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Background

 

Many of the proposed changes were suggested 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 online (https://edsurveys.rti.org/IPEDS_TRP/default.aspx) and comments on panel suggestions are solicited. Six meetings of the TRP have impacted the changes included in this clearance package, as summarized in table 1.

 

Table 1. IPEDS TRP meetings relevant to proposed changes

Topic (Date)

Summary

Survey Components Affected

Collecting GRS data for part-time students and Pell Grant Recipients

(July 2008)

This TRP recommended adding a subcohort of Pell Grant recipients to the Graduation Rates survey component. The Pell Grant rates would be calculated based on a subcohort of the Graduation Rates cohort (first-time, full-time students). It was also recommended that, should other cohorts be added, then the Pell subcohort should also be required for those cohorts. With the addition of Outcome Measures, Pell subcohorts can be created for four cohorts that are much more representative of higher education.

·  Outcome Measures

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 (ED) 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, ED 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 TRP meetings were convened to address these needs. The first panel suggested that NCES clarify the definition of a degree/certificate-seeking student for IPEDS reporting purposes and collect certain outcome information in IPEDS for first-time, part-time students. The second panel suggested that NCES collect certain outcome information 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.

·  Outcome Measures

Outcome Measures

(September 2014)

As of the date of TRP 45, the specifics regarding data elements, metrics, and data collection had not yet been finalized or released to the public. At the time, ED was in the planning stages of the forthcoming Postsecondary Institutional Rating System (PIRS), which was to create an effective postsecondary rating system used measures on access, affordability, and outcomes. This TRP was asked to revisit the Outcome Measures component and consider any changes that would help inform policymakers, consumers, and other stakeholders, and further improve outcome data in IPEDS.

 

This TRP considered a number of issues related to the Outcome Measures survey component. A few of the topics the TRP discussed were: collecting multiple cohort years, time-to-degree durations, time intervals, and subsequent awards earned from other institutions. In addition, the TRP deliberated on the addition of collecting outcomes by demographics and using Federal Student Aid (FSA) data. In these discussions, the issue of identifying Pell students and tracking their outcomes was identified as an important need to policymakers, researchers, and the public.

·  Outcome Measures

Clarifying Study Abroad enrollment

(September 2015)

This TRP discussed actions that could improve IPEDS instructions related to study abroad students. Despite the variation in the types and requirements of study abroad programs offered by institutions, the panel agreed that clarifications related to counting study abroad students would address reporting inconsistencies and improve the overall quality of data reported to IPEDS. IPEDS used the comments to improve instructions on the most impacted survey components.

·  Graduation Rates

·  Fall Enrollment

Improvements to the Human Resources Survey for Degree-granting institutions

(November 2014)

While NCES has taken steps in the past to simplify reporting and ensure data consistency and accuracy in the Human Resources component, data providers have indicated that it remains one of the most burdensome components of the IPEDS in terms of time needed to report.

 

This TRP reviewed the Human Resources component and assessed the utility of the data to meet policy and research needs. Given the increased demands placed on institutions over the last several years, the TRP focused on adjusting existing data elements to improve data quality, which may, in turn, lessen or reduce reporting burden for institutions.

·  Human Resources

Improvements to the Finance Survey

(June 2015)

This TRP engaged the community in discussion on how to increase the accuracy and utility of financial information collected. Panelists were asked to explore desirable outcomes for the Finance component, data elements to add or remove, and methods for streamlining the forms. One recommendation was to collect expense by natural and functional classification separately, and thus not allocated across the matrix. The panel also suggested that NCES identify ways to better compare revenues within and across accounting standards despite the substantial differences that exist between how GASB and FASB standards treat Pell grants. Finally, the panel suggested that NCES investigate how to decrease detail for some institutions.

·  Finance

 

Other changes are made based on NCES review of data quality reports, as well feedback from institutions and others, including during the 60 day comment period. The reasons behind the proposed changes are included in the following section, by survey component.


