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Using the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) Database for Research and Policy Discussion

Purpose: The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, will sponsor a 3-day advanced studies seminar on the use of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) database. The NLTS2 is designed to support research on a wide range of topics pertaining to youth with disabilities as they move from secondary school into adult roles.

This seminar is open to advanced graduate students and faculty members from colleges and universities nationwide and to researchers, education practitioners, and policy analysts from federal, state, and local education and human services agencies and professional associations.

Type: Training
Dates: January 13-15, 2009
Location: Washington, DC
NLTS2: In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education funded the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 (NLTS2) to provide a national picture of the characteristics, experiences, and outcomes of secondary school students with disabilities as they transition to young adulthood. NLTS2 includes a sample of more than 11,000 youth who were ages 13 through 16 and receiving special education services in seventh grade or above in the 2000-2001 school year. The sample is nationally representative of youth with disabilities as a group and youth in each of the federal special education disability categories in use for students in the NLTS2 age range.

Data are being collected in five waves over a 9-year period and include information from parents, youth, school staff, and school records. The database includes over 10,000 variables related to youth and family characteristics, school characteristics, special education programs and services, academic and functional performance, adult services and supports, postsecondary education, adult adjustment and health, and adult employment.

Links: For further information about NLTS2, including available publications that can be downloaded, visit the study website (
Expected Outcome: The overall goal of the training seminar is to prepare researchers to use NLTS2 data in substantive research. The seminar will include both lecture and hands-on instruction. Specifically, the seminar will include the following topics and activities:
  • overview of the NLTS2 design, instruments, and database,
  • discussion of the methodological and technical issues relevant to NLTS2 data use,
  • instruction and practice with NLTS2 data, and
  • hands-on experience in conducting analyses of NLTS2 data.
This training seminar is not intended to provide formal instruction on advanced statistical methods and analyses.
  1. Applicants must be citizens or non-citizen nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).
  2. Applicants must demonstrate at least one year of data processing experience with SAS or SPSS to be considered. Participants attending this training seminar are expected to be proficient in the use of SPSS or SAS statistical software packages. Participants will be expected to know how to perform SPSS or SAS procedures, including manipulating data (e.g., joining data tables, subsetting data, recoding data, creating new variables) and running statistical analyses (e.g., frequency distributions, cross-tabulations, regression analyses).
Eligible applicants (i.e., those meeting the requirements above and submitting their application materials by November 23, 2008) will be evaluated on the following criteria:
  • significance of the proposed research;
  • alignment of the proposed research plan with NLTS2 data;
  • prior research experience and training; and
  • knowledge and skills in statistical analyses and the use of statistical computer packages.
Financial Support: There is no fee to attend the training seminar. NCSER will provide training materials as well as computers for hands-on practice. NCSER will also pay for transportation and hotel accommodations. Participants will be responsible for their meals during travel and while in Washington, DC.
Location: The training seminar will be held in Washington, DC, January 13-15, 2009. Accepted applicants will be sent information about meeting and lodging arrangements.
Application Instructions: Individuals interested in attending the training seminar must submit:
  1. A copy of their resume or curriculum vitae. Applicants should indicate citizenship status on their resume or curriculum vitae.
  2. A short (2 to 3 pages) statement of interest (8.5 x 11 inch page; single-spaced; 12 point font; with 1-inch top, bottom, and side margins). Information on what to include in the statement of interest is described below. Statements of interest that are longer than 3 pages will not be reviewed.
  3. Graduate students must provide a letter of recommendation from their faculty advisor.
In the statement of interest, applicants should:
  1. Clearly describe the substantive issues and research questions that they intend to study using NLTS2 data. Applicants should address the significance of these issues and questions.
  2. Explain why NLTS2 is an appropriate data source for addressing the proposed research questions. Applicants should identify the NLTS2 assessments, questionnaires and/or survey content areas to be utilized for this research. Information regarding assessments, questionnaires and content areas is available at the study website ( This information will help applicants determine if their questions can be addressed through the NLTS2 data.
  3. Briefly describe their research experience and training and how the training seminar would contribute to their overall program of research.
  4. Document their experience and proficiency with the SPSS or SAS procedures described under the section on Qualifications.
Applications must be submitted via e-mail to:

Applications will not be accepted after November 23, 2008. Only complete applications will be considered for review.
Other Information: Applicants who do not meet the qualifications given above will be rated ineligible.

The number of applicants selected to participate from the same organization or institution may be limited to two if the total number of eligible applicants (i.e., applicants who meet all of the requirements and submit a complete application by the due date) exceeds the space capacity of the training seminar.

Accepted candidates will be notified by December 5, 2008. Accepted candidates will receive the seminar agenda and information about travel arrangements.

If selected for participation, individuals who require accommodations for disabilities to participate in the NLTS2 Database Training Seminar should contact Chonita Milner-Vaughn (see contact information below) by December 12, 2008 to ensure that appropriate accommodations are provided.
Access to Restricted-Use Data: Accepted candidates will be required to bring a signed and notarized Affidavit of Nondisclosure to the first training session. A blank form will be provided to all accepted candidates prior to the training.

This non-disclosure form permits limited access to restricted-use NLTS2 data during this training seminar. Course materials do not include the NLTS2 data. Participants interested in performing further analyses and publishing results using NLTS2 data will be required to submit a separate application for licensure. Licenses for using these restricted-use data outside of the training seminar may be obtained through NCES (National Center for Education Statistics).

More information on Licensing is available at:
Contact Information: Inquiries about e-mail submission of NLTS2 Database Training Seminar application materials:

Chonita Milner-Vaughn
Optimal Solutions Group, LLC
8100 Professional Place, Suite 312
Hyattsville, MD 20785

Telephone: 301-306-1170
Submission E-mail: