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These instructions are the “how-to” guide for the new College Portrait application

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait Web-based Application Administrative Guide March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09) This Administrative Guide provides an overview of the features of the new College Portrait web application and serves as a “how-to” guide for populating and publishing your institution’s College Portrait for 2009. The College Portrait is part of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) - a voluntary initiative by 4-year public universities to communicate basic, comparable information on the undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report. For more information on the VSA project visit www.voluntarysystem.org or the College Portraits website at www.collegeportraits.org. The College Portrait Administrative Guide is divided into the following topic areas: Contents Overview and Important Updates for 2009 .................................................................................... 3 Deadline for the 2009 College Portrait: April 3 April 17 .......................................................... 3 Review of Key Features.............................................................................................................. 3 Help & Support............................................................................................................................... 4 Logging into the Administrative Application................................................................ ...
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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
This Administrative Guide provides an overview of the features of the new College Portrait web
application and serves as a “how-to” guide for populating and publishing your institution’s
College Portrait for 2009.
The College Portrait is part of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) - a voluntary
initiative by 4-year public universities to communicate basic, comparable information on the
undergraduate student experience to important constituencies through a common web report. For
more information on the VSA project visit www.voluntarysystem.org or the College Portraits
website at www.collegeportraits.org.
The College Portrait Administrative Guide is divided into the following topic areas:
Contents 
Overview and Important Updates for 2009 .................................................................................... 3
Deadline for the 2009 College Portrait: April 3 April 17 .......................................................... 3
Review of Key Features.............................................................................................................. 3
Help & Support............................................................................................................................... 4
Logging into the Administrative Application................................................................................. 4
Manage Your Portrait Account(s) – Administrative Functions...................................................... 5
Adding Other Users for your institution ..................................................................................... 5
Changing Passwords ................................................................................................................... 5
Reporting Problems .................................................................................................................... 6
Uploading Data Files ...................................................................................................................... 6
Upload data from you Fall 2007 Excel template ........................................................................ 7 National Student Clearinghouse .................................................................... 7
Entering Data .................................................................................................................................. 8
Data Entry Help, Saving and Validation..................................................................................... 8
Previewing individual pages as you enter data........................................................................... 9
Institutional Information ............................................................................................................. 9
Student Characteristics.............................................................................................................. 10
Undergraduate Success 10
Retention Rate for New Freshman............................................................................................ 11

  1 Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Costs of Attendance and Financial Aid .................................................................................... 12
Undergraduate Admissions....................................................................................................... 13
Degrees and Areas of Study...................................................................................................... 13
Study at Your Institution........................................................................................................... 14
Student Housing........................................................................................................................ 14
Future Plans of Bachelor's Degree Recipients.......................................................................... 15
Student Experiences.................................................................................................................. 15
Student Learning Outcomes 16
Additional Information ............................................................................................................. 17
Previewing Your College Portrait................................................................................................. 17
Previewing individual pages as you enter data......................................................................... 18
Previewing your entire College Portrait prior to publication.................................................... 18
Validate all the data in the College Portrait.......................................................................... 18
Preview your College Portrait............................................................................................... 18
Publishing Your College Portrait.................................................................................................. 18 ortrait.............................................................................. 18
Publish the College Portrait ...................................................................................................... 19
View the finished College Portrait............................................................................................ 19