 

Detailed Proposed Changes to Forms by IPEDS Survey Component

 

Institutional Characteristics (IC, includes Header and Identification). The proposed changes to the Institutional Characteristics (IC) survey component are minor. The first proposed change originated as a result of data collected in 2015-16 and the subsequent data quality review of the survey component. The changes detailed below are proposed to appropriately direct data providers if they will complete the Academic Libraries (AL) survey component. Currently, we determine eligibility for the AL survey component based on institutions having library expenses greater than zero. This practice has allowed for institutions that do not have library expenses but do have library collections being ineligible to complete the AL survey component. We propose asking institutions an additional Yes/No screening question in IC-Header that states, "Does your institution have access to a library collection?" If data providers answer "Yes" to either AL screening question or "Yes" to both screening questions, then the institution will be eligible for the AL survey component. This change is to mitigate issues of institutions’ eligibility for the AL survey component. This will not increase burden, and the additional screening question better allows for the appropriate assignment of survey screens for institutions.

 

The next set of proposed changes originated during the 2014-15 data collection cycle and the subsequent data quality review of the survey component. The changes detailed below are proposed to allow data providers to report all aspects of an academic library that are accessible to the institution. Also, the proposed changes align the library question in the IC survey component to IPEDS definition of an academic library. Currently, we ask institutions if they have their own library, a shared library that they contribute to financially, or neither of these options. This practice does not account for all available options that an institution might have access to regarding an academic library or library collections. We propose to ask the question, "Which of the following library resources or services does your institution provide to its clientele?" The data provider would check all that apply from the following list: physical facilities; an organized collection of printed materials; access to digital/electronic resources; a staff trained to provide and interpret library materials; established library hours, or access to library collections that are shared with another institution or library. This will not increase burden, and the proposed question design better allows for institutions to report all aspects of an academic library that are accessible to them.

 

The third set of proposed changes originated during the 2014-15 data collection cycle and the subsequent data quality review of the survey component. The main intent of these proposed changes is to focus institutions on the topic of distance education by creating a new Distance Education screen, which contains a new screening question and the two existing distance education questions. We propose the new screening question, "Does your institution offer distance education courses?" If the answer is "Yes," the institution will be shown the remainder of the Distance Education screen, which would contain the two existing distance education questions. The focus on courses will allow for both of the additional questions to be answered consistently, as programs cannot be offered exclusively via distance education and at different levels if the institution does not offer distance education courses. The change is based on feedback from the IPEDS Help Desk, which stated that institutions find it difficult to follow the screen as it is currently formatted. There will not be an increase in burden and the new page allows for a more focused approach to distance education.

 

The next proposed changes originated from discussions between NCES and the Office of Postsecondary Education and the Office of the Undersecretary. The addition of Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) numbers will facilitate the use of IPEDS data in the grants system, with the goal of improving data sharing within the agency and decreasing duplicative reporting by institutions. Institutions will be asked, "If your institution has an assigned Dun and Bradstreet number (DUNS) please enter your institution’s DUNS number(s)." There will be a negligible increase in burden due to this change, and only for 1 year, as these numbers will be retained in subsequent years. The addition of web address for Disability Services will allow for the sharing of this information with students on College Navigator.


Table 2. Proposed changes to the IC Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Part C: Other Survey Screening Questions - Library Expenses:

·   Add additional screening question:

    o   "Does your institution have access to a library collection?"

NCES initiated, institution feedback

Part C: Student Services - Distance Opportunities:

·   Delete the following item:

    o   "Does your institution have its own library or are you financially supporting a shared library with another postsecondary education institution?"

        -   Have our own library

        -   Do not have our own ibrary but contribute financial support to a shared library

        -   Neither of the above

NCES initiated,
QC review

·   Add the following item:

    o   "Which of the following library resources or services does your institution provide to its clientele? Check all that apply."

        -   Physical facilities

        -   An organized collection of printed materials

        -   Access to digital/electronic resources

        -   A staff trained to provide and interpret library materials

        -   Established library hours

        -   Access to library collections that are shared with another institution

        -   None of the Above

NCES initiated,
QC review

Add screening question to determine if school offers any distance education courses:

   1. "Does your institution offer distance education courses?"

