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Frequently Asked Questions

Secondary Accountability

Frequently Asked Questions

What CTE data needs to be reported each year? And when?

All templates, forms, data reporting calendar, and instructions for interfacing with the NSSRS are available on the NSSRS homepage. The due date for these templates is June 15th. There is an audit window from June 15-June 30th.

There are three primary aspects for reporting secondary data:

  1. The Student Grades Template: A student template must first be submitted for each student appearing in a Programs Fact template or the data loading process will reject the record. The Student Snapshot template is already required for reporting by every school for every student through the NSSRS system. This template collects information related to the student’s demographics and characteristics.

  2. The Programs Fact Template: Career Education: This template has three primary areas for completion for Career and Technical Education. The basic flow of completing the template requires (1) the identification and coding of what cluster area(s) the student participated and/or concentrated, (2) the identification of the student’s highest level of participation in that cluster area, and (3) if the student is a concentrator, the identification of the Technical Skill Attainment using the coding structure provided.

  3. The Post School Survey Template: the Post School Survey is used to provide follow-up information on the concentrators that graduated in the previous year. The information provides the data required to report on the follow-up measure. More information on obtaining follow-up data can be found in the Graduate Follow-Up Approaches and Resources document within the “Resources” section to the left.


  • The Programs Fact template includes data for grades 7-12 in schools that offer Career Education courses.

  • Career Education “Participants” are determined during the current program year (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

  • Concentrators are determined by evaluating the number of courses in which the student has earned credit throughout the 9-12 high school experience within a specific career cluster (program code).

  • No student can concentrate in the CEFOUND program code.

  • Students may have multiple Programs Fact records if participating in and/or concentrating in more than one program code.

Who is considered a CTE Concentrator?

A CTE Concentrator is a student in grades 9-12 who has completed three (3) or more one semester-long coursers within a single career cluster.

NOTE:  The three or more one semester-long courses do not need to follow a Program of Study course sequence, but rather fall under the same career cluster umbrella of courses.

2015-2016 Concentrator Identification Memo

When do I report a student as a CTE Concentrator?

Concentrators should be reported when they are in 12th grade. Each student’s high school course history (transcript) should be examined to see if, at any point in his or her high school career, he or she met the criteria for becoming a Concentrator as defined above.

NOTE:  If you report a student as a concentrator before he or she is in the 12th grade, NSSRS will send you an alert letting you know that NDE will be counting that student as a CTE Participant. You should report this student as a Concentrator again once they reach the 12th grade.
NDE has found in looking back that not all 12th graders reported as Concentrators before grade 12 were reported again their senior year.  To resolve this issue, NDE is devising a protocol to explore 4 years of reported student participation identification to ensure any students not re-reported as a Concentrator in 12th grade is identified and included in year-end reporting.

What do I do if a student Concentrates in multiple areas?

If a student has more than one area of concentration, the schools have two options: (1) the school can report all areas of concentration for each student. NDE will then utilize an internal strategy to determine in which area he or she will be counted (as we only report one area of concentration per student to the federal government), or (2) the school can select one area of concentration to report.

NOTE:  If a school decides to make the decision as to which area of concentration (of multiple) to report for a single student, we suggest you select the area for which the student has earned the most course credits or completed the most courses.

How do I know which course fits into each cluster?

The cluster to NDE Course Code crosswalks provide an alignment between every course and one individual career cluster. These can be found under the “resource” section on the left hand side of this page.

How can I find out where my graduates went after they left high school for the Post School Survey?

Please review the Graduate Follow Up Approaches and Resources document.

Do I count courses like Anatomy & Physiology as a CTE course? It’s part of a Program of Study.

You should only use non-CTE courses when determining if a student is a Concentrator (not if they are a Participant). Because some non-CTE courses are a part of several State Model Programs of Study, they could be used to determine CTE Concentration. If a student took two CTE courses and A&P all within the same career cluster, in this case, A&P could be considered the third course making a student a Concentrator.

Our 8th graders take Computer Applications and then our Freshmen take Information Technology I & II (it’s a graduation requirement). Are all of our students Program Concentrators unless they did not pass or if they transferred in later?

No. Concentrators are only determined using courses completed during grades 9-12. So, the 8th grade computer applications course would not be used when determining their highest level of participation when they are in the 12th grade.

Who can I talk to if I still have CTE data questions?

Katie Graham is the NCE Data, Research, and Evaluation Specialist. She can be reached at 402-471-3104 or