The National Center for Education Statistics develops course codes through the NCES Forum. The membership of the NCES Forum is composed primarily of state department of education data managers. In the fall of 2009, SEADAE approached the NCES Forum with a proposal to allow SEADAE, in partnership with the professional arts education associations, to revise the course codes for secondary schools. NCES was enthusiastic about this suggestion and approved SEADAE’s plan. In addition, NCES requested SEADAE assist in the development of the first-ever course codes for schools designated as “prior to secondary” (mostly elementary and early middle school grades).
The collaboration between SEADAE (through the SEADAE Data Task Force) and NCES resulted in the 2011 release of the Prior to Secondary Course Codes and the upcoming release of the revised Secondary Course Codes now in the final approval process at NCES.
Having a unified set of course codes for arts education provides the Project Team with the framework to align the arts education course data from the states. Many states now in the process of developing the State Longitudinal Data Systems will utilize the newly created NCES arts education course codes. For states with State Longitudinal Data Systems already in place the NCES arts education course codes will be used to match state established courses to the NCES equivalent. These codes also provide the Project Team the opportunity to create subcategories of courses based on individual state needs.