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Adult Education Participation in 2004-05

NCES 2006-077
May 2006

Appendix B: Glossary

The statistics and population and activity characteristics used in analyses for this report are described below. These characteristics include adult education categories and the characteristics of learning activities within these categories and the sociodemographic, labor force, and other characteristics of adults that are used throughout the report. The original variables used in the analyses for this report are described below.

When the variable is in the Adult Education data file for the National Household Education Surveys Program, the variable name appears in parentheses.

Statistics
Formal Adult Education Categories
Sociodemographic and Labor Force Characteristics of Adults
Other Adult and Activity Characteristics

Statistics

Alpha - The Greek letter alpha (a) indicates the probability of rejecting the statistical hypothesis tested when in fact, that hypothesis is true. For an alpha of 0.05, this is the equivalent of asserting that you will reject the hypothesis tested if the obtained statistic is among those that would occur only 5 out of 100 times that random samples are drawn from a population in which the hypothesis is true.

Coefficient of variation - The coefficient of variation or CV is a measure of dispersion of a probability distribution. It is defined as the ratio of the standard deviation to the mean. The coefficient of variation is a dimensionless number that allows comparison of the variation of populations that have significantly different mean values. It is often reported as on a scale of 0 to 100% by multiplying the above calculation by 100.

Mean (or average) - The mean is one of several indices of central tendency that statisticians use to indicate the point on the scale of measures where the population is centered. The mean is the average of the scores or values in the population. Numerically, it equals the sum of the scores divided by the number of scores.

Median - The median is one of several indices of central tendency that statisticians use to indicate the point on the scale of measures where the population is centered. The median of a population is the point that divides the distribution of scores in half. Numerically, half of the scores in a population will have values that are equal to or larger than the median and half will have values that are equal to or smaller than the median.

Percentage - A percentage is a part of a whole expressed in hundredths. For example, 5 out of 50 = 5/50 = .10 *100 = 10 percent.

Sampling distribution - The sampling distribution of a statistic is the set of values that would be obtained if an infinite number of random samples from a given population were drawn and the statistic on each sample was calculated. In doing so, all samples must be of the same size (n).

Standard deviation - The standard deviation is one of several indices of variability that is used to characterize the dispersion among the measures in a given population. To calculate the standard deviation of a population it is first necessary to calculate that population's variance (defined below). Numerically, the standard deviation is the square root of the variance.

Standard error - The standard error, or standard error of the mean, is an estimate of the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of means, based on the data from one or more random samples. Numerically, it is equal to the square root of the quantity obtained when the estimated variance of a sample estimate is divided by the size of the sample.

Variance - The variance is one of several indices of variability used to characterize the dispersion among the measures in a given population. To calculate the variance of a given population, it is necessary to first calculate the mean of the scores, then measure the amount that each score deviates from the mean and then square that deviation (by multiplying it by itself). Numerically, the variance equals the average of the several squared deviations from the mean.

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Formal Adult Education Categories

Any formal adult education (AEPARTIC) indicates participation in any formal adult educational activities in the 12 months prior to the interview, excluding full-time only enrollments in college/university or vocational/technical credential programs. Included in this are the following: English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, basic skills or GED preparation classes, part-time college or university degree or certificate programs, part-time vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate programs, apprenticeship programs, self-reported work-related courses or training, and self-reported personal-interest courses.

ESL classes (ESLANG) indicates participation in classes or utilization of a tutor in the 12 months prior to the interview to learn English as a Second Language.

Basic skills/GED preparation classes (BSIMPROV, BSGED, BSHSEQUV) indicates participation in classes or utilization of a tutor in the 12 months prior to the interview to either improve basic reading, writing, and math skills, prepare to take the General Educational Development (GED) test, or complete some other high school equivalency program or adult high school program.

College/university degree or certificate programs (CRDEGREE, CRPOSTDG, CRPTFT1-3) indicates participation in college or university degree or certificate programs in the 12 months prior to the interview to earn a college or university degree or certificate. Respondents can report participation in multiple college or university degree or certificate programs. Such degrees and certificates include an associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degree, or post-baccalaureate certificate, post-master's certificate, or post-doctoral certificate. Adults enrolled only in full-time college or university credential programs are not included in the analyses of college/university program adult participants.

Vocational/technical diploma, degree, or certificate programs (CRVOCDIP, VOPTFT1-3) indicates participation in vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate programs in the 12 months prior to the interview to earn a vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate (after high school). Respondents can report participation in multiple vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate programs. Adults enrolled only in full-time vocational or technical credential programs are not included in the analyses of vocational/technical school program adult participants.

Apprenticeship (APPRENTI) indicates participation in apprenticeship programs, which are defined as formal programs taken in the 12 months prior to the interview that lead to journeyman status in a skilled trade or craft.

