EAB Academic Performance Solutions

Frequently Asked Questions


Academic Performance Solutions (APS)


What is the purpose for the APS Platform?

  • The APS Platform provides easy-to-access data for department- and college-level decision making around course offerings, faculty workload, course completion rates, department-level costs, and other key performance indicators (KPI).


How often does the APS Platform get updated?

  • Currently the APS platform is designed to provide a historical view of department- and college-level information. Therefore, it is only updated with new data three times a year. These updates happen approximately 60 days after the fall, spring, and summer semesters end.


Is there documentation or are there other resources to help understand how to navigate and interpret APS data?

  • Resources can be found in multiple locations:
    • The University of Montana Institutional Effectiveness Office (previously called the Data Office) has posted items on its website at https://www.umt.edu/institutional-research/metrics/academic-performance-solutions/default.php. These materials are prepared to ensure campus understands how Banner information has been transformed in APS.
    • EAB maintains the Academic Performance Solutions Home page within the platform. This page contains webinars and documentation to teach users how to use and interpret the APS platform.


Does the APS Platform provide an explanation on how metrics are calculated?

  • Within the APS Platform each metric or KPI will show an ellipsis (…) icon at the top of the chart when the mouse hovers over that area. Clicking on that icon will provide a definition of the metric. It might be necessary to also click on the metrics and filters link to get the full definition.


Why does the data in the APS Platform not update after a filter has been selected?

  • The APS Platform requires the user to click on the apply button after filter choices have been made.


How does the APS Platform account for the movement of departments within colleges over the years?

  • The APS Platform uses the most current organization of programs to departments to colleges for all years on the platform.


How is a program defined within the APS Platform?

  • APS defines a program to be a field of study combined with the level of the degree.


How does the APS Platform determine if the course is undergraduate or graduate?

  • Within the APS Platform courses are bucketed into undergraduate or graduate level based solely on the course number. All course numbers below 500 are undergraduate and course numbers of 500 or higher are graduate courses.


Does APS count all of the students declared majors or only the primary major?

  • The APS Platform will credit each department for all majors the student has declared.


Why does a department sometimes have data in the Departmental Scorecard but no data, or doesn’t appear as a filter in the programs tab, or vice versa?

  • The reporting practice at the University of Montana is that if a program is interdisciplinary in nature and not directly part of one department, the student counts are assigned to a College/Dean or Provost level.
  • The department scorecard tab is organized by course rubrics, while the students tab is organized by student majors. Because of the UM practice there is inconsistency in the hierarchy organization which would cause this to happen in the platform. This can be seen in the APS crosswalk table on the Institutional Effectiveness website.  https://www.umt.edu/institutional-research/metrics/academic-performance-solutions/default.php.


Why does the student enrollment and credit hour count in APS not always match other numbers for the university?

  • The APS Platform by design removes some course offerings that are either not directly tied to an academic requirement or campus resources. The largest groups omitted from APS are “ELI” (English Language Institute) and students on exchange programs.


How is an instructional FTE calculated within the APS Platform?

  • Instructors are assigned to one and only one department within the APS platform. The department is determined based on who “owns” the coursethe instructor is teaching. If the instructor teaches in multiple departments they are assigned based on the department which generates the largest SCH percentage.
  • Within the APS Platform instructors are expected to teach 15 course credits during a fiscal year. Variable credit courses count as 1 course credit hour.
  • The instructional FTE is calculated by taking the instructor's total course credits and dividing by 15.
  • Instructional FTE is capped at 1.0 regardless of how many course credits the instructor teaches during the fiscal year.


How do team taught courses impact the instructional FTE calculation?

  • If possible, APS does use the assigned instructional percentages that appear in Banner.
  • Considering all the instructors for a course, APS sums the instructor’s responsibility percentages. If the percentages total 98%-102% then APS uses the Banner percentages.
  • If the Banner percentages do not add up correctly, APS splits up the course credits evenly across the instructors.
  • The instructor's share of the course credits are then added to their total course credits needed to hit the 15 credits to be considered a 1.0 instructional FTE.


How does APS calculate an instructional FTE if a single individual is identified as the instructor of record for a large number of course?

  • APS caps an individual’s instructional FTE at 1.0.
  • If a department has chosen to use a single instructor of record for a large number of courses, this could deflate their true instructional FTE.
  • Departments should ensure that the Provost Office is aware of this previous practice and work to correctly assign instructor of records going forward.


How does APS determine which Faculty Category (Tenure, Adjunct, Non-tenure, etc.) an instructor is placed in?

  • Faculty category assignments are made following a sequence of logical steps evaluating data in the Banner Human Resource System. Fields used in the assignment calculation include the employee's title, tenure status, and employee classification. In addition, the employee must have an active job record for the period of evaluation.
    • If “ADJ” is within the title for the individual, they are placed in the Adjunct category.
    • If an instructor of record has an employee classification of “F” (Faculty) and the instructor’s tenure code is “CT” (Continuous), they are placed in the Tenured category.
    • If an instructor of record has an employee classification of “F” (Faculty) and the instructor’s tenure code is “PT” (Probationary), they are placed in the Tenure-Track category.
    • If an instructor of record has an employee classification of “F” (Faculty) and the instructor’s tenure code is “NT” (Non-tenure), they are placed in the Non-tenurable category.
    • If an instructor of record has an employee classification of “1S” (Graduate Assistant), the individual is placed in the Graduate Assistant category.
    • If the instructor of record has an employee classification that is anything but “F” (Faculty) and they have a tenure code of “CT” (Continuous) or “PT” (Probationary), they are placed in the Non-faculty Tenure category.
    • If the instructor of record has an employee classification that is anything but “F” (Faculty) and they do not have a tenure code, they are placed in the Non-faculty category.
    • If the instructor of record does not have an active job record and/or does not fit into any of the logical steps above, they are placed in the Not Assigned category.


How are costs assigned to a department in the APS Platform?


How are instructional expenses at the Dean's level reported in the APS Platform?

  • College-level expenses are kept at the Dean's level within the APS Analytics Platform and not passed down to the academic units. The mapping of organizations to the Dean's level can be found in the University crosswalks on the Institutional Effectiveness website. https://www.umt.edu/institutional-research/metrics/academic-performance-solutions/default.php.
  • For the APS Benchmark section of the Platform, the college-level expenses are prorated down to each department in an effort to ensure consistency across national universities, regardless of individual university accounting practices.