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National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2)


NLTS2 is intended to provide a national picture of the experiences and achievements of students in special education during high school and as they transition from high school to adult life. NLTS2 involves a nationally representative sample of students who were 13 to 16 years old and receiving special education services in December 2000 when the study began. These students will be followed until 2010 in an effort to understand their educational, vocational, social, and personal experiences as they transition from adolescence to early adulthood. Findings from NLTS2 generalize to special education students nationally as a group, to each of the 12 disability categories in use for students in the NLTS2 age range, and to each single-year age group.


NLTS-2 involves five waves of data collection using three main data collection components: (1) telephone interviews with parents and youth who are capable of completing a phone interview; (2) direct assessments and in-person interviews with youth while they are in secondary school; and collection of school data (e.g., surveys of teachers, special education teachers, principals). Data analyses are conducted as each wave of data is completed, with the final year of the 10-year project being devoted to comprehensive analyses of the full longitudinal data set.

Publications and Products

To view NLTS2 publications and products, click here.

To gain access to the NLTS2 restricted-use datasets, contact the IES Data Security Office at or go to Researchers who have questions about NLTS2 data may contact Akilah Nelson for more information.

Training Videos

The NLTS2 data training modules are intended to be a resource to researchers who would like to use the NLTS2 dataset to conduct research addressing students with disabilities. These modules provide opportunities for researchers to learn more about the background of the NLTS2 study, the study design and sampling, the assessments and instruments used to collect NLTS2 data, how to access and manipulate NLTS2 data in SPSS and SAS, and how to run multivariate and regression analyses with NLTS2 data.

To view the NLTS2 Training videos, click here.