Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

COS Calculators & Graphing Templates

How Data from the COS Process Can Be Used to Address the OSEP Reporting Requirement

Many states use the COS process to collect child outcomes data for federal reporting purposes. These documents explain how the information produced from the COS process can be used to classify a child into one of the 5 reporting categories that make up the OSEP reporting requirement on child outcomes.

WWW: Converting COS Data to OSEP Progress Categories/Summary Statements

This online interactive explains how data obtained from the COS process is converted to the child outcomes data that states report annually to the federal government. A set of calculators is included to allow users to explore how the data are converted.

XLS: COS to OSEP Categories Tutor

This calculator was designed to show what OSEP reporting categories are generated from all possible combinations of COS ratings at entry and exit. Open the file and be sure you are in the worksheet labeled "Tutor." Follow the instructions to see how different combinations of COS ratings leads to one of the 5 OSEP reporting categories. The tutor allows you to experiment with various combinations of outcomes ratings and progress question answers to see what OSEP category each combination produces. (updated February 2017)

XLS: COS Calculator

This Excel file can be used (or adapted for use by someone who knows Excel) with large data sets of COS ratings (up to 12,000 rows). The calculator will use summary form ratings data to:

  1. Generate OSEP progress category information and charts on child outcomes
  2. Generate OSEP summary statement percentages and charts on
  3. Generate entry and exit COS ratings and charts for all three child outcomes
  4. Generate description information on “a” and “e” progress categories across all three outcomes
  5. Summarize data issues (e.g., missing data, valid data)
Notes on the updated Calculator: (updated March 2017)

Six months between entry date and exit date is now calculated as 182 days. In previous versions of the calculator it was calculated as of 181 days. An option to turn off the programming that excludes children with less than six months between entry date and exit date has been added to this version (available on the first worksheet). The file size of the document has been reduced and we not have only one version on the website.

Be sure to read the "Contents and Tips" page of the file for additional information.

PDF: Getting from COS Ratings to the OSEP Reporting Categories: COS to OSEP Summary Tables

This document contains 3 tables. The first two tables show the OSEP reporting category generated from all possible combinations of COS ratings at entry and exit. The third table presents combinations of entrance and exit ratings that are impossible and provides explanations for why. (updated August 2007)

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2020 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute