Connecting Activities Database Checklist
One of the strengths of the statewide Connecting Activities program is the strong network of people, the sharing of tools and resources, and the availability of good, solid data to support our work.
The following checklist is developed as a guide for evaluating the strength and quality of the data for your school and/or region. This checklist helps you to look at both the quality of data entry and the underlying quality of the job/internship placements and career development activities provided by your school and/or region. Use this checklist as a flexible guide to self-assessing your strengths and areas for improvement.
As you review your use of data, remember that the value of a database lies in the ways the data can empower you in your work. How can you use the data to support your program design and planning? How can working with the statewide Work-Based Learning database help you to connect with colleagues across the state? How can you use the data to help you keep track of information about the businesses and organizations you work with? As you build up the quality of the data for your region, what are some ways that you can use this data in your work?
Data entry – clarity and accuracy
[ ] Connecting Activities staff understand definitions and data requirements, including (a) the definition of a Connecting Activities work-based learning placement, (b) the use of the AGROWE program elements, and (c) the guidelines for required vs. recommended vs. optional fields on the placement screen.
[ ] Staff use default settings and consistent data entry to track employer names, activity names, school names, program enrollment and other data in the Placement Screen.
[ ] Employer information is accurate and useful, including accurate employer names, addresses, size, type and industry cluster, and can be used to create employer lists or to create a profile of employers working with your program.
[ ] Routines for reviewing data for completeness and accuracy are in place. School-based staff and regional office staff review data before running quarterly reports and/or qualifying wage reports and at other intervals during the year.
[ ] Staff can describe the approach used in their school for coding of the AGROWE program elements. Staff can answer the following: Who do you code as “Yes” for Element “R: Raising Graduation Rates?” Who do you code as “Yes” for Element “G: Goals/College and Careeer Plans” For these students, how is the “College and Career Plan” process connected to the work you do in the Connecting Activities program? Who do you code as “Yes” for Element “O: Workshop or Classroom Component”? What workshop or classroom instruction do you offer?
Quality of work-based learning placements (*)
[ ] The database shows a variety of job/internship placements, including a mixture of paid, unpaid and sponsored/subsidized jobs, in a variety of job titles and industry clusters.
[ ] Most or all of the job/internship placements have Work-Based Learning Plans, with most or all of these being entered into the database.
[ ] Staff can describe comfortable, workable routines they follow to implement Work-Based Learning Plans, describing who does what. (Note – the database is designed to enable collaboration, so that the coordinator, employer and/or student can write the job description and skills and tasks and enter reviews and comments.)
* Definition – a Connecting Activities work-based learning placement is a job, internship or cooperative education placement in a worksite…. It may be paid or unpaid. Placements may include school-based jobs (such as working as a teacher aide or office assistant or working in a school-based enterprise), volunteer positions (including community service hours, if structured as a volunteer job), unpaid and paid internships, and paid employment. And, of course, in order to be counted as a Connecting Activities placement, the Connecting Activities staff person must play a role in supporting the placement, either by directly making the placement, providing significant job search support, providing an internship class (such as a senior internship program class) and/or providing a Work-Based Learning Plan.
Quality of Work-Based Learning Plans
[ ] Job descriptions include descriptive information about the job and background about the organization, helping students to understand their work and their workplace. Job descriptions may be written by the coordinator, supervisor or student. (Note -- Many job descriptions answer “who, what, when, where and/or why” questions about the job.)
[ ] Job titles are chosen thoughtfully, with a professional tone, suitable for use on a resume.
[ ] WBLPs include a list of Workplace and Career Specific Skills, generally with three or more skills
[ ] Workplace and Career Specific Skills are described professionally, suitable for use on a professional resume, generally using one or two words such as “accounting skills” or “customer service” or “food safety” or “leadership.”
[ ] Each skill has a brief description.
[ ] The Workplace and Career Skills are different from the Foundation Skills.
[ ] Across each school and region, the combined list of all Workplace and Career Skills is varied, reflecting a mix of higher-level professional skills, job-specific skills and/or career awareness skills.
[ ] Two reviews are completed for all students (or all with very few exceptions).
Career Development Activities
[ ] The database includes entries on the Activity screen about career development activities.
[ ] Activity descriptions are clear and informative and are shared with other regions.
[ ] Activities are clearly coded using the checklist on the Activity screen.
[ ] The coordinator in each school can describe some key career development activities that complement the job/internship program.
[ ] The information from the Activity screen and/or Placement screen illustrate ways that the Connecting Activities staff collaborate with other programs in the school and community.
[ ] Quarterly reports from the region are accurate and include the Work and Learning Performance Report, Activity List and a narrative.
[ ] The end-of-year qualifying wages report is accurate and reflects employer paid wages.
[ ] Regional and local staff can describe several ways that the database is used to support their work (i.e., gathering examples of job descriptions and skills/tasks, creating reports, developing employer lists, creating placement lists, analyzing skills, etc.) that go beyond basic required reporting.
[ ] Regional and local staff are familiar with ways to use the database and supporting materials to gather ideas from the Connecting Activities network statewide.