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Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS)

SMARTT Update, February 2014

  1. Policy Changes Regarding Student Intakes and Exiting Students
    1. Reducing Multiple Student Records Entered In SMARTT

      Adult and Community Learning Services (ACLS) requires programs to have students fill out an intake form during enrollment. The program must determine the most appropriate method for gathering the required information, based on the student's skills and comfort level. For example, the intake information may be gathered through an interview, or by a combination of having the student fill in certain sections and having an interviewer fill out others. The intake method should be appropriate to the student's circumstances.

      In order to reduce the occurrence of multiple student records in SMARTT, it is necessary to capture additional data in the Student Intake Form. The following are additional required fields that will be added to the Student Intake Form:

      1. Previously Enrolled (Y/N)
      2. Previous Site Name
      3. Middle Name (was previously Middle Initial and option for not provided)
      4. Previous Last Name (option for not provided)
      5. City of Birth
      6. Previous Address (option for not provided)

      The current intake process in SMARTT allows for duplicates to be created since the user determines whether to use the Lookup" button to see if the student has been previously enrolled in any site. Therefore, many duplicates have been created over the years. The new Student Basic Information - Phase I panel is shown below.
      The new Student Basic Information - Phase I panel

      The contact information panel also changed so users can enter a "Previous" address instead of "Mailing" address. This field is not required but very helpful when determining if the student is the same as
      The contact information panel

      In addition, the system shall automatically display a list of possible matches once the user has entered the required fields. It will help the Data Entry Clerk to effectively identify the possible or exact match for the student being registered. This would encourage the user to make a confident match and reduce creating multiple student records.

      The following steps will be taken to achieve the goal of creating unique students in the system:

      1. Update the lookup functionality from being optional to mandatory.
      2. Enhance the "Select Student to Intake" pop up window to include additional helper fields and provide results based on level of confidence of the matching logic.
      3. Align the SMARTT application with the updates to the Student Intake Form.
      4. Enhance the existing student matching logic.

      The revised "Intake Form" which is posted on the SMARTT section of the ACLS website should be used for all new students as of February 12th. The system will be modified and should be ready by March 6th. You will receive notification with the exact date of the implementation for entering the revised "Student Intake Form" in SMARTT.

    2. Exiting Students in a Timely Manner

      In ACLS's ongoing effort to collect and report accurate and reliable data, including student outcomes (e.g., enrolling in postsecondary education, obtaining employment, etc.) as measured by the NRS cohort model*, we've implemented a policy change in order to capture many more student outcomes.

      Starting immediately, SMARTT will automatically exit students who are no longer "active" (i.e., students who have not had any attendance in SMARTT for 90 days). After the 90-day mark, SMARTT will automatically change the student's status to "exited." This will allow ACLS to capture all outcomes that the student achieves after that date. Last year, ACLS reported 21,369 students in its federal report who attended 12 or more hours, but there were about 60,000 students in the SMARTT system for that year. Therefore, if any of the 38,631 students who no longer attended the program had enrolled in postsecondary education or obtained employment, Massachusetts was unable to capture those outcomes.

      Because MA negotiates performance outcomes for the state as a whole, and because achievement of these outcomes affects additional incentive funding for our state, it is imperative that Massachusetts capture all possible student outcomes.

      * The NRS cohort model tracks and captures outcomes for students only after their exit date from a program; any student who remains in the SMARTT system unexited, cannot be included in the pool of students achieving outcomes. For more information on the NRS cohort model, see ACLS's SMARTT webpage.

  2. SMARTT Enhancements
    1. Waitlist Sort
      At the request of users, we added a field for sorting by date waitlisted. The default has been set to "Yes" for Date Waitlisted" so users can view the list by most recent names placed on the waitlist.

    2. Entering Same Form/Level for Student TABE Assessments
      Users are now able to select any of the test options including test form and/or level if the previous test date entered into SMARTT is six months or more. For example, if the previous test date for a student is 7/2/2013 and the next test date is 1/2/2014, then all forms and all levels will appear in the dropdown box in the Student Assessment screen. If you want to determine when the same form and/or level can be given, look at the Primary Area Assessment report. Note that the column "Next Approximate Test Date" is based on four months; to determine whether six months have passed, simply add two months to this date to determine whether any test form or level may be used. However, programs with intensive classes will reach 65 hours of instruction sooner than four months.

    3. Assessment Post Test Reminder - Coming Soon

      A new link on the SMARTT Welcome page will provide users with a list of students who have 65+ hours of attendance who need a post-test.
      The SMARTT Welcome page

      The list will be broken down by ABE and ESOL tests and will list the student name, attended hours, and if the test was administered in the primary area.
      The list of Students with 65+ Hours of Attendance

  3. NRS Cohort Follow-Up
    Please make sure that you follow-up with students who are listed on the NRS Cohort screen who require follow-up. Here are some reminders about when to contact students and a script to follow when talking with students. If you are following up on the employment cohorts, you need to ask the student when he/she became employed after leaving the program.

    Entered Employment

    • If the exit occurred during July - September 2013, the follow-up should occur with the student sometime during January - March 2014. Inquiry during the follow-up should be regarding their employment status during October - December 2013.
    Exit Quarter in SMARTTEmployment date must be:Contact Students
    Anytime between
    July 1 and Sept. 30, 2013
    Anytime between
    Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013
    January - March 2014

    The caller contacts the student anytime in of the second quarter which is sometime in January - March and might ask: "Since you exited on "August 20th", (use exit date listed on NRS Cohort Screen") were you employed anytime during October - December 2013? Caller can then enter the starting date of employment or if the student is unsure of the exact date of employment, use a date within the same month.

    Retained Employment

    • If the exit occurred during January - March of 2013, the follow-up should occur with the student sometime during January - March 2014. Inquiry during the follow-up should be regarding their employment status during October - December 2013. You do not want to follow-up too soon for the retained employment cohort.
    Exit Quarter in SMARTTEmployment date must be:Contact Students
    Anytime between
    (July 1 and Sept. 30, 2013)
    Anytime between
    Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2013
    January - March 2014

    Use the same language listed above when contacting students using appropriate timeframes.

  4. SMARTT/Cognos Trainings and Support
    Check the upcoming trainings on the SABES Calendar. To register, click on the register icon on workshop title on the SABES calendar.

    The SMARTT New User on-line training is for anyone needing initial training in SMARTT. Each site is required to have two people certified. Participants get hands on practice doing essential SMARTT data entry and receive timely feedback. It takes 3-9 hours to complete. The course dates are March 3 - 27 and the registration deadline is Feb. 26, 2014. The maximum enrollment for the DL courses is 20. Please contact cherbert@hcc.edu with any questions. Please register.

    If you need SMARTT / Cognos help, please send an email to smartthelp@gmail.com. Please do not contact the SABES field technologists or the SMARTT team directly for assistance. For an email request, be sure to include a clear subject header. You do not need to include detailed information in the initial email to smartthelp. A short subject is adequate because once you send an email; you will receive an auto-response containing a link to a form. Please fill out this form completely and hit the "Submit" button at the end. You will be contacted either by phone or email shortly afterwards by a SABES field technologist if he/she needs further information.

Questions? Please contact Donna Cornellier at dcornellier@doe.mass.edu



Last Updated: February 25, 2014
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