These FAQs are intended for StudentTracker secondary subscribers, meaning those of you who want to learn about postsecondary enrollment and completions for the students with whom you work and to whom you provide services during their secondary education years.
Any questions or comments can be sent to StudentTracker3.0@StudentTracker.org.
What is StudentTracker 3.0?
StudentTracker 3.0 will bring all of the different StudentTracker services into one consolidated platform, providing all subscribers with the same experience, as appropriate.
The goal is to maintain parity with the current StudentTracker services that return postsecondary student data. We have made enhancements based on subscriber feedback and changes in the outcomes provided and method of request. We will no longer generate the report PDF packets will in their current format.
The entire project is scheduled to take up to five years.
What are the biggest enhancements for the StudentTracker secondary service?
- New technology
- A user-friendly interface with three key performance indicators immediately available on the landing page: Enrollment, Persistence/Retention, and Completions.
- Current postsecondary data available for reporting (no more effective dates)
- An analysis-ready report (ARR) with one row per student
- Account transparency that lets you see the high schools that are in your service agreement along with their ACT codes, NCES codes, enrollment, and users
- Single-student search functionality for all
What is the scheduled timeline for StudentTracker 3.0 for secondary subscribers?
Below is the planned timeline as of May 25, 2023, which may change depending on the progress of development and testing efforts.
|Development for Phase 1A: Data, reports, and visualizations based on stored diploma records will be available in the new service.||Targeting Spring 2024|
|Student data files are still submitted via your FTP account||Ongoing|
|Beta testing of the new service will be performed by some current StudentTracker subscribers (will need a signed nondisclosure or a new agreement)||Ongoing|
|Bug fixes/revisions to user interface||Ongoing|
|Development for Phase 1B: Visuals for trends, request files processing, file intake process and user interface, choose the high school||Late Fall 2024|
|Begin moving current StudentTracker subscribers onto the new service to access Phase 1A functionality (this will be a staggered approach)||Spring/Summer 2024|
|File intake processes (new format, new data elements, API, directly into the new service) beta testing and launch||To Be Determined|
Reports & Data
Are there any new reports?
At this time, the only new report is the analysis ready report (ARR), which condenses the student-level detail report into one row per student. The format/layout of how current data is returned will be changing.
|Report Name||Current Service: StudentTracker for High Schools|
|Student-level detail report||The existing layout will remain as-is with new data elements added to the end of each row:
|Analysis ready report||NEW! The columns of data are still being considered. The vision is to provide columns to indicate:
|Top 25 colleges first attended||This will be revised. The vision is to make the report interactive. Specifics about the changes will be available in late summer 2024.|
|Enrollment report||This report will contain the supporting data counts that are used to calculate the landing page visualizations. A .csv file with all of the counts at the account level and for each high school and each high school class year will be available. This is still under analysis.|
|Retention/Persistence report||This report will contain the supporting data counts that are used to calculate the landing page visualizations. A .csv file with all of the counts at the account level and for each high school and each high school class year will be available. This is still under analysis.|
|Completers report||This report will contain the supporting data counts that are used to calculate the landing page visualizations. A .csv file with all of the counts at the account level and for each high school and each high school class year will be available. This is still under analysis.|
What is a single-student search?
It is functionality that enables you to search for one student at a time when you do not have time to submit a file or request a detail report. The student’s postsecondary enrollment and credentials are returned. In StudentTracker 3.0, all users will have the benefit of this functionality.
Are any enhancements being made to the matching algorithm?
Analysis is underway by a Clearinghouse data scientist and Research Center analysts, who are reviewing the current matching algorithm to determine what enhancements, if any, can be made. Testing and review will be ongoing.
What are the visualizations?
The visualizations are a quick and easy way for you to see how your students are doing in their postsecondary progression. They save you the time of analyzing counts in an aggregate report or in the student-level detail report.
When you log onto the StudentTracker 3.0 application, you will see a landing page with three Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for different high school classes:
- Retention and Persistence
The postsecondary data that feeds into these visualizations will be updated daily.
The following image provides a general picture of what this landing page might look like. While this is not the final version, we expect the final to be similar.
You will be able to click each outcome to see more visuals and data and select a specific high school class and optional demographic data elements (as long as you provide this data in your file submissions). In Phase 1A, only the demographic data elements will be available for filtering.
Is the file format and submission process changing?
We are adding the following enhancements to the file format and submission process.
- Ability to submit a file via API or directly into the new application (phase out FTP)
- More flexibility and a less structured format, allowing you to input the Clearinghouse defined column name based on the data in that column
- More optional data elements
- A user interface that displays file status and errors/warnings
More specifics will be provided when they become available.
What are the new optional data elements?
The following data elements (in no particular order) are currently under consideration. We anticipate they will require a Y/N value. Because this is still under analysis, your suggestions are welcome. Email any suggestions you have to StudentTracker3.0@StudentClearinghouse.org.
- FAFSA completion
- Advanced classes
- AVID participant
- CTE student
- Honor student
- Mentored student
- College intending
- First in family
- Homeless student
- Foster youth
- Single parent
- Part of a grant
What is API?
API stands for application programming interface. It allows two applications to communicate with each other (yours and the StudentTracker application). APIs are used in many everyday activities, although you may not be aware that you are using them. One example is when you log into a social media application to view and post messages, which is made possible by an API. In StudentTracker 3.0, an API will be used to enable your application to communicate directly with the StudentTracker 3.0 application.
What is account transparency?
In StudentTracker 3.0, you will be able to see important pieces of information about your StudentTracker subscription, including:
- Subscription end date
- Name of the organization that is paying for your subscription
- All of the users on your account
- List of all of the high schools included in your service agreement
What is FERPA and why can’t StudentTracker tell me whether a student has placed a block on their record?
FERPA stands for the Federal Education Right to Privacy Act. General information on FERPA is available on our website. When students place FERPA blocks on their postsecondary records at a particular institution, StudentTracker cannot return any of this postsecondary data in the student-level detail report. Counts for students who have placed FERPA blocks on their records are included in the aggregate reports.
StudentTracker cannot disclose which students have placed blocks on their records. The decision to block their record is considered part of a student’s education record.
Is there a way around FERPA?
The StudentTracker product managers are working with our legal counsel to determine options, which will most likely require a new agreement.
What is in store for the future?
The items below are on the StudentTracker roadmap, although we cannot commit to a timeline for them at this time.
- Employment data
- Enlistment data
- Industry credentials
- FERPA exempt detail report
- Community groups
- Create your own reports
- Coordinate with SIS vendors
- Third-party access