FETPIP's method of data collection replaces conventional survey-type techniques, and provides information in an accurate and cost effective manner. The follow-up studies are conducted annually by matching records of the student graduates, completers or exiters from the numerous public and independent organizations with information resources available to FETPIP. Follow-up on a quarterly basis is also done for some groups.
The processes used by FETPIP rely on a technique referred to as "record linkage". This term describes a computerized process which combines individually identifiable data from several different administrative data bases. The purpose of the linkage is to develop aggregate statistics from the combinations that describe the experiences of student groups or participants after graduation or exiting and education or training program. The aggregates are used to produce outcome performance measures that are intended to assist in evaluating the success of educational programs.
FETPIP provides follow-up data collection services to a variety of agency applications. The individual information for follow-up is collected from the following sources:
- Community colleges
- School districts
- Selected private vocational schools, colleges and universities
- Welfare Transition Services
- Corrections system
- Farm Worker Jobs and Education programs
- Specialized and longitudinal studies
All individually identifiable data are protected from public disclosure, as specified in the Buckley Amendments and Florida Statutes. The individual information is compiled into computer files and tapes that are distributed to agencies with administrative records that meet the purposes of the follow-up exercise. The records are electronically linked with the:
- Florida Department of Education
- Florida Department of Corrections
- Florida Department of Children and Families
- Florida Department of Economic Opportunity
FETPIP data provide accountability and outcome information for consumer use and career information for students and counselors. One of the benefits of having the FETPIP system is that data are collected that can help facilitate comparisons. A sample is listed below:
- Employment and/or education outcomes of a training program can be compared to others.
- Employment results can be examined in terms of the training programs that feed them.
- Program outcomes can be compared by race, sex, age or income level.
- Earnings can be compared across various education levels
- The level of public assistance can be compared between graduates, dropouts and others
Several organizations have requested that FETPIP staff assist them with staged follow-up processes that batch program participants/students who terminated programs in a selected time period and follows-up for employment data after the passage of a predetermined amount of time.
FETPIP conducts quarterly, staged follow-up through the use of unemployment compensation wage records for all workforce development program participants. Originally through a state law - The Workforce Florida Act of 1996 - Florida has established a consistent set of core performance measures for all workforce education and training program areas. These data are collected through the FETPIP quarterly match process and supplemented through the annual comprehensive effort.
FETPIP works with Florida's major welfare reform initiatives to conduct staged follow-up on participants during and after their involvement in the program. The objective is to monitor the reduction in welfare that occurs as participants become increasingly employable. The quarterly process is also used to support the award of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families High Performance Bonus awards.
Increasingly, FETPIP data continue to be used as an integral part of the performance measures used by Florida's public schools, vocational institutions, community colleges, universities and the workforce developmental system.