NCES initiated,
QC review

Move existing distance education questions to new Distance Education screen:

   2. "Are all of the programs at your institution offered exclusively via distance education?"

   3. "Please indicate at what level(s) your institution offers distance education opportunities (courses and/or programs)"

NCES initiated,
QC review

Institutional Identification Page. Add question to collect DUNS numbers:

·   "If your institution has an assigned Dun and Bradstreet number (DUNS) please enter your institution’s DUNS number(s)."

NCES initiated

Institutional Identification Page. Add a box to collect Disability Services Web Address.

NCES initiated

 

 

Student Financial Aid (SFA). The proposed change to the Student Financial Aid (SFA) survey component is intended to help data providers create useful and meaningful context messages and reduce the number of typos, grammatical mistakes, and inappropriate comments. Currently, there is an open text box to allow data providers to type in contexts. The enhancement will allow data providers to select a prescripted context, write their own context, or leave the text box empty.

 

This change is in response to survey director review of the context boxes for the SFA survey component.


Table 3. Proposed changes to the IPEDS SFA Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Allow data provider to select a pre-scripted context from the dropdown box. The data provider also has the option to enter their own or leave the text box empty.

NCES initiated, QC review

 

 

Outcome Measures (OM). NCES proposes allowing institutions to include students who are studying abroad during their first year of postsecondary education when reporting data involving the creation of cohorts. Study abroad students are likely to return the following year and complete at that postsecondary institution. Currently, the OM survey component instructs institutions to exclude these students from its cohorts. OM also draws from the Fall Enrollment (EF) survey component’s full-time, first-time degree/certificate-undergraduate students, where study abroad students are excluded. In order to include full-time, first-year degree/certificate-undergraduate students who study abroad, NCES proposes updates to the OM instructions on who to include/exclude, as well as clarifications to the instructions for including study abroad students in their revised cohorts.


Table 4. Proposed changes to the Outcome Measures (OM) Form

Change

Source

Update and delete in current instructions on who to exclude:

Who to Exclude

Exclude students who are not enrolled for credit. For example, exclude:

·   Students enrolled exclusively in courses that cannot be applied toward a formal award

·   Students enrolled exclusively in Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

·   Students exclusively auditing classes

·   Residents or interns in doctor's professional practice programs, because they have already received their doctor's degree

In addition, the following students should be excluded:

·   Any student studying abroad (e.g., at a foreign university) if their enrollment at the 'home' institution serves as an administrative record

Students in any branch campus located in a foreign country

Study Abroad TRP

Update the instructions for Revised Cohort column to include an additional inclusion criterion:

·   Students who studied abroad their first year upon entering the institution

Study Abroad TRP

 

 

Graduation Rates. NCES proposes allowing institutions to include students who study abroad their first year of entering a postsecondary institution in data collections involving the creation of cohorts. Students who study abroad their first year of postsecondary education are likely to return the following year and complete at that postsecondary institution. Currently, the GR survey component uses the fall and 12-month full-time, first-time enrollments, which exclude full-time, first-time study abroad students, to establish the initial cohorts. In order to include full-time, first-year students who study abroad, NCES requests to update the GR instructions on who to exclude as well as provide instructions to include these students in their revised cohorts.

 

NCES also proposes to collect the data necessary to calculate the 150% graduation rates for Pell recipients and recipients of a subsidized Stafford Loan who did not receive a Pell Grant. Institutions are currently required to disclose this information on their websites and should have the information necessary to report these rates, however, there is not currently a federal collection of these rates. This will allow for these rates to be available to students and researchers in a centralized location. This change is being made based on feedback to the 60 day comment period.

 

NCES will meet with experts to provide the instructions for this addition to the GR survey component and will submit changes to OMB.