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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Overview and Important Updates for 2009 
Deadline for the 2009 College Portrait:  April 3 April 17 
Current VSA participants should have the 2009 College Portrait published to the website by
April 17, 2009.
The 2009 version of the College Portrait should be populated with Fall 2008 information
from the Common Data Set.
The Success & Progress information should use the Fall 2002 cohorts.
The Cost of Attendance information should display the most currently available tuition and
fees information (Fall 2008 or Fall 2009).
Due to continuing installation complexities with the current VSA cost calculator application,
we will be working toward integrating the VSA cost calculator into the College Portrait
application. A limited release beta test version will be available later in 2009. In the
meantime, please link to a webpage on your financial aid website that displays detailed cost
of attendance information. Institutions with their own calculators should link to it now.
The information within the new College Portrait application can be modified or
updated at any time. However to provide College Portrait users with more comparable
information across institutions, follow the schedule outlined above.
Review of Key Features  
Both the data entry interface and the College Portrait display meet (and in many cases
exceed) ADA accessibility requirements.
The data entry template is a web-based form; you will no longer need to download an excel
workbook nor make the conversion to a PDF file.
If you completed the Fall 2007 Excel template, much of the data from the Fall 2007 template
can be uploaded directly into the application – text, links, student experiences, and learning
outcomes data. The outdated Fall 2007 CDS data will not be included in the upload.
If this is your first College Portrait, you can log in and go to Enter Data to start the data
entry.
To create the success and progress graph and table, the Cohort Aggregate Report file from
StudentTracker Cohort query can be saved as an Excel 1997-2003 file and uploaded into the
College Portrait application. Please note that you need to submit a Cohort Query to the
National Student Clearinghouse in order to receive a Cohort Report file.
The published College Portrait will be a series of web pages, not a PDF file. A print option
with consistent layout and formatting will be available by the end of April (updated 3/30/09).
Each institution’s College Portrait will have a unique URL. The URL will be used as the link
from the VSA/College Portrait logo on each institution’s website. This URL will need to be
updated on your institution’s website once the College Portrait has been published.


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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Help & Support 
Webinars conducted in early February 2009 to walk participants through the new web-based
application have been archived. The Webinar can be accessed at the following location:

Overview of College Portrait Application
Hold down Ctrl and click on the link above to open it in your web browser; alternatively,
copy and paste the following link you’re your web browser:
http://tinyurl.com/College-Portrait-Webinar

Note: When viewing the webinar, please keep in mind that updates have occurred since the
webinar was recorded.

Throughout the College Portrait data entry pages, in-context help can be accessed that will
provide instructions, definitions, Common Data Set references, and examples for the data to
be entered.
The support team and developers can be contacted at: support@collegeportraits.org. Using
this email will insure that you receive answers in a timely manner from the correct person or
persons. Please do not email individual members of the support team directly. Please
remember that with the exception of the project director, the support team members hold full-
time university positions. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we strive to
respond to questions in a timely manner.
If you would like to talk to someone directly about VSA requirements or schedules or the
College Portrait data elements please contact Christine Keller, ckeller@aplu.org. Technical
questions should be directed to the email above.
Logging into the Administrative Application 
Go to http://www.collegeportraits.org/login
Enter your userid and password.
Your userid will be the email address you used to sign up for the Voluntary System of
Accountability.
Initial passwords for each institution’s primary VSA contact are “CP2009”. (Note that all
passwords are case sensitive)
You will see the College Portrait Administrative Home Page/Manage Your Portrait
Account(s) and your institution will be listed

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Tips:
After 20 minutes of inactivity, the application will automatically log you out. Inactivity
is determined by the server – it is based on the last time you saved or clicked to a new
page, not the last time you entered data into a field. SAVE YOUR WORK
FREQUENTLY.
College Portrait administrators may create additional users for their institution (see
below); if you are not your institution’s designated College Portrait Administrator, please
contact your Administrator to receive your userid and password.
Manage Your Portrait Account(s) – Administrative Functions 
Adding Other Users for your institution  
If others at your institution will be entering data for specific sections of the College Portrait, you
can set up user accounts for them.
Select View Users from the institution options.
To add a new user, select Add New at the top of the page.
Enter in the contact information and password for the user account you are adding; the userid
will be the email address entered in the first box.
Select your institution from the drop down box under College Name.
Indicate the role for this user account.
Administrator have full access and can upload all types of data files, enter/edit data, and
publish the College Portrait.
User can be assigned different levels of permissions. The default permissions for the
user role is the ability to upload data files and enter/edit data but no publish rights.
Permissions can be restricted further to only specific portions of the College Portrait data
entry screens by clicking on the Show Advanced Options link and unchecking the
appropriate permission boxes. Users will only have access to the section where the boxes
are checked.
Changing Passwords  
Under the Menu on the left side, you can change your password under Change Password.
If you have forgotten your password, you can use the Forgot Password link on the
http://www.collegeportraits.org/login page to have your password reset.

