Moving from school life to adulthood is an important transition for all youth. Teachers and administrators want students to leave school ready for what they want to do next. One goal of this study is to see what programs or services are most helpful to students as they move from school to adulthood. Another goal is to describe the experiences of youth today—both in and out of school:
Results from this study will be used to improve the ways schools help students during this important time in their lives.
Below are some questions students may have about the study. Click on the questions to get more information on each topic.
Why should I take part in this study?
Young people have a variety of experiences in school as well as many different goals for their lives. Schools try to help students reach these goals and prepare them for adult life. To do this well, schools need to know what young people think, what opportunities they have, and what challenges they face. This study will collect information about programs or services to see which are helpful to students as they move from school to adulthood and strive to reach their goals.
We can't talk to all students. Instead, we have selected more than 400 school districts and approximately 15,000 students from across the country to speak for all youth in America today. Your experiences matter and are important to our study. Only you can tell us about your life in and out of school. Each student who agrees to take part will represent others with similar experiences.
We understand your time is valuable. If your district allows, we would like to thank you for completing your survey by sending you a gift card worth $10.
How do I take part?
We will interview students who participate in the study between spring 2012 and summer 2013 as part of wave 1 of data collection. An interviewer may call you, get your permission to interview you, and then ask you questions over the phone for about 30 minutes. You may also choose to complete our survey over the web. Our study team will send you a link to the web survey and provide a username and password, which keeps all your information secure. The survey questions will be about your experiences at school, jobs you've had, how you spend your free time, and your goals for the future. An interviewer will talk to you again in 2014 as a part of wave 2 of data collection.
If you are about 16 to 18 years old in 2014 for wave 2 of data collection, we may ask if you'd like to complete an assessment to show your academic skills. It will take 15 to 45 minutes. This test is only for this study and will not count toward your classes or your grades in school. We won't give the results to your teachers, parents, or anyone else.
We also need information from other sources. When you complete the survey, you will be asked for your permission to talk to one or two of your teachers. A teacher survey will be sent to the person who provides either your math or language arts instruction. That survey has questions about your experience in that class. For students who receive special education services, we will ask your permission to contact the person who is most knowledgeable about services the school provides to you. That survey asks about how your school is helping you prepare for adult life. Finally, we will also ask your permission to collect your school records for information such as classes you have taken or attendance. You can decline any portion of our study if you do not wish to take part in every piece.
Will my information be kept private?
All of your information is kept private. Federal law says the information we collect must be 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 information about the NLTS 2012 study, how we will collect data, how we chose participants, security, and other topics by contacting the study team directly. You can also email the study team if you change your mind about taking part.
If you have any questions about your rights as a research volunteer, you can call New England Institutional Review Board at 617-243-3924. This is the board that reviewed this study to make sure your rights are protected. If you change your mind about taking part, there will be no penalties for you.