The following information was compiled to answer your questions about generating your annual report to the Commission on Accreditation using the online form. These answers cover general questions as well as questions about students/trainees, graduates and faculty/supervisors. They also include questions concerning the Archives edit feature that is available from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31.
Q: What time period does this Annual Report Online (ARO) cover?
A: The 2013 ARO collects data that pertain to the 2012-2013 academic/training year. The ARO will be open from May 13, 2013 through Oct. 1, 2013. Do not include any information that is not applicable to the specified reporting year.
Q: When is the Annual Report Online due?
A: The ARO is due on or before Oct. 1, 2013. Once the ARO is submitted, changes cannot be made. The Archive section of the ARO will be open for edits between Nov. 1, 2013 and Jan. 31, 2014. All Archive corrections or updates must be completed during this timeframe.
Q: In my program’s last Decision Letter, I was asked to provide a narrative response that was referred to as an Annual Report. How does this differ from the Annual Report Online?
A: An Annual Report narrative response is due only if specified by the CoA in the program’s most recent decision letter. The narrative response should address any questions raised during program review. Not all programs need to send in a narrative response, but ALL programs are required to complete the ARO each year. If you need to submit a narrative response, please mail those to:
Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
RE: Narrative Response
American Psychological Association
750 First St, NE
Washington, DC 20002-4242
Q: What happens if I do not complete the Annual Report Online?
A: If a program does not complete the ARO by the due date, they may be deemed to have decided to voluntarily withdraw from accreditation (Accreditation Operating Procedures, Section 2.3c) (PDF, 253KB). If the ARO is incomplete or raises questions about the program's continued consistency with the Guidelines and Principles (PDF, 151KB), the CoA may, at any time, request additional information or an invitation for a site visit (Section 2.1).
Q: How do I create an account for my staff person to enter information?
A: As Program Director, you have access to add users in the Program Staff section. Once you log into the ARO you will be directed to the home page. The second link in the ribbon is the Program tab. After clicking the Program tab, the Staff tab will appear on a secondary navigation ribbon. You have the ability to add program staff on this page. Our instructions for entering program staff (PDF, 126KB) are available online.
Q: If I give another faculty or staff member full access to ARO, can they submit the report?
A: No, only the Program Director has the ability to submit the ARO. The “full access” option does permit the user to complete all sections of the ARO.
Q: I am responsible for completing the ARO for more than one program in our department. Will I be able to use the same log in for both?
A: Yes, Program Directors of multiple programs will only need to use one username and password to access their AROs. If the same faculty or staff member helps a Program Director with multiple programs, please contact us. The system currently does not allow programs to list a Program Staff user for multiple programs, but our vendor can set up that capability for you.
Q: Does all information have to be entered at once or can information be “saved” so that we can return to the report at a later time?
A: Although the ARO can only be formally submitted once, it can be accessed as many times as necessary and information can be entered as you collect it. Even if a section (i.e., Students/Trainees, Graduates, or Faculty/Supervisors) is marked as “Complete,” you can go back and mark the section as “In-Progress” and edit any information. When finished editing, you will need to mark the section as “Complete” again. Once the ARO has been submitted, you will not be able to edit any data.
Q: How are the identification numbers assigned for students/trainees and faculty/supervisors?
A: Identification numbers are generated by a concatenation of: [Calendar Year Started with Program]+[Program Number]+[Numerical order person was entered into ARO system]. Numbers are assigned after the individual's start date is entered into the record, not when the record has been created. Once these numbers are assigned, neither programs nor the OPCA have the ability to change the numbers. If a record number is deleted, there is no way to reassign that number.
Q: Why are we asked to enter names?
A: Programs are required to enter student/trainee and faculty/supervisor names for all records that are entered into the ARO. This is to assist programs in identifying individual records each year, as well as to provide greater accuracy in the collection and reporting of these data.
Q: I have students/trainees or faculty/supervisors whose gender/race/ethnicity is not listed as an option. What do I do?
