Overview of the New York State Longitudinal Post School Indicators Survey Project

What will happen?

The St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES is coordinating the New York State Post School Indicators Survey Project and will conduct five-year longitudinal surveys of the high school classes of 2000 and 2001 in New York State.

Under the Longitudinal Post School Indicators Transition Survey project, special education and a limited number of general education seniors from the classes of 2000 and 2001 from a representative sample of school districts will be surveyed about their plans for post school life. Interviewers will follow up with former students again at one year out of school, three years out of school and five years out of school to determine what actually happened in terms of career, postsecondary education and community living.

Why is this being done?

Transition planning and services requires coordination across many systems. In addition to the State education system, other community service systems including vocational rehabilitation and higher education must collaborate with schools at key points to create a smooth continuum of services leading to post school student success. In data collection and analysis to date, the review of transition process has stopped at the point when a former student is out of school for a year. This leaves many questions unanswered, such as how careers develop over time? What is the typical postsecondary education experience for young adults with disabilities? And when is it appropriate to expect former students to move from living at home to the community? Finally, what skills and services best help students to be successful?

Following along with the classes of 2000 and 2001 during the five years after graduation will provide invaluable insight into their transition process. The information will guide State policy makers, school districts and parents in deciding how to improve the quality and availability of transition planning and services statewide.

How will participating schools be selected?

Through stratified cluster sampling based on New York State's ten Effective School Consortia Regions (ESCR), it was determined that a representative sample size would be approximately 4,500 students with disabilities and 1,500 general education students. New York State's PD-5 "Report of Students with Disabilities for School Year 1996-1997" was used to enumerate each district's count of exiters from special education. Students who graduated with local, Regents, or IEP Diplomas, received a Local Certificate, or aged out or dropped out of school were counted by school building and district to determine each ESCR’s share of special education exiters. Random sampling yielded a list of 166 specific school districts from which the survey panel will be drawn. The cooperation of these districts is essential to the success of the survey. Some districts or schools may not want to participate. In these cases, replacement districts or schools will be randomly selected and then recruited.

What will a participating school district have to do?

Participating districts will be asked to complete a brief profile of their programs, services, and community to assist during the analysis phase with grouping similar schools' data. To identify who should be interviewed for the survey of the class of 2000, the school districts will provide a stratified list of students to the PSI Project Coordinator so that random sampling can identify specific students to be included in the longitudinal survey panel. Every student from their Class of 2000 classified as having a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will be included. One out of every thirty-five general education students from the participating schools will also be included in the survey panel. In New York City, to keep the sample size manageable, a larger ratio will be used in selecting general education students.

How will students and families be involved?

Students and their families will be informed about the longitudinal survey and their expected participation. Appropriate confidentiality releases will be secured. Schools will also provide personal, demographic and educational information about these students. Families, students and schools will be assured that information will be held in confidence.

In preparation for their future interviews, identified students from the Class of 2000 will complete a twenty-minute long Senior Exit Survey before graduation in May 2000. This will provide contact information and data regarding how well-prepared students feel that they are for life after high school and what their post high school plans include. This contact while students are still in high school should make it easier to find and interview them once they are out of school. They will be interviewed during the spring of 2001, 2003 and 2005 by paid interviewers provided by the Project Coordinator. During the term of the project, trend data will be compiled through interviewing the Class of 2001 using the same process and questionnaires used with the Class of 2000.

What are the proposed results of this project?

The proposed results of this project include:

  1. A five-year Longitudinal Survey of the Class of 2000, interviewed during the spring of 2001, 2003 and 2005.
  2. A five-year Longitudinal Survey of the Class of 2001, interviewed during the spring of 2002, 2004 and 2006.
  3. Post School Indicators Survey Trend Data using interviews of the classes of 2000 and 2001.
  4. Two years of Trend Data based upon the High School Senior Exit Survey.
  5. Capacity to provide technical assistance for school improvement purposes to participating local school districts.



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