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Reporting Problems 
If you run into a problem or error while entering data into your College Portrait, you can report
these issues under Report An Issue which can be found on the Menu listed on the left side. You
can also view or edit your open issues under Open Issues.
Report errors as they occur using the Report An Issue function within the College Portrait
application. This is the preferred method for reporting issues as it allows the support team to
track and resolve issues more effectively.
The Report An Issue function within the College Portrait application provides the following
categories for prioritizing issues. Please use these categories when considering and reporting
issues.
Critical Issue: An issue that prevents the application from working properly.
Minor Issue: An issue that can be worked around but causes problems during your
interaction with the system.
Feature Request: A feature or enhancement that would be convenient or helpful for
system users.
Viewing Open Issues will bring up a list of all the issues reported by you.
Critical issues will appear in red; minor issues will appear in yellow; and feature requests
will appear in aqua.
As members of the VSA Support Team work to resolve open issues, you will be able to
view any notes that are added to your issues. You may also edit your issues to add more
detail or make changes.
Tip:
If you click Report An Issue while entering or verifying data, any changes you’ve
made on that page will not be saved; to ensure that your work is saved, please scroll to
the bottom of the page and click Save prior to reporting any issues.
Uploading Data Files 
For the Fall 2008 version of the College Portrait, you have the option of uploading an Excel
1997-2003 version of your Fall 2007 College Portrait creation file that will be used to
automatically populate text boxes and links that are not expected to change from year to year.
Additionally, Cohort files from the National Student Clearinghouse can be saved as an Excel
1997-2003 file and uploaded into the Administrative Application for use in creating the
Undergraduate Success & Progress Rates chart and tables.

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Upload data from you Fall 2007 Excel template 
If you have an Excel template with Fall 2007 data, you can upload data from the template into
the web database. The current text and web links will be uploaded. Data such as enrollment and
admissions counts and financial aid amounts will NOT be uploaded. You will need to enter that
data for Fall 2008.
From the Administrative Home Page, Select Upload File
Use the Browse… button to navigate to the location where your Excel 2003 file is located,
highlight the file, and select Open.
On the File Upload web page, select the Upload button. Once you get the Upload Complete
message, click on the message to go back to the Administrative Home Page.
Tip:
If you have an Excel file with an .xlsm extension (Excel 2007), please save the file as an
Excel 1997-2003 (.xls extension) file.
Upload data from National Student Clearinghouse 
You can upload Cohort Query aggregate reports from the National Student Clearinghouse
Student Tracker output to create the Student Success & Progress Rates chart and table. You must
first save the Cohort Query aggregate file as an Excel 1997-2003 file for the upload to work
properly.
Open the Comma-Separated Values (.csv extension) files in Excel and save them as Excel
1997-2003 (.xls extension) files. Save them as Excel 1997-2003 files (.xls extension)
From the Administrative Home Page, select Upload NSC File.
Use the Browse… button to navigate to the location where your Excel 2003 file for first-
time, full-time students is located, highlight the file, and select Open.
On the File Upload web page, select the Upload button. You should get a message telling
you that the upload was successful.
Repeat the process to upload your transfer student Cohort report, this time clicking on the
box to the right of Transfer before clicking the Upload button.
Tips:
For the 2008-2009 version of the College Portrait, you should submit the following cohorts.
The cohorts should only include students seeking a 4-year degree. Follow IPEDS guidelines
for allowable exceptions.
Fall 2002 first-time, full-time students (same as your IPEDS cohort)
Fall 2002 new, full-time transfer students (only degree-seeking students if that
information is available)

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
Submit the files through the National Student Clearinghouse StudentTracker system as a
Cohort Query (not a Subsequent Enrollment Query).
Use Sept 15, 2002 as the Cohort Search Date.
The files you will upload to the College Portrait Administrative application are the files you
receive back from the National Student Clearinghouse. The original file names from the
Clearinghouse will look similar to
XXXXXXST_T36310CohortRpt.2008XXXX1059_CO.csv - where the first set of X’s is
your school code, and the second is the date of the report.
Please be sure that you upload the Cohort Report, not the student detail file.
You should have one Cohort report file for your first-time, full-time students, and one for
your transfer students.
If you find that you have uploaded the wrong data file (e.g., forgot to check the transfer
student check box) there is a “reset” button directly under the Tracker Year field on the
Undergraduate Success data entry page. Clicking that button will clear out all the data so
you can start over.
Entering Data  
To update your College Portrait data, click on Enter Data from the Administrative Home Page.
This link will take you to a list of the data entry pages for the rest of the College Portrait data.
These instructions do not cover all of the College Portrait data elements but highlight the
differences in the new version.
Tip:
Even if your institution does not typically complete the entire Common Data Set (CDS),
follow the definitions and conventions for the appropriate CDS sections used within the
College Portrait. More information can be found at http://www.commondataset.org/
Data Entry Help, Saving and Validation 
Throughout the College Portrait data entry pages, in-context help can be accessed that will
provide instructions, definitions, Common Data Set references, and examples for the data to
be entered.
After you have entered or updated the data in each section, you must Validate your data
(which will also save the data) in order to Preview or Publish your College Portrait.
Validating the data runs an automated error checking process that will check the data
you’ve entered for proper formatting and expected values; if there are errors on the page,
you will find at the top of the page a list of the Validation Error(s). Please correct the
data for each error and revalidate by again selecting the Validate button at the bottom of
the page.

