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Adult Education Participation in 2004-05

NCES 2006-077
May 2006

Appendix A: Survey Methodology and Data Reliability

The National Household Education Surveys Program (NHES) is a set of telephone surveys sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NHES surveys focused on adult education in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, and 2005. This report presents data from the Adult Education (AE) Survey of the 2005 NHES (AE-NHES:2005). The AE Survey for 2005 focuses on adult education for both work-related and personal interest reasons. AE-NHES:2005 survey data collection was conducted by Westat and took place from January 3 through April 24 of 2005. This section provides a brief description of the study methodology.

The NHES:2005 sample was selected using a multiple stage sampling framework and the data were collected using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) technology. The first stage of selection in NHES:2005 was the selection of a list-assisted random digit dial (RDD) sample of telephone numbers, with areas with high percentages of Black and Hispanic residents sampled at higher rates than those in areas with low percentages of Black and Hispanic residents. In the second stage, the sampled telephone numbers were classified as mailable or nonmailable depending on whether they could be matched to a mailing address in the white pages telephone directory or from other databases. In order to limit respondent burden, adults were sampled at a lower rate in households that contained children eligible for the Early Childhood Program Participation (ECPP) Survey and the After-School Programs and Activities (ASPA) Survey. Adult education participants were sampled at a higher rate than nonparticipants in order to improve the precision of estimates of characteristics of participants. The only person who could respond to the AE interview was the sampled adult. The AE sample is a cross-sectional, national sample that provides information on civilian, noninstitutionalized persons age 16 or older and not enrolled in grade 12 or below.

The AE survey focused on participation in the following types of educational activities: English as a Second Language, basic skills/GED preparation, college or university degree or certificate programs, vocational or technical diploma, degree, or certificate programs, apprenticeships, self-reported career-or job-related training or courses, self-reported personal-interest courses, and informal learning activities for personal interest. In addition, respondents were also asked about employer support for educational activities, reasons for participation, and participation through distance education. Demographic, household, and detailed employment information was also gathered. Multiple attempts were made to complete interviews with persons not available at the time of selection. Interviews were conducted in both English (95 percent) and Spanish (5 percent). This report is based on the 8,904 completed interviews with adults representing a weighted total of 211,607,007 adults.