Table 5. Proposed changes to the Graduation Rates (GR) Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Update and delete in current instructions on who to exclude:

Who to Exclude

Exclude students who are not enrolled for credit. For example, exclude:

·   Students enrolled exclusively in courses that cannot be applied toward a formal award

·   Students enrolled exclusively in Continuing Education Units (CEUs)

·   Students exclusively auditing classes

·   Residents or interns in doctor's professional practice programs, since they have already received their doctor's degree

In addition, the following students should be excluded:

·   Any student studying abroad (e.g., at a foreign university) if their enrollment at the 'home' institution serves as an administrative record

Students in any branch campus located in a foreign country

Study Abroad TRP

Update the instructions for Revised Cohort column to include an additional inclusion criterion:

·   Students who studied abroad their first year upon entering the institution

Study Abroad TRP

Add a new section – Section IV – to collect the data necessary to calculate the 150% graduation rates for 2 sub-cohorts that are currently required disclosures from the Higher Education Act, as amended.

·   Pell Grant Recipients

·   Recipients of a subsidized Stafford Loan who did not receive a Pell Grant

60 day comment period

 

 

Graduation Rates 200 (GR200). NCES proposes asking a screening question to determine applicability of GR200. In the past, the GR200 survey component was automatically made not applicable if the institution reported zero students as still enrolled to the GR survey component. The IPEDS Help Desk would receive numerous calls from institutions that had incorrectly reported zero students as still enrolled in GR, but have additional students to report to GR200. Institutions should be able to report on students who received an award between 151 percent and 200 percent of the normal time to complete. Currently, GR200 is, by default, applicable to all institutions regardless of whether or not institutions reported having students still enrolled. However, this creates confusion among institutions that may not have to complete GR200.

 

There are many institutions that do not allow students to persist past 150 percent of normal time to complete, and have no data to report. It is unclear if these institutions should report zeros or request to have GR200 not applicable, which requires institutions to contact and request the IPEDS Help Desk to manually override the requirement to complete GR200.

 

By including a screening question, we can determine the applicability of the GR200 survey component, which will allow institutions to report accurate data for previously reported incorrect data, and eliminate reporting uncertainty and decrease institutional burden for institutions that would not have to complete GR200.


Table 6. Proposed changes to the Graduation Rates 200 (GR200) Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Add screening question to determine if school has students to report:

·   Your institution reported to the GR survey component as having the following number of students who did not complete, but were still enrolled at your institution: (preload the number reported from GR)

·   Do you have students who received an award between 151% and 200% of the normal time to complete? (Y/N)

NCES initiated, QC review

 

 

Admissions (ADM). The first two proposed changes to the Admissions (ADM) survey component originated during the 2014-15 data collection cycle and the subsequent data quality review of the survey component. Currently, we ask data providers to report "Don’t Know" for admission considerations if they do not know if certain admission criteria are required, recommended, or neither required nor recommended for their institution. To enable data providers to show a more accurate representation of their institutions’ admission criteria, we propose eliminating the "Don’t Know" option for admission considerations. In addition, we propose adding a "Considered but Not Required" column to the admission considerations section for the same reason. Additionally, this change would allow institutions for which test scores are "Considered but Not Required" to report test scores later in the survey form.

 

We also propose eliminating the collection of "SAT Writing" and "ACT Writing" scores, because the data have limited utility for students and researchers. A majority of institutions do not require these test scores and, as a result, do not report them. However, they do feel the need to explain why they are not reporting scores, leading to additional burden. The institutions that do report the scores often do so incorrectly.

 

The last proposed change originated during discussions with the College Board and the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC) and are intended to allow institutions to report SAT scores appropriately during the transition to the new SAT scales. Currently, SAT critical reading and math scores are reported based on the current (2015) SAT score range. In 2016-17, we propose that SAT critical reading and math scores continue to be reported based on the current (2015) SAT score range. Institutions that have scores based on the new (2016) SAT score range should convert scores using the College Board concordance tables.


