National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) | SRI International

Toggle Menu
students in a classroom

National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)

SRI documented the experiences of a national sample of students as they moved from secondary school into adult roles.

NLTS2 provides a unique source of information for understanding the experiences and outcomes of secondary school students with disabilities as they go through their early adult years. NLTS2 was a 10-year study of the experiences of youth with disabilities who were 13- to 16-year-old recipients of special education services in the 2000–2001 school year. The sample of approximately 12,000 youth is nationally representative of youth with disabilities in that age group as a whole, as well as of those in each of the 12 federal special education disability categories.

The study described:

  • The characteristics of secondary school students with disabilities and their households
  • Their secondary school experiences, including their schools, school programs, related services, and extracurricular activities
  • The adult services they received after high school
  • Their achievements during and after high school in the education, employment, social, and independence domains

SRI researchers collected data on sample members from multiple sources in five waves, beginning in 2001 and ending in 2009. Data were collected through phone interviews and mailed surveys with parents and youth, surveys of school staff while youth were in secondary school, direct assessments of academic skills and knowledge, and collection of high school transcripts.

Analyses of the longitudinal data identify trends in the experiences and achievements of youth as they aged. Comparisons with data from the original NLTS, conducted between 1985 and 1993, illuminate how the experiences of youth with disabilities in secondary school and as young adults have changed in the past decade or more.