information provided, institutions reporting “Yes” will subsequently be asked to provide pension liabilities and expenses as follows:

·   Additional (or decreased) pension expense

·   Additional pension liability (or asset)

·   Deferred inflows of resources

·   Deferred outflows of resources

 

2015-16

 

 

GASB Standard 68

 

 

Minimal


 

Academic Libraries (AL) Changes – Spring 2015-16

 

These changes originated during the data collection cycle in 2014-2015 and the subsequent data quality review of the first IPEDS collection of the Academic Libraries survey component. The changes, detailed below, will appropriately direct data providers to complete the component and will clarify instructions.

 

In 2014-15, institutions reported total library expenditures in the IC Header to determine eligibility for the AL. This resulted in institutions reporting estimated AL expenditures which sometimes required amendments when the final expenditures were known. In some cases, this resulted in the wrong form assigned for Spring reporting. For 2015-16, institutions will respond to a Yes/No question in the IC-Header that asks whether library expenditures are greater than $0. There will be an additional screening question in the AL component in the spring that asks whether expenditures were greater than $100,000 to determine the correct form.

 

In regard to e-books, in 2014-15 institutions reported the number of e-books based on the number accessed by users. Starting in 2015-16, institutions will report the number of e-books based on titles searchable through the catalog, including those in aggregated sets.

 

Finally, in regard to collection of circulation data, institutions have reported circulation from both the general and reserve collections, and circulation counts included returnable and non-returnable items in interlibrary loans. Starting in 2015-16, institutions will count circulation only from the general collection and interlibrary loan circulation will exclude non-returnable items borrowed from other libraries. This is to align with recommendations from the Technical Review Panel and to utilize more comparable methods with the library industry.


Changes to the Academic Libraries (AL) Component

Change

Implementation Year

Source

Estimated burden

The IC- Header screening question will be changed to a Yes/No question that asks whether library expenditures are greater than $0.

2015-16

 

 

Feedback during 2014-15 data collection and data quality review

 

No additional burden

New screening question in the AL component in the spring that asks whether expenditures were greater than $100,000 to determine the correct form.

2015-16

 

 

Feedback during 2014-15 data collection and data quality review

 

No additional burden

Institutions will report the number of e-books based on titles searchable through the catalog, including those in aggregated sets.

2015-16

 

 

Feedback during 2014-15 data collection and data quality review

 

No additional burden

Institutions will count circulation only from the general collection and interlibrary loan circulation will exclude non-returnable items borrowed from other libraries.

2015-16

 

 

Feedback from the library community and the Technical Review Panel

 

No additional burden

 

 

 
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