Table 7. Proposed changes to the Admissions (ADM) Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Admissions considerations:

·   Delete column "Don’t Know" for:

    o   Select the option that best describes how your institution uses any of the following data in its undergraduate selection process:

        -   Secondary school GPA

        -   Secondary school rank

        -   Secondary school record

        -   Completion of college-preparatory program

        -   Recommendations

        -   Formal demonstration of competencies (e.g., portfolios, certificates of mastery, assessment instruments)

        -   Admission test scores

        -   SAT/ACT

        -   Other test (ABT, Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)

        -   TOEFL

NCES initiated, QC review

·   Add column "Considered But Not Required" for:

    o   Select the option that best describes how your institution uses any of the following data in its undergraduate selection process:

        -   Secondary school GPA

        -   Secondary school rank

        -   Secondary school record

        -   Completion of college-preparatory program

        -   Recommendations

        -   Formal demonstration of competencies (e.g., portfolios, certificates of mastery, assessment instruments)

        -   Admission test scores

        -   SAT/ACT

        -   Other test (ABT, Wonderlic, WISC-III, etc.)

        -   TOEFL

NCES initiated, QC review

Selection Process:

·   Delete row "SAT Writing"

NCES initiated, QC review

·   Delete row "ACT Writing"

NCES initiated, QC review

·   Instruction change for reporting SAT scores

    o   SAT Critical Reading

    o   SAT Critical Math

·   Currently, SAT critical reading and math scores are reported based on the current (2015) SAT score range. In 2016-17, SAT critical reading and math scores should continue to be reported based on the current (2015) SAT score range. Institutions that have scores based on the new (2016) SAT score range should convert scores using the College Board concordance tables.

College Board/NPEC

 

 

Fall Enrollment (EF). The proposed changes to the EF survey component originated from the TRP, Clarifying Study Abroad Enrollment (TRP #47), which discussed the issue with reporting retention for institutions with study abroad students. Retention is the rate at which students persist in their educational program at an institution. Students enrolled in study abroad programs their freshman year may not be included in the institution’s first-time cohort, causing them to be excluded from the calculation of the institution’s retention rate. NCES requests that a field be added to the Retention Rate screen to allow the institution to include, in their first-time cohort, students who studied abroad their freshman year and re-enrolled or completed their program at the same institution the following year. Additionally, instructions will be added to clarify that students studying abroad their sophomore year should still be included in the institution’s cohort of returning students.


Table 8. Proposed changes to the Fall Enrollment (EF) Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Add the following item to the retention screen and in the instructions for Fall Enrollment:

·   Inclusions to the Fall 20xx cohort

    o   Include eligible students who studied abroad their first year upon entering the institution

Study Abroad TRP

 

 

Finance (F). The TRP Improvements to the Finance Survey (TRP #46) discussed at length the reporting of expenses on the Finance survey component. Since data providers often cite the Expense section of the Finance forms as a challenge, the panel reviewed this section and considered removing or collapsing data elements to reduce the amount of fields collected and to ease institutional burden. Of the three proposals that were brought forth from the TRP, proposal 3, which is to collect expenses by functional and natural classifications separately, appeared as the least likely to disrupt data trends and was the most supported. NCES is proposing to retain the collection of Salaries and Wages by functional classifications, as these figures are used for trend reporting in other ED publications (e.g., the Digest of Education Statistics).

 

Additionally, for GASB institutions, two additional items will be added to comply with GASB Statement 63 - Financial Reporting of Deferred Outflows of Resources, Deferred Inflows of Resources, and Net Position – which required the reporting of deferred outflows and inflows of resources by public institutions. When GASB 63 was implemented in Fiscal Year 2012, NCES had advised institutions in the 2013-14 collection to include deferred outflows of resources with "Total current assets" and deferred inflows of resources with "Total current liabilities". In order to better align with the display of financial information on the institution’s General Purpose Financial Statement – which shows deferrals as separate items from assets and liabilities – NCES has decided to add two fields to collect "deferred outflows of resources" and "deferred inflows of resources" separately. This will improve clarity of the data and ease some burden for the reporting institutions since they can now match IPEDS with financial data already recognized in their financial statements.