A: For gender, please list the gender the individual identifies as. Please select “Other” if person does not identify with any of the listed categories. For race/ethnicity, the ARO uses the reporting system recommended by the U.S. Department of Education. Please check with their groupings for how to categorize the individual.
Q: What group of students/trainees should be entered during this reporting year?
A: The 2013 ARO pertains to the 2012-2013 training/academic year. Any individuals entering for the 2013-2014 year should not be included.
Q: If a student/trainee withdraws from the program before they are added to the ARO, should they be added and identified as withdrawn or should they be left off the ARO?
A: All students/trainees who started your program need to be added, even if they left the program during the reporting year.
Q: For Enrollment Status, how should a student be classified if: working on dissertation, on leave of absence, or on internship?
A: Academic status should be determined by the tuition rate that the student pays. If they pay tuition reflecting part-time status, then they should be listed as “Part-time” and if they pay tuition reflecting full-time status, then they should be listed as “Full-time” enrollment. The “Not Applicable” option should not be used for current students. This option should only be used when the record is located in the Graduates section.
Working on Dissertation: Students working on their dissertations should be classified based on the tuition rate they pay (full-time versus part-time).
On Internship: Students on internship should be classified based on the tuition rate they pay (full-time versus part-time).
Q: If a student enters the APPIC internship match process, but then withdraws, does that count as applying for internship?
A: Yes, a student should be counted as applying for an internship if they entered the match process, even if they withdraw. Please note, a student does not have to enter the match process to be counted as applying for an internship.
Q: We have students currently on internship who will graduate in September. Will they still be counted as a student and not a graduate when I complete the report the following August?
A: If the student’s date conferred on their degree is within your recorded academic year, then they will appear in the Graduates section during the following ARO. However, if their graduation date falls outside your program’s 2012-2013 reporting year, then they will still be listed as a current student for the following ARO, because they will be considered as active during a portion of that year.
Q: The ARO has fields for the old and new versions of the GRE. Do we need to provide any conversions to answer all questions?
A: No, you only need to provide the scores for the version of the GRE that the student took.
Q: If we forgot to include an individual in a previous ARO, is it possible to add them this year?
A: If you discover that your program has omitted someone in a previous year, please contact the Research Assistant. The ARO will not let users enter start dates outside of the current reporting year.
Q: We are a new program and this is the first year we are completing an ARO. Which students should be included?
A: Any students/trainees present in the program during the 2012-2013 academic/training year need to be included in the ARO. You will need to contact the Research Assistant to create records for students that entered in previous years or for Graduates.
Q: How do graduates appear in the Graduates section?
A: A record will be moved to the Graduates section during the ARO following the individual’s completion of the program. For example, if a program indicates that a student graduated during the 2012-2013 ARO, the student will appear in the Graduate section during the 2013-2014 ARO.
Q: What information needs to be collected from program graduates?
A: The information required for program graduates changed in recent years. As of the 2012 ARO, programs were no longer required to collect the Annual Update information from graduates. However, the required Postdoctoral/Employment information changed at that time. Please see below for the specific directions for your program type:
Doctoral programs: When students successfully complete the program, they will appear in the ARO Graduates section or 10 years, or until they become licensed, whichever comes first. For the first three years, postdoctoral training and employment information is also required.
Internships programs: Graduates will appear in the section one year after completing the program. Internships are required to provide postdoctoral training or employment information.
Postdoctoral programs: Graduates will appear in the section one year after completing the program. Postdoctoral programs are required to provide employment information.
Q: What if we lose contact with a graduate and no longer have information on his/her employment or license status?
A: Outcome data is a requirement of accreditation. Please continue to request graduate update information for the required amount of time. If you are unable to locate or get answers from an individual, please answer “No” for all questions.
Q: Who should be included in the Faculty/Supervisor section?
A: Any individual that would be listed in the program’s self-study should be included in the ARO.
Q: What date do I enter for the faculty or supervisor’s “date entered” field?
A: Please indicate the person’s first date of affiliation with the program (not the institution). If there was a break in employment, select the most current date of affiliation with the program.
