Backup Documentation

There are three kinds of backup documentation required for the data that is entered into the CAR:

  1. Backup data sheets describing unit record enrollment information for each student in each program as well as students who are enrolled in credit courses but not in a full program,
  2. Backup documentation for students who graduate or complete a program during the reporting period, and
  3. Backup documentation on any request for a waiver due to mitigating circumstances

1. Backup Data Sheets

Campuses are required to upload a backup spreadsheet or report on the basis of which data on each student in each program can be verified. ACICS strongly recommends use of the ACICS Backup Data Spreadsheet available on the ACICS website. If that spreadsheet is not used, the data and formulas in the spreadsheet should be replicated in the spreadsheet or report utilized by the campus, and the graduation data that is provided should include program norms to ensure that the data on completers, grads and withdrawals has been normalized.

Please forward all questions and requests for assistance with Backup Data Sheets to Ms. Terron King, Senior Manager, Policy and Accountability Systems at (202) 336-6771.

2. Waiver Requests due to Mitigating Circumstances

Campuses are required to upload documentation for data and a program improvement plan for any waiver that is requested through the CAR due to mitigating circumstances. Waivers are requested at the program level or the campus level by entering data as described in the question. Documentation for how the data were collected and calculated must be uploaded along with a program improvement plan to address the mitigating circumstance and raise the retention, placement or licensure pass rate to or above the relevant benchmark standard. Please upload survey results or other documentation and a program improvement plan in the “Upload Backup Document” section of the CAR. Include the program name, credential level, standard to be waived, and either “data” or “plan” in the file name. For example, “Business_AA_Retention_Data.”

  • Because the Council does not require the submission of backup documentation for waiver requests in a particular format, it is up to the campus to develop a clear and concise method for reporting this information.

Please forward all questions and requests for assistance with Waiver Requests due to Mitigating Circumstances to Ms. Emily Jacobs, Research Coordinator at (202) 336-6852.

3. Student Placement Verification

Campuses are required to keep appropriate backup data to verify the placement data entered into the ACICS Campus Accountability Report (CAR). Data on whether each completer or graduate has been placed, is working but not placed, is unavailable for placement or is not working should be included in the Backup Data sheet. For those graduates and completers who are working, the campus should maintain back-up data that includes the employer’s name and telephone number, job title, and any other pertinent information to assist verification by evaluation teams. This information should be easily accessible at the institution, because during all scheduled and unscheduled evaluations, campuses will be asked to produce this information
In addition, ACICS is currently developing an in-house placement verification program which will involve additional backup data in the form of a Placement Data Record as well as documents to be maintained by the campus relating to the basis by which each student is classified as placed or unavailable for placement and relating to the student’s program.

If the backup documentation for enrollment data, waiver requests or placements and placement waivers does not appear to be consistent with the data published in the CAR, an area of noncompliance will be noted in the team report and the campus will be required to submit a revised CAR, corrected backup documentation, or both, along with a revision fee.