Work-related courses or training (WRACTY) indicates self-reported participation in work-related courses or training, which are defined as any formal courses or training taken in the 12 months prior to the interview that had an instructor present and were related to job or career, whether or not the respondent had a job when he or she took them. Also, these delineated courses or training were not part of college or vocational degree, diploma, or certificate programs or apprenticeship programs. All courses or training taken in the 12 months prior to the interview were enumerated and detailed information was collected on up to four work-related courses or training. If an adult took more than four courses or training, four were sampled for data collection.

Personal-interest courses (SAACTY) indicates self-reported participation in personal-interest courses, which are defined as any courses taken for personal interest or development that had an instructor present and were not necessarily related to one's job or career. All courses taken in the 12 months prior to the interview were enumerated and detailed information was collected on up to two personal-interest courses. If an adult took more than two courses, two were sampled for data collection.

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Sociodemographic and Labor Force Characteristics of Adults

Age (AAGE2004) indicates the age of the adult respondent and is derived from the continuous variable AAGE2004 utilizing the following age breakdowns: "16-24," "25-34," "35-44," "45-54," "55-64," "65 or older."

Sex (SEX) indicates the gender of the adult respondent with the categories being "Male" and "Female."

Race/ethnicity (RACEETH2) indicates the race/ethnicity of the adult respondent and is broken down into the following categories: "White, non-Hispanic," "Black, non-Hispanic," "Hispanic," "Asian or Pacific Islander, non-Hispanic," "Other race, non-Hispanic." The "Other race, non-Hispanic" category includes more than one race.

Highest education level (IBGRADE, IBDIPL) indicates the highest education level of the adult respondent, including diplomas, degrees, etc. obtained by the adult respondent. The variable is derived using a combination of IBGRADE (What is the highest grade or year of school that you completed?) and IBDIPL (Do you have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED?). The categories are derived as follows:

"Less than a high school diploma/equivalent"1<=IBGRADE<=3 and IBDIPL=2
"High school diploma/equivalent" 11<=IBGRADE1<=3 and IBDIPL=1 or
        IBGRADE=4 and IBDIPL=-1
"Some college/vocational/associate's degree"51<=IBGRADE<=8 and IBDIPL=1 or 2
"Bachelor's degree"IBGRADE=9 or 10 and IBDIPL=-1
"Graduate or professional degree"11<=IBGRADE1<=13 and IBDIPL=-1

Household income (HINCOME) indicates total income including salaries or other earnings, interest, retirement, and so on of the household in which the adult respondent resided. It is derived from the variable HINCOME which breaks down household income into categories with increments of $5,000 or more. The aggregated categories used for these analyses are as follows: "$20,000 or less," $20,001 - $35,000," $35,001 - $50,000," "50,001 - $75,000" "75,001 or more."

Employment status (AELABOR) indicates the adult respondent's labor force status within the past week or month prior to the interview. Adults are classified as working full-time (35 hours or more weekly), working part-time (less than 35 hours weekly), unemployed and looking for work, and not in the labor force.

Occupation (IBWORK12, OCCGRP) indicates the respondent's employment status (Did you work at a job for pay or income at any time in the past 12 months, including self-employment? - IBWORK12) and occupation during the 12 months prior to the interview. The occupational information is provided by the respondents and stored as variables PROFESSN (What kind of work are you doing?) and DUTIES/DUTIES2 (What are your most important activities or duties?) which are only available on the restricted-use data file. However, this information was used to code the variable, FSOC, which is available on the public-use data file. FSOC represents that Standard Occupational Classification or SOC codes used by the federal government to classify occupations. Then the OCCGRP variable, used for these analyses and available on the public-use data file, is derived from the FSOC variable as specified below.

FSOC:

1. Executive, Administrative, Managerial Occupations
2. Engineers, Surveyors, and Architects
3. Natural Scientists and Mathematicians
4. Social Scientists, Social/Religious Workers and Lawyers
5. Teachers: College, University, and Other
6. Teachers, except Postsecondary Institution
7. Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners
8. Registered Nurses, Pharmacists, Dieticians, and Therapists
9. Writers/Artists/Entertainers/Athletes
10. Health Technologists and Technicians
11. Technologists and Technicians, except Health
12. Marketing and Sales Occupations
13. Administrative Support Occupations, including Clerical
14. Service Occupations
15. Agricultural, Forestry, and Fishing Occupations
16. Mechanics and Repairers
17. Construction/Extractive Occupations
18. Precision and Production Working Occupations
19. Transportation and Material Moving Occupations
20. Miscellaneous Occupations

The OCCGRP represents a three-level categorization of occupational codes by type of work based on the condensing of FSOC codes into these three categories. The three levels are delineated below.

OCCGRP

"Professional/managerial/administrative"FSOC categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
"Sales/service/clerical"FSOC categories 11, 12, 13, 14, 20
"Trade and labor"FSOC categories 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

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Other Adult and Activity Characteristics

Reasons for taking classes or courses were asked in a series of "yes" or "no" questions. The specific reasons are listed below by type of adult educational activity. Data from these items are presented in tables 2-4.

