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IES Contract

Title: National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)
Center: NCSER Year:
Principal Investigator: Wagner, Mary Awardee: SRI International
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards      [Program Details]
Award Number: ED01CO0003

Key Staff: Mary Wagner, Lynn Newman, Renée Cameto (SRI)

Purpose: The National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) is intended to provide a national picture of the experiences and achievements of students in special education during high school and as they transition from high school to adult life. NLTS2 involves a nationally representative sample of students who were 13 to 16 years old and receiving special education services in December 2000 when the study began. These students will be followed until 2010 in an effort to understand their educational, vocational, social, and personal experiences as they transition from adolescence to early adulthood. Findings from NLTS2 generalize to special education students nationally as a group, to each of the 12 disability categories in use for students in the NLTS2 age range, and to each single-year age group.

Research Questions: NLTS2 covers a broad range of issues relevant to the transition of students with disabilities:

  1. Youth and household characteristics
  2. School characteristics (e.g. school climate, policies, family involvement practices)
  3. School programs (e.g. program participation, course taking, IEPs, transitions)
  4. Access to services
  5. Benefits (e.g. health insurance, etc.)
  6. Related services
  7. Family involvement
  8. Use of accommodations, adaptations, enrichments or compensations
  9. Results while in school (e.g., academic, functional, responsibility and independence)
  10. Adult services and supports (e.g. access, benefits programs, employment related services)
  11. Results after secondary school (postsecondary education, employment, personal-social-community adjustment)

Design: NLTS-2 involves five waves of data collection using three main data collection components: (1) telephone interviews with parents and youth who are capable of completing a phone interview; (2) direct assessments and in-person interviews with youth while they are in secondary school; and collection of school data (e.g., surveys of teachers, special education teachers, principals). Data analyses are conducted as each wave of data is completed, with the final year of the 10-year project being devoted to comprehensive analyses of the full longitudinal data set.

Duration: 60 months (January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2011)

Cost: $19,511,654

Reports: Reports are posted at and

Current Status: (January 2008) The project is currently completing the wave 3 transcript reviews and wave 4 parent and youth interviews. Reports are being prepared and posted as available.