Recommendations to Improve the Quality of Postsecondary Perkins IV Data in Montana
In October 2007, the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), U.S. Department of Education, invited state directors of career and technical education (CTE) to submit requests for individualized technical assistance to improve the quality of their Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006 (Perkins IV) accountability systems. In response, the Montana University System requested support in aligning its new postsecondary data collection and reporting system with Perkins IV requirements.
Following consultation with Kathy Wilkins, Perkins Accountability Specialist, Montana University System, MPR researchers and Montana staff agreed the state would benefit from assistance in refining postsecondary measures and measurement approaches as well as a review of the state’s new technology for data collection and reporting.
Amanda Richards, Research Associate, and Dr. Steven Klein, Director, Preparation for College and Career at MPR Associates, Inc., provided consultation services to Montana. Dialogue with the state took place via telephone and during a one day site visit, and focused on reviewing the state’s Perkins IV postsecondary measures and its new database for Perkins data collection and reporting.
During the site visit, MPR facilitated a discussion with postsecondary providers that covered several topics, including highlights of the Perkins IV act, changes from Perkins III to Perkins IV, Perkins IV accountability, and strategies for improvement. Immediately following the site visit, MPR provided Montana with a preliminary set of measure recommendations so the state could apply the discussion results to its State Plan approval process. This paper presents MPR’s final recommendations for structuring population definitions and measures, in light of federal non-regulatory guidance, to enhance the quality of Perkins IV postsecondary accountability data in Montana.