Moving from school to adult life can be difficult for youth and their families. It is a national priority to ensure that all students leave high school prepared for their lives as adults. Across the country, schools use a range of programs to help students face this challenging time in their lives and reach their goals.
The U.S. Department of Education has funded the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2012 (NLTS 2012). The goal of this study is to better understand how these programs are supporting all students, including those with special needs. This nationwide study will provide information about:
These findings may help schools improve the services they provide, both now and in the future.
NLTS 2012 will ask about the experiences of approximately 15,000 students from across the country. As a parent or guardian, your view on your child's experiences is important. Only you can tell us your hopes and dreams for your child and give your opinion on the challenges your child has faced during this time. Below are some questions parents may have about the study. Please click on the questions below to get more information on each topic.
Why should I take part in this study?
As a parent or guardian, you play an important role in your child's transition to adult life. The information you can provide is critical to the success of this study. Data from this study may be used to improve the ways schools help students become productive adults. Each student in our study will represent several other students.
People who create policies and run programs for schools want to know more about how to help students be prepared for life after high school. The goal of this study is to see what programs or services help students move from school to adulthood and reach their goals. It is important that you participate so we can be sure that a wide variety of students and parents are represented.
We understand your time is valuable. If your district allows, we will send you a check for $20 for each survey you complete as a thank you for your time.
How do I take part?
If you agree to take part in this study, you will complete a 30–35-minute survey as part of wave 1 of data collection. You can complete your survey over the telephone or over the web. Field interviewers may also try to complete surveys in-person, with those who have not completed by the web or telephone. The survey is about your child's experiences in and out of school and your thoughts about the future. You will be contacted again in 2014 as part of wave 2 for another survey to see how things have changed over time.
In the first survey during wave 1, we will ask your permission to collect information from one or two of your child's teachers and to access student records. That survey will have questions about your child's experiences in and out of school, as well as his or her plans for the future. We will also ask for your permission to interview your child over the telephone for about 30 minutes or ask if your child would like to complete the survey over the web. Students may be asked to take part in another survey in 2014 as a part of wave 2. You can help your child answer questions or answer for him or her, if that is needed. If your district allows, your child will receive a $10 gift card for each survey he or she completes.
If your child is 16 to 18 years old in 2014, he or she may be invited to take part in a test of his or her academic skills. It will take 15 to 45 minutes as a part of wave 2. This test is only for this study and will not count toward classes or grades in school. The results are completely confidential and will not be shared with anyone—including your child, the school, your child's teachers, or the school district. In the future, and as a way to limit the number of questions included in the survey, researchers may take a look at databases and existing information on college enrollment, financial aid for college, employment, and benefits.
Will my information be kept private?
All study staff will protect your privacy. In compliance with federal laws, all information collected from students, parents, teachers, principals, and school districts will be kept confidential and will only be used for research purposes. The survey responses that you and your child provide will not be shared with anyone, including the school and the school district. No information that could identify your child will be included in any report or presentation. Any information that could be used to identify you will be stored separately from the survey responses. All information collected will be combined such that it will not be possible to identify any individual.
The information we collect is used only for statistical purposes and may not be disclosed or used in identifiable form for any other purpose except as required by law (Public Law 107-279, Section 183).
What if I have questions or change my mind about taking part?
You can get more detailed information about the NLTS 2012 by contacting the study team directly. You can also email the team if you change your mind about taking part. If you (or your child) change your mind about taking part, there will be no penalties for either of you.
If you have any questions about the rights that you and your child have as research volunteers, you can call New England Institutional Review Board at 617-243-3924. This is the board that reviewed this study to make sure that your rights and those of your child are protected.