How to Prepare Program Reports

Program reports submitted in Spring 2011 must be prepared according to the assessment-based submission format and submitted in the AIMS/ PRS database. This system uses the same exact template (same questions, same charts, etc) as our previous system but the sections of the report are submitted in a different way. There are also character limits instead of page limits.

In the PRS database, the compiler is given prompts and enters text online. Text can also be cut and pasted from an existing document into the web-based forms. Note, however, the text fields in PRS are coded in HTML and therefore will not support formatting (like bold, bullets, etc). If your text contains this kind of formatting in a Word document, the formatting will not be carried over if you paste it into the text fields in PRS. Charts and graphs for Section I are not permitted in ANY of the text sections; these can be uploaded into PRS separately in Section I, Questions 3 or 4.

The following chart outlines the primary features of the PRS database:


Text is input on-line in response to specific prompts. Text can be input directly or can be cut and pasted from prepared documents.

Compiler can input data, save documents, then return later to add or edit.

Tables and charts for Section I cannot be added to narrative; must be uploaded in separate designated fields.

Each response in Section I has specific character limits. Each question is allowed a response of no more than 4000 characters (equivalent to one page text, single spaced) except for Question 2 which is allowed 8000 characters.

Files for each assessment, including tables and charts for data, are uploaded into Section IV, although there is a limit of no more than 20 individual attachments for a single program report.

Attachments will not be accepted if they are larger than 2 MB.

Once the report has been submitted, compilers can download a single PDF file of the entire report including all assessment files. Note that compiler will need Adobe Acrobat Reader 8 to appropriately download the file. There is link to a free download of the latest version of Acrobat on each page in the PRS.


Deadlines For Programs Being Submitted in Spring 2011:

There is one cycle in Spring. All of your reports (initial, revised, and response to conditions) will be due 3/15/11—this is the start date of the Spring cycle.

Creating Shells Necessary for Submitting Reports:

To begin the process, you must first notify NCATE which programs you will submit for review using the Manage Programs component in AIMS. We must receive this information a month before the submission deadline. You will not be able to submit your report(s) until we have this information and can give you access. When NCATE staff receives this information and the program report shells have been created, the Dean and the NCATE Program Coordinator will then receive the appropriate URL, user id and password needed to enter the site.

Specific Information for Preparing the Program Report ( Please note that there is general guidance for preparing the program report in a document titled Guidelines for Preparing an NCATE Program Report on the Institutions page of the NCATE Website):

The program report will be input on-line. Once you log in to the system and click on a program report name, you will be directed to complete the coversheet for your report and will be given prompts to respond to each question in the report. You can input text on-line or you can cut and paste text from a prepared document.

Section I: Each question in Section I will have a word count limit. This is a limit of 4000 characters for Question 1 and 8000 characters for Question 2. Programs completing reports for NCTE, CEC and NASP must complete Question 3, which has a limit of 4000 characters.  2000 characters is equivalent to one page of text in a12 point font that is single-spaced with one-inch margins. This system cannot handle tables and/or charts embedded into text sections. There will be a special fields provided for you to attach any necessary tables or charts.

Section II and III: These will be on-line charts that you can fill in (for Section II) or check off (for Section III).

Section IV (Assessment Files): The files for each assessment should be prepared as Word, Word Perfect, Excel, or PDF documents. Our system will now accept documents that have been created in the newest version of Word and saved with a “.docx” extension.

Section V:  Text will be input online.The character limit is 12000 characters. Do not include tables or charts in Section V.

As much as possible, combine all of the files for one assessment into a single file. That is, create one file for Assessment #1 that includes the two-page narrative from Section IV, the assessment tool itself or the assessment description, the rubric and/or scoring guide, and the data chart.

There is a limit of 20 attachments for the entire report so it is crucial that you combine files as much as possible.

Name these files as listed in the chart below:

File Name

File Contents

"Assessment 1"

Two page narrative from Section IV for Assessment 1 and the three attachments for Assessment 1 (assessment, scoring guide, and data chart)

"Assessment 2"

Two page narrative from Section IV for Assessment 2 and the three attachments for Assessment 2 (assessment, scoring guide, and data chart)

"Assessment 3" (and so on for other assessments)

Two page narrative from Section IV for Assessment 3 and the three attachments for Assessment 3 (assessment, scoring guide, and data chart)

Important changes to PRS and to program report policies:  For updates to policy changes, please see information listed on the Guidelines and Procedures page under Programs to be Submitted.

Resources on the NCATE web site and Upcoming Web Seminars:

The web page cited earlier also includes other information to help you prepare the reports. PLEASE read any documents on that page that pertain to reports you will be submitting. Based on program faculty feedback, we have updated many of the documents and added to our instructions on how to prepare files. You will be expected to follow these instructions.

There are multiple resources to learn how to use PRS. Once you log in to PRS, there is a help document available by clicking on the “question mark” icon. There are brief mini-videos and an archived hour-long web seminar that each provide instructions on how to use PRS.  In addition, NCATE will be providing two free one-hour web seminars for those institutions that are submitting program reports. The schedule is posted on the NCATE web site in the web seminar section (access it by clicking on the info posted on the left side of this page) These seminars will walk attendees through the on-line submission process and attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions. You can register as one attendee, but have multiple people view the session using an LCD projector. The presentation will be taped and will be available at the above URL. You can register for these events by following the instructions on the NCATE web site in the Web Seminar section.