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Secondary Longitudinal Studies Program

Research Design

NCES Secondary Longitudinal Studies describe the educational experiences of four decades of students in the United States. Click the link below to learn more about the research design of the studies within the program.

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Fast Facts

Please click on any of the above logos to learn more about the respective surveys.

The aim of this continuing program is to study the educational, vocational, and personal development of students at various stages in their educational careers and the personal, familial, social, institutional, and cultural factors that may affect that development.

The secondary longitudinal studies program consists of three completed studies: the National Longitudinal Study of the High School Class of 1972 (NLS:72), the High School and Beyond (HS&B) longitudinal study of 1980, and the National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88). Ongoing studies include the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 (ELS:2002), and the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 (HSLS:09). Taken together, these studies describe the educational experiences of students from 4 decades—the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s—and also provide bases for further understanding of the correlates of educational success in the United States.