The Cal-SOAP program is administered by the California Student Aid Commission (Commission) with individual projects applying each year for continued federal funding. By law, each state allocation must be matched by an equal or higher level of local resources. All programs are required to track budget allocations and expenditures from the Commission, matching contributions and expenditures, and costs per activity. Budget reports are submitted on a quarterly basis.
Each regional Cal-SOAP project is required to collect and bi-annually report student data to the Commission using a statewide student information system which allows Cal-SOAP consortia to collect and track detailed student, family, service, activity and cost data. The Cal-SOAP projects use a computer database to collect and report program information and data. Projects collect demographic and program eligibility information on Cal-SOAP participants, as well as program services information.
In addition, projects use surveys and questionnaires to collect information on activity implementation, participation and impact. These surveys and questionnaires are not yet standardized or common among all projects. They need to be incorporated as well as produced by the new system.
Cal-SOAP services are provided on two levels; intensive services and general services. Intensive services are one-on-one and small group activities conducted with program participants consistently throughout the academic year. Projects are required to use the statewide Cal-SOAP database to collect and report information on students who receive these intensive services. General services are usually larger events open to low income schools and surrounding communities at large. Each project has developed its own data collection method to report intensive and general activities to its governing board. Cal-SOAP projects also use county and individual school information to compare and assess program impact. The statewide Cal-SOAP database is used to generate local reports that provide a basis for evaluations of the program by the project and by the Commission.
The Estrada Consulting team supported the Commission’s efforts to design, develop and deploy a comprehensive, integrated and modern web-based database system that meets the technical and business requirements of the Commission and the Cal-SOAP Program.
Estrada provided a team consisting of a Project Manager, Business Analyst and Two developers to create the data exchange specifications. The application was built on .NET and Oracle technologies and performed the following services:
- Requirements analysis with business and technical stakeholders
- Developed System Requirements Document with multiple faceted stakeholder group
- Collaboration with business and technical stakeholders for design meetings and documentation
- Performed project scheduling services to plan and oversee project activities.
- Organized and conducted an initial database project scoping meeting with the Commission and Cal-SOAP Project Directors to discuss project expectations and refine the tasks, deliverables, and schedule.
- Provided a fully-functional database system to the Commission and Consortium for evaluation prior to final database deployment.
- Deployed final database upon approval by the Commission and Consortium
- Provided user-friendly and web-based student and budget tracking and reporting system.
- Allowed for various levels of accessibility for reviewing and approving data entry.
- Provided an efficient uploading process of budget information from Excel.
- Provided an efficient uploading process of student level data.
- Tracked and produced reports on all student achievement data to assess program effectiveness.
- Provided project directors with ability to view individual project and statewide data for reporting and evaluation purposes.
- Aggregated data to provide statewide reporting capabilities for CSAC and Cal- SOAP project directors.
- Contained web-based tutorials for new users.
- Provided an on-going support system via a ticketing system or FAQ page.
- Provided a reliable back-up system that functions via web-based technology
- Client CA Student Aid Commission
- Project Type CAL-Soap Application Development