Table 9. Proposed changes to the Finance (F) Form (GASB Form)

Change

Source

Statement of Financial Position screen:

·   Add the following items:

·   Deferred outflows of resources

        -   Deferred inflows of resources

NCES

Expense screen:

·   Remove matrix of expenses by functional and natural classifications

·   Create separate table for reporting total expenses by the following functional classifications:

o   Instruction

o   Research

o   Public service

o   Academic support

o   Student services

o   Institutional support

o   Operation and maintenance of plant

o   Scholarship and fellowship expenses

o   Auxiliary enterprises

o   Hospital services (if answer Y to screening question)

o   Independent operations

o   Other functional expenses

o   Total expenses and deductions

·   Add a column to the above table for reporting salaries and wages by the same functional classifications

·   Create separate table for reporting total expenses by the following natural classifications:

o   Salaries and wages (preloaded from above table)

o   Benefits

o   Depreciation

o   Interest

o   Other natural expenses, calculated from total expenses minus the sum of salaries, benefits, depreciation, and interest

o   Total expenses and deductions (preloaded from above table)

Finance TRP

Pension screen:

·   Revise screening question to "Does your institution include pension liabilities, expenses, and/or deferrals for one or more defined benefit pension plans in its "Statement of Revenues, Expenses, and Changes in Net Position?"

NCES

Revenue data for Bureau of Census:

·   Revise Gifts and Private Grants to exclude capital contributions

Census Bureau

Expenditure data for Bureau of Census:

·   Remove fields for salaries and wages

·   Employee benefits will no longer be preloaded but must be reported for the following functions:

o   Auxiliary enterprises

o   Hospitals

·   Remove fields for scholarships and fellowships

Census Bureau

Debt and assets data for Bureau of Census:

·   Revise instructions so that long-term debt (lines 01 through 06) is to include all debt issued in the name of the institution

·   Revise instructions so that assets (lines 07 through 09) can include bond funds established by parent state or local government

Census Bureau


Table 10. Proposed changes to the Finance (F) Form (FASB form)

Change

Source

Expense screen:

·   Remove matrix of expenses by functional and natural classifications

·   Create separate table for reporting total expenses by the following functional classifications:

o   Instruction

o   Research

o   Public service

o   Academic support

o   Student services

o   Institutional support

o   Operation and maintenance of plant

o   Net grant aid to students expenses

o   Auxiliary enterprises

o   Hospital services (if answer Y to screening question)

o   Independent operations

o   Other functional expenses

o   Total expenses and deductions

·   Add a column to the above table for reporting salaries and wages by the same functional classifications

·   Create separate table for reporting total expenses by the following natural classifications:

o   Salaries and wages (preloaded from above table)

o   Benefits

o   Depreciation

o   Interest

o   Other natural expenses, calculated from total expenses minus the sum of salaries, benefits, depreciation, and interest

o   Total expenses and deductions (preloaded from above table)

F TRP

 

 

Human Resources (HR). The proposed changes to the HR survey component are a result of recommendations made by the Technical Review Panel, Improvements to the Human Resources Survey for Degree-Granting Institutions (TRP #44). The following proposed changes are broken out by section.

 

Salary Outlays: Currently, IPEDS calculates weighted average monthly salaries for full-time non-medical school instructional staff by gender and academic rank. The number of these staff and the number of months covered by their annual salary (9, 10, 11, or 12 months), along with total salary outlays for these individuals, are used to calculate a weighted average monthly salary for each gender and academic rank. The weighted average monthly salary can then be multiplied by 9 to generate an equated 9-month salary. The TRP panelists suggested collecting outlays separately by contract length/employment agreement (i.e., 9-month, 10-month, 11- month, and 12-month).

 

Salary Headcounts: Currently, salary headcounts for full-time non-medical school instructional staff are collected from degree-granting institutions in Part G of the survey component, based on the number of months covered by the employee’s annual salary (i.e., 9, 10, 11, or 12 months). A count of the remaining full-time non-medical school instructional staff who are not accounted for is automatically generated by subtracting the number of staff reported in Part G from the total number of full-time non-medical school instructional staff reported in Part A of the survey component. Although the remaining instructional staff in the balance column should include only those staff whose contracts/employment agreements are for less than 9 months, it is difficult from a quality control perspective for IPEDS project staff to ensure that the correct staff—and only the correct staff—are included here. NCES proposes to expand the survey forms for degree-granting institutions to collect the number of full-time non-medical school instructional staff whose contract/employment agreement covers a period of less than 9 months by gender and academic rank to square the data file and clarify reporting.

