Innovative Partnership Saves Arkansas CTE Time and Money

By Jenna Leventoff, February 16, 2016

The Arkansas Research Center (ARC) recently created software for the Arkansas Department of Career and Technical Education (CTE), which uses longitudinal data to aid with Perkins reporting. The software saves time for case workers, saves money for CTE, and helps sustain ARC.

CTE approached ARC (which has two software developers on staff) when they wanted new technical solutions for Perkins reporting. ARC was able to create software that will not only reduce the burden of Perkins reporting, but will also save CTE an estimated half a million dollars over the next ten years.

Previous software required case workers to follow up with CTE graduates to determine their outcomes – specifically, whether they had enrolled in higher education or entered the workforce. However, ARC’s software eliminates this step for many graduates, because it can find this information in ARC’s longitudinal database and then automatically input that information into the reporting system.

ARC’s software is also significantly cheaper than CTE’s previous solutions. Over the next decade, the previous software would have cost CTE between $1.4 and $1.5 million for maintenance alone. In contrast, according to ARC staff, its software will cost about $900,000 for development of the system and maintenance over the next decade. This partnership will also help to sustain ARC, which does not receive state funding.

Governed by a state commission but operating independently from other state departments, ARC manages the state's longitudinal data system with information from human service, education, and workforce agencies.

WDQC is pleased to profile this and other innovative partnerships that promote effective uses of longitudinal data.