Guidelines for Student Record Forms
The Missouri Department of Higher Education maintains a student data system that collects certain types of information about students attending schools certified to operate by the Coordinating Board for Higher Education. In order for the data system to function as intended, it is critical that schools submit records consistent with department expectations. The following provides responses to frequently asked questions about the completion and submission of these records. If you do not find the information you need here, please contact us with your request.
What are the student record forms? The Proprietary School Student Record is the form used to collect demographic, enrollment, and exit data about students attending schools certified to operate. It is based on a three part form. The first sheet is white. When a student enters the school, the top portion (Part I: Enrollment Record) of this sheet should be completed and submitted to the department. The second sheet is canary. When the student exits the school, either due to withdrawal, termination or graduation, the bottom portion of this sheet (Part II: Exit Record) should be completed and submitted to the department. The last sheet is pink. This sheet, which is to be retained for school records, contains a copy of both Part I and Part II.
Am I required to keep the pink copy? Certification standards do not require that you keep a copy of this student record. However, many schools find retention of this document helpful to respond to questions about the submission of this information or to verify or replace lost or missing data.
Can I enter the data electronically? Yes! The department encourages all schools to move to the electronic data record system as soon as possible. Not only will this save time and money for the school and the department, but usage of the electronic system will allow for more in depth reports to be developed that may be used for continuous improvement. Please contact us to request access to the electronic student record system.
For whom should an enrollment record be submitted? Records should be submitted for every student that begins a program of instruction at a certified school. Records should not be submitted for "no shows" or any student whose enrollment is terminated without incurring any financial obligation (i.e., for which the student received a complete refund).
Should more than one enrollment record be completed for a student? Under normal circumstances, each student will have only one enrollment and one exit record submitted. However, as stated above, enrollment records are submitted based on starting a program of instruction. Certification standards define a program as "a complete academic or vocational education offering that fulfills the requirements for awarding of a certificate or a degree." So, each time a student starts a program at a school, an enrollment record should be submitted, even if the student dropped or completed a previous program at the same school.
How should the forms be completed? Records are designed to be distributed to and completed by the student. This is typically accomplished as part of an initial class period or orientation session during the first few days of enrollment. If completion of the records by students is impractical, it is acceptable for the records to be completed by a school official as long as there is sufficient assurance the data provided reflects the enrolling student's characteristics.
When should forms be submitted? It is our recommendation that you bundle the completed forms by location (if you have multiple campuses) and by program and submit them at least once per quarter. If a quarterly submission schedule does not work for your school, please feel free to adopt another schedule that is reasonable given the size of your school and the timing of your student enrollment and program starts. The department generally reports these data based on a specific calendar year. Consequently, regardless of your regular submission schedule, any completed forms remaining at the end of the year should be submitted as soon as possible after January 1.
Does every blank have to be filled out? The department strives to ensure the collected data is as complete and accurate as possible. This effort supports the overall intent of the data collection process, which is to provide clear consumer information about the schools and to inform policy and decision makers concerning the nature and scope of this educational sector. However, completion of individual data items is optional and records missing some responses should still be submitted by the school to the department. In general, items not completed will be recorded as unknown.
What if a student will not give their social security number (SSN)? The department would encourage schools to have students provide their SSN. Identity theft and related problems are virtually nonexistent with these data because they do not include names, addresses or other identifying information. The data are important because they are shared, under an agreement ensuring data security and integrity, with the Departments of Economic Development and Elementary and Secondary Education for purposes of meeting reporting requirements of the federal Workforce Investment Act. When SSN data are not reported as part of this process, placement information cannot be generated and the school may be required to manually supplement this information.
However, reporting an SSN is optional. Because the forms include a department assigned identification or serial number, the SSN is not necessary for the department to link enrollment and exit records.
Do I have to submit exit records for every student? In order to complete our database information, we must have an exit record for each enrollment record. Students for which no exit record has been submitted are considered to be still enrolled at the school. If a student has exited the school and an exit record has not been submitted, this degrades the integrity of the data system. During routine data system maintenance, if department staff find a significant number of enrollment records without a corresponding exit record, the length of enrollment time will be reviewed and the school may be requested to verify the status of these students.
When should the exit record be submitted? The exit records should be completed and submitted to the department once it has been determined the student has terminated enrollment in the program of instruction either through graduation, withdrawal, or termination. For many schools, this determination should be made in a manner consistent with school policies on attendance, academic progress or other related requirements.
Some institutions have articulated programs with multiple award levels in a single subject area (certificate, diploma, and associate degree programs in medical assisting, for example). In these situations, an exit record should be submitted each time the student completes a program (i.e., receives a completion award). If the student then reenrolls in the next level program, a new enrollment/exit record process should be started.
For institutions using an open entrance/open exit enrollment format, the school must establish a reasonable time frame for the completion of the exit form. In general, the department would not expect that timeframe to exceed one year. That is, a student that has not attended or enrolled for a class for 12 consecutive months would be considered to have exited the school and an exit record should be submitted.
Should enrollment and exit records be submitted separately? Under normal circumstances we would request that you submit these forms in separate bundles but they may be submitted as part of a package that contains enrollment records. For schools that offer very short programs, it is acceptable for both the enrollment and exit record to be submitted on the same page of the form (usually the white copy) and submitted at the same time.