Data Advisory Committee Update: Data Submission Requirements for Institutions Participating in SARA

Updated by on Tue, 08/13/2019 - 08:53

Submitted by jshanika on Thu, 12/20/2018 - 14:16

Friday, December 21, 2018

On December 3-4, 2018 NC-SARA convened the Data Advisory Committee Meeting. This group of individuals reviewed the 2018 enrollment reporting, the voluntary out-of-state learning placement reporting, considered data reporting and collecting improvements, and helped refine protocols and definitions for the 2019 data guides.

Attending the December 2018 NC-SARA Data Advisory Committee Meeting were: Kris Biesinger, Senior Consultant, NC-SARA & SREB; Rachel Christeson, Research Associate, National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS); Tyson Heath, Manager of State Authorization and Accreditation, NC-SARA Coordinator, Western Governors University; Russ Poulin, Senior Director, Policy, Analysis, and Strategic Alliances, WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET); Ken Sauer, Senior Associate Commissioner and Chief Academic Officer, Indiana Commission for Higher Education; Terri Taylor Straut, CEO & Solution Architect, Ascension Consulting Group; and Erin Townsend, University Distance Education Coordinator, Center for Distance Education, The University of Texas at Arlington.  In addition, three NC-SARA staff participated in the meeting: Marshall A. Hill, President and CEO; Marianne Boeke, Associate Director for Policy Research and State Support; and Jennifer Shanika, Assistant Director for Technical Operations.

Institutions participating in SARA are required to report annually to NC‐SARA the number of students enrolled in the institution engaged in distance education disaggregated by state, territory, or district in which the activity takes place. Beginning in spring 2019, institutions participating in SARA shall also annually report to NC‐SARA the number of their students engaged in certain experiential learning placements (rotations, internships, student teaching, etc.), disaggregated by state and two‐digit Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) codes as assigned by the U.S. Department of Education.  

These data are reported to NC‐SARA in the spring following the due date for institutions to make their previous fall enrollment reports to the federal government’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Prior to such submission, NC‐SARA provides data reporting guides and an updated data sharing agreement to each SARA institution.

Enrollment Data Reporting

Basic protocols for 2019 reporting of enrollments will not change from those of 2018. The following recommended clarifications were discussed and approved at the December 2018 Data Advisory Committee Meeting and will take effect for the 2019 reporting period:

  • Institutions will be asked to report their exclusively online enrollments that take place in their home state.
  • The data reporting form will be clearer in terms of which territories and states fall into the non-SARA category.
  • The 2019 Enrollment Data Guide will point to instructions and definitions within IPEDS to help clarify the continued confusion about how to report military students.

Out-of-State Learning Placement Reporting

NC-SARA is requiring SARA institutions in spring 2019, to report certain learning placements in every state, territory and district other than their own.

Transparency in reporting out-of-state learning placements has long been a goal for NC-SARA and its stakeholders. The pilot collection of learning placement data conducted in spring 2018 was an important step towards that goal. The 297 SARA institutions that voluntarily reported data in spring 2018 provided useful suggestions and recommendations for future reporting. The following recommendations were discussed and approved at the meeting and will take effect for the 2019 reporting period:

  • As in 2018, placements are to be disaggregated by state and by two-digit CIP code (Classification of Instructional Programs). 
  • Institutions should report out-of-state placements that meet all of the following criteria (note modifications to points 3 and 4):

                1.The placement is outside the “home state” of the SARA institution;

                2. The placement involves the physical presence of the student at the out-of-state location(s);

                3. The placement is an activity required for degree completion or professional licensure;

                4. The placement is offered for credit and/or requires a fee paid to the institution; and

                5. The placement started between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.

  • Institutions should report out-of-state placements that involve a third party medical/dental/psychology matching placement database.
  • Institutions will not report their home state placements.

Next Steps

Beginning in 2019 the data guides will be the single source of directions for institutions on how to report both enrollment data and out-of-state placements. There will be no language in the SARA Manual (or other SARA documents) on how to report – only the obligation to report. 

NC-SARA staff anticipate having the 2019 Enrollment Data Guide, the 2019 Placement Reporting Guide, and the 2019 Data Sharing Agreement available in spring 2019.

Thank you,

Marianne Boeke, Ph.D.

Associate Director, Policy Research and State Support