Q: How should we indicate if a faculty/supervisor did not contribute to the program this year but will next year?
A: Programs can reactivate faculty and supervisor records that were previously moved to the Archives section. If the person is not likely to contribute again, please record their “Left date” and they will be archived next year.
Q: What if you have a faculty member leaving the program and a faculty member joining the program during the reporting year?How should they be recorded?
A: The Programs and Admissions page asks for the number of faculty/supervisors for all three classification types. You should count all faculty/supervisors that participated in any portion of the academic/training year. The numbers listed on the Programs & Admissions page will then match the number of individual records present for faculty/supervisors.
Q: Do we need to include full profiles for our Other Contributors?
A: Currently, “Other Contributors” are entered into the ARO at program discretion. However, they are required for the self-study and in future AROs this information can potentially be available to automatically populate the self-study tables when self-studies are completed online. Providing a number of “Other Contributors” requires a full profile for each individual to be completed into the ARO/CoA portal (see Faculty data preparation sheet).
Reliability Check for Doctoral Programs
Questions on the Program and Admissions page correspond to the reliability check feature in the ARO. This check is available on the Submit page during the ARO. The system will test whether the number of students entered for these items match the actual content of individual records. If the number of profiles in the ARO Students section does not match the number of students here, the ARO will not allow submission. Please note, these categories are limited to the ARO and do not interfere with the interpretation of data provided for other accreditation purposes.
The reliability check has four mutually exclusive categories:
- Students new for 2012-2013.
- Students who graduated.
- Students who left the program.
- All other students.
Note: Each student should be listed in only one category.
Q: “Number of students for whom this is the first year of enrollment” indicates that this includes only those who began in the 2012-2013 academic year. Where do I count my students (or interns) that begin in 2013?
A: Any individuals who join your program for the 2013-2014 academic/training year should not be entered into the ARO until the 2014 ARO. Questions in the ARO pertain to the year that has just ended or which will be ending soon, so those that have not completed a year should not be included.
Q: “Number of students still enrolled in program, excluding new students” is flagged. Why?
A: This number should also exclude anyone who withdrew or graduated from the program. The number listed in this category should only include those students who are not counted in the other three categories. Again, “new students” refers to those that were new for the 2012-2013 academic year. New enrollees for the fall of 2013 will not be accounted for in the 2012-2013 ARO.
Q: Can I add records to the Archives?
A: Users will be able to edit records that are currently in the Archives section only. They will not be able to add or delete records. If you are missing records or find duplicates/unknown records, then please contact the office by email or call us at (202) 336-6016.
Q: Why do some records only have ID numbers and not names?
A: Prior to 2012, names were not required in the ARO; therefore, many records in the Archives section only have ID numbers. Some programs wrote in the names of individuals in the comment field located in the profile section. Programs are responsible for keeping track of the ID numbers associated with each individual.
Q: What do I do when an error message appears that says “missing”?
A: You can disregard the “missing” message that will appear when you press save & exit. Programs do not need to fill out all the fields in each section.
Q: What do I enter for the Annual Updates section?
A: Internship and Postdoctoral programs can disregard this section. Doctoral programs should update the Internship History Table located at the bottom of the page only and disregard the questions above the table.
Q: How do I submit the Archives edits?
A: Unlike the ARO, there is no formal submission process for the Archives edits. Simply make any corrections needed before Jan. 31 and press save & exit at the bottom of each section.
2013 ARO Data Entry Prep Sheets
Contact the OPCA Research office with any questions regarding the 2012-2013 ARO at (202) 336-6016.
Doctoral — Program & Admissions (PDF, 58KB)
Doctoral — Student (PDF, 128KB)
Doctoral — Graduate (PDF, 44KB)
Doctoral — Faculty (PDF, 68KB)
Internship — Program & Admissions (PDF, 57KB)
Internship — Intern (PDF, 55KB)
Internship — Graduate (PDF, 59KB)
Internship — Supervisor (PDF, 61KB)