 

Noninstructional Occupational Categories: Following the required alignment of the IPEDS HR survey component with the 2010 SOC in 2012-13, institutions are now instructed that each job at the institution must be categorized in one of the available SOC-aligned occupational categories (approved by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for IPEDS reporting) according to the 2010 SOC. However, the SOC classification system is not designed with postsecondary institutions in mind. Many common postsecondary occupations are not reflected in the SOC classification system, and respondents have identified a number of roles as difficult to classify using the new SOC-aligned occupational categories. The panel agreed that additional guidance on the appropriate classifications for staff would improve the overall quality of the data reported to IPEDS.

 

Graduate Assistants, by Function: Federal mandates require a headcount of graduate assistants involved in instructional activities, but reporting headcounts in the other occupational categories is not required. All degree-granting institutions report graduate assistants by race/ethnicity, gender, and function. To reduce the amount of burden associated with reporting these data, NCES proposes to collapse the occupation codes for reporting graduate assistants into three general classifications: teaching, research, and other.

 

Data on New Hires: The period of reporting provides a snapshot of new hires at one point in the fall rather than a full year of data. Institutions are asked to report the number of full-time permanent staff who were included on the payroll of the institution between July 1 and October 31 of the most recent year either for the first time (new to the institution) or after a break in service and who were still on the payroll of the institution as of November 1 of the most recent year. To collect more complete information on new hires and improve data quality, NCES proposes broadening the reporting period for new hires to include any newly hired, full-time, permanent staff on the payroll of the institution between November 1 of the previous calendar year and October 31 of the most recent calendar year.

 

Employment Agreement/Contract Length: The current subcategories used to classify non-tenure-track contract faculty include multiyear contract, annual contract, and less-than-annual contract. The IPEDS Help Desk received numerous calls asking how to classify continuing and at-will contract employees. To decrease confusion, NCES proposes the addition of the subcategory "employment agreements/contract lengths of indefinite duration (e.g., continuing and at-will)."

 

Reporting of Race/Ethnicity: The collection and reporting of race/ethnicity and gender data on the HR survey component are mandatory for all institutions that receive, are applicants for, or expect to be applicants for Title IV federal financial assistance. The collection of these data is also mandated by P.L. 88-352, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 (29 CFR 1602, subparts O, P, and Q). Data on race/ethnicity and gender of staff are currently collected every other year (in odd-numbered years). The reporting of data by race/ethnicity and gender is optional in even-numbered years. Nearly all IPEDS data items, including student data by race/ethnicity and gender, are collected annually. NCES proposes collecting annual data on faculty and staff by race/ethnicity and gender to provide more comprehensive demographic information and better facilitate trend analysis.


Table 11. Proposed changes to the Human Resources (HR) Form (Degree-granting Institution Forms)

Change

Source

Salary outlays:

·   Collect salary outlays separately by contract length/employment agreement (i.e., 9-month, 10-month, 11- month, 12-month).

HR TRP

Salary headcounts:

·   Collect the headcount of full-time instructional staff on contract/employment agreements of less than 9 months by gender and academic rank.

HR TRP

Noninstructional occupational categories:

·   Provide better guidance on where to classify the most problematic roles among the existing categories.

HR TRP

Graduate assistants, by function:

·   Implement new, condensed categories specifically for graduate assistants:

o   Graduate assistant, teaching;

o   graduate assistant, research; and

o   Graduate assistant, other.

HR TRP

Data on new hires:

·   Revise the reporting period for new hires to include any newly hired, full-time, permanent staff on the payroll of the institution between November 1 and October 31

HR TRP


Table 12. Proposed changes to the Human Resources (HR) Form
(degree-granting institutions with 15 or more full-time staff)

Change

Source

Employment agreement/contract length:

·   Add category "Employment agreements/contract lengths of indefinite duration (e.g. continuing and at-will)."