ESL classes:
ESCHIL - To help your children with school work?
ESUSCIT - To get U.S. citizenship?
ESJOB - To get a new job with a different employer?
ESRAISE - To help you get a raise or promotion?
ESCOLVOC - To be able to attend college or vocational school?
ESPUBAST - To meet a requirement for public assistance?
ESFEEL - To improve the way you feel about yourself?
ESLIFE - To make it easier to do things on a day-to-day basis?

Basic skills/GED preparation classes:
BSCHIL - To help your children with school work?
BSJOB - To get a new job with a different employer?
BSRAISE - To help you get a raise or promotion?
BSCOLVOC - To be able to attend college or vocational school?
BSPUBAST - To meet a requirement for public assistance?
BSFEEL - To improve the way you feel about yourself?
BSLIFE - To make it easier to do things on a day-to-day basis?

Work-related courses:
WRRSSKI1-4 - To maintain or improve skills or knowledge you already had?
WRNWSKI1-4 - To learn new skills or methods you did not already know?
WRRSRAI1-4 - To help you get a raise or promotion?
WRRSNEW1-4 - To get a new job with a different employer?
WRRSCER1-4 - To get or keep a state, industry, or company certificate or license?
WRRSREQ1-4 - Because you were required to take it?

Employer support questions were asked of adult education participants who were working at the time that they were enrolled in courses or programs discussed in the survey. Employer support questions were asked as a series of yes or no questions. Data from these items are presented in tables 5-6. For college or university degree or certificate program participants, items asked about financial support in the form of full or partial payments for tuition and fees (CREMPTU1-3) or books and materials (CREMPMA1-3), program offerings at the workplace (CRWRKPL1-3), allowances to take programs during regular work hours (CRWRKHR1-3), and payment by employer while taking courses (CREMPAI1-3). For vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate program participants, parallel items were asked (VOEMPTU1-3, VOEMPMA1-3, VOWRKPL1-3, VOWRKHR1-3, and VOEMPAI1-3, respectively). Data for work-related course or training participants, were drawn from the corresponding items WREMPTU1-4, WREMPMA1-4, WRWRKPL1-4, WRWRKHR1-4, and WREMPAI1-4.

Out-of-pocket expenses (table 7) asked respondents to delineate how much of their own or their own families' money they used to pay for the courses, classes, or training over the past 12 months. Respondents are asked first about tuition and fees, and then about books and other materials (ESL participants - ESTUITON, ESMATLS; Basic skills/GED preparation participants - BSTUITON, BSMATLS; College or university degree or certificate program participants - CRTUITO1-3, CRMATLS1-3; Vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate program participants - VOTUITO1-3, VOMATLS1-3; Apprenticeship program participants - APTUITON, APMATLS; Work-related or course or training participants - WRTUITO1-4, WRMATLS1-4; and Personal-interest course participants - SATUITO1-2, SAMTLS1-2).

Provider type information (tables 8-12) was collected through a series of questions about who provided the courses, classes, or training for each program or course in which the respondent participated. ESL participants were asked ESPRTYP, basic skills/GED preparation participants were asked BSPRTYP, work-related course or training participants were asked WRPRTYP1-4, and personal-interest course participants were asked SAPRTYP1-2.

Classroom instructional hours or credit hours are detailed in tables 13-15. Respondents who report participating in a particular activity are asked to delineate the number of classroom instructional hours or credit hours for which they participated in the courses, classes, or training over the past 12 months (ESL participants - ESHRYR; Basic skills/GED preparation participants - BSHRYR; College or university degree or certificate program participants - CRCRDHR1-3; Vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate program participants - VOCRDHR1-3, VOCLSHR1-3; Apprenticeship program participants - APCLSHR; Work-related course or training participants - WRTIME (derived variable); and Personal-interest course participants - SATIME (derived variable)). College/university hours are presented as credit hours. Vocational/technical hours are presented as both credit hours and classroom instructional hours. For both of these sections, only respondents who stated that credit hours did not apply to their program were asked about classroom instructional hours. There were not enough college/university program participants reporting that credit hours did not apply to their programs to be able to report classroom instructional hours but there were enough vocational/technical program participants who reported that credit hours did not apply to their programs to be able to report both.

Distance education information was reported in table 16. Respondents who reported having participated in adult educational activities were asked to specify whether or not they used certain types of distance education methods in their courses, classes, or training. These included CDs or DVDs (DEVIDTCD), television or radio (DETVRAD), the Internet or World Wide Web (DEWWW), computer conferencing or video conferencing (DECOMP), mail (DEMAIL), telephone or voicemail (DEPHONE), and any other types of methods (DEOTH). Respondents were informed that they were to exclude technology utilized in a class with an instructor present.

Informal learning activities for personal interest were addressed in a series "yes" or "no" questions about activities in the past 12 months (table 17). Activities included self-learning using computer software tutorials (PICOMP), reading books or manuals or watching videos or TV (PISELF), reading how-to magazines or consumer magazines (PIMAG), attending various clubs or support groups (PICLUB), and attending conventions or conferences (PISHOW).

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