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Design of the NAEP HSTS

The NAEP High School Transcript Study is conducted with a nationally representative sample of students and high schools. Beginning in the summer and continuing through the fall of the year, high school transcripts are collected for students who graduated from public and private high schools that were sampled for the NAEP assessments. The sample of schools is nationally representative of all schools in the United States, and the sample of students is representative of graduating seniors from each school. The transcript study includes only those students whose transcripts indicate that they graduated the year that the study was conducted. Most of the students sampled in the transcript study are in schools that participated in NAEP. The data collected from those students that participated in NAEP make it possible to link coursetaking patterns to academic performance, as measured by NAEP.

The data collected from HSTS studies are typically reported as follows:

  • The distribution of graduates by coursetaking and demographic characteristics.
  • The mean number of credits (Carnegie units) that graduates earned in major subject fields and by student demographic categories.
  • The relationship of NAEP scores with various graduate characteristics.

The HSTS database contains a variety of information on student and course-level characteristics. Some key student variables include gender, race/ethnicity, type of diploma earned, and grade point average. Key course-level variables include grade earned, credits earned, grade course was taken, and course type (i.e., honors, exceptional, special education).

The data collected through the transcript studies and other NCES surveys are protected by NCES confidentiality procedures. To maximize use of statistical information while protecting individually identifiable information from disclosure, NCES makes some data available through the NAEP Data Explorer for HSTS. NCES also provides access to micro-data files by researchers whose data needs cannot be met by using the NAEP Data Explorer under a restricted use data license.

Consult HSTS technical publications for more information about HSTS design.

Last updated 08 April 2011 (EP)