HR TRP


Table 13. Proposed changes to the Human Resources (HR) Form (all versions)

Change

Source

Reporting of race/ethnicity:

·   Implement annual collection of staff data by race/ethnicity.

HR TRP

 

 

Academic Libraries (AL). The changes below will provide additional information on library collections and were developed from the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) and Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Joint Advisory Task Force.

 

The joint task force suggested adding "Serials" to the library collections column and the circulation count (excluding e-serial usage count) for Section I of the AL component. These items were not previously included in the AL component. The joint task force suggested the inclusion of serials in the AL component because they are an important content source by users of academic libraries.

 

In Section II of the AL component, we currently ask questions regarding interlibrary loan services (total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries, total interlibrary loans and documents received). However, Section II questions are more aligned with library expenditures and Section I questions are more aligned with library collections. We propose moving the questions associated with interlibrary loan services to Section I of the survey since they are more related to library collections. Also, the inclusion of these questions in Section I of the AL component means that all institutions that qualify for the AL component will be eligible to answer these questions.

 

Additionally in Section II of the AL component we currently ask institutions a yes/no question that states, "Does your library support virtual reference services?" The joint task force proposed eliminating this question due to the fact that almost every library provides some means of virtual reference services. Based on this recommendation, we propose deleting this question from Section II of the AL component.

 

Finally, a number of definitions/instructions have been revised based on input from the Joint Task Force. They are listed in the table below, and more detail can be viewed on the proposed form. These instructional changes will improve the collection by better aligning with current library standard definitions.


Table 14. Proposed changes to Academic Libraries (AL) Form (all versions)

Change

Implementation year

Source

Estimated burden

Section I: For all degree-granting institutions with library expenses > 0

·   Add "Serials" row to Library Collections

2016-17

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

Minimal

·   Include "Serials" in the count for circulation

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

·   Change name of Section I from Library Collections/Circulation to Library Collections/Circulation and Interlibrary Loan Services

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

·   Interlibrary Services

o   Add Yes/No question: "Does your institution have interlibrary services?"

NCES

·   Add the following:

o   Interlibrary services

        -   Total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries

        -   Total interlibrary loans and documents received

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

Section II: For degree-granting institutions with library expenses >= $100,000

·   Delete the following from Section II (moved to Section I):

o   Interlibrary services

        -   Total interlibrary loans and documents provided to other libraries

        -   Total interlibrary loans and documents received

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

·   Delete the following question:

o   "Does your library support virtual reference services?"

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

·   Change name of Section II from Expenses and Interlibrary Services to Expenses.

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force

·   In Section I, changes instructions related to:

o   Physical books; physical media; physical serials; digital/electronic books; digital/electronic serials; physical circulation; and digital/electronic circulation or usage.

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force; OMB comments

·   In Section I, change interlibrary services to interlibrary loan services and add a definition to the glossary for the term.

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force; OMB comments

·   In Section II, change instructions related to:

One-time purchases of books, serial back-files, and other materials; ongoing commitments to subscriptions; other materials/service cost; all other operations and maintenance expenses

ACRL, ALA and ARL Joint Task Force; OMB comments

 

 

All Survey Components. To provide better estimates of burden on an ongoing basis, NCES will ask IPEDS keyholders to voluntarily report the time required to complete each survey component every other year, with the exception of when a new component or major change is implemented. In those cases, NCES will ask for burden estimates the first and second years of data collection, and then they will be moved to the same years as the other components. NCES estimates a burden of 0.2 hour to track, record, and report this time for the following components: Institutional Characteristics and Admissions, Completions, 12-month Enrollment, Graduation Rates, Graduation Rates 200, Outcome Measures, and Fall Enrollment. NCES estimates it will take 0.4 hour for Student Financial Aid, Finance, Human Resources, and Academic Libraries, because these four components typically involve additional offices at the institution and require keyholders to get time estimates from others at the institution.

 
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