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
If the data is OK, you will get a Validation Success message at the top of the page. If you
are unable to resolve a Validation error and you believe the data you have entered to be
correct, please complete the Report An Issue form with as much information as you can
so that the Support Team can review it.
You can (and should) save your data frequently, which will save the data you have
entered without validating the data.
Previewing individual pages as you enter data  
In order to preview how an individual page will display, you will first need to validate the
data on that page by clicking on the Validate button on the bottom of the page.
Once the page successfully validates, you will see a green Preview link at the top of the data
entry page.
Clicking on the Preview link will open a new browser window with a non-public preview
of that page.
The navigation links in the page will not work, but this preview allows you to verify how
the data you have entered will display.
Institutional Information  
In this section, you can verify, update, or enter your Institutional Information, including address
information, a University word mark, descriptive information on the institution and community,
update the 9 community button links, and campus safety.
The first new item is the institution street address. Make sure to select your state under Select
State (a drop down box) and enter a zip code if necessary.
The admissions email and phone number will appear as part of your institution’s information
on the state list of the College Portrait website. Be sure to enter a direct email address to
your admission’s office as this email address will be used for any “additional information”
requests from prospective students.
The descriptive text boxes for the institution contain a one or two sentence heading statement
with special formatting: About Heading Statement and Community Heading.
The heading text provides an opportunity for you to highlight one or two specific points
about your institution. The text entered in these sections appears on the College Portrait
in a gray shaded header box above the rest of the text for that section.
Under Campus Word mark on this page, you can add a web link to a .gif or .jpg file on your
institution’s web server to display a small graphic on the front page of your institution’s
College Portrait.
The size of the word mark must be smaller than or equal to 50px by 200px.
The image file must be hosted on your institutions web page.

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Voluntary System of Accountability™ College Portrait
Web-based Application Administrative Guide
March 6, 2009 (updated 3/30/09)
The word mark is not a required element. If you do not add a link to a word mark, only
the text description of your campus will appear on the face of the College Portrait.
When you have verified/entered the data, select the Validate button at the bottom of the page.
You should get Validation Success at the top of the page. If there is an error, there will be a
message at the top of the page. Once you get the “Validation Success,” continue to the next
section.
Tips:
It is recommended that you contact your institution’s webmaster or public affairs office
to find an appropriate word mark to display.
Data on the Institutional Information page is automatically updated on your College
Portrait and on the College Portrait website once published, without the need to re-
Publish your entire College Portrait.
Student Characteristics 
To add in your Student Characteristics enrollment data, click on Student Characteristics from the
left menu. There are two sections: Total Number of Students, and Undergraduate Profile, which
includes geographic information.
When you have verified/entered the data, select the Validate button at the bottom of the page.
You should get Validation Success at the top of the page. If there is an error, there will be a
message at the top of the page. Once you get the “Validation Success,” continue to the next
section.
Tips:
If you have a question about a data element, click Show Help for more information.
Once you get the “Validation Success”, you can click on Preview near the top of the
page to see how the web page will be displayed when the completed College Portrait is
published.
Undergraduate Success 
To add or update your National Student Clearinghouse cohort data, click on Undergraduate
Success from the left menu.
Enter URL for MORE link that will direct users to institution specific information about
student success and progress toward degree. This field is optional; if you do not enter a URL
the MORE link will not appear on the College Portrait.

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