schools attended, school financing, educational expectations and aspirations, and nonschool-based postsecondary training), work (labor force participation, detailed job histories, aspirations, military service), financial status (dependency, income), marital status (spouse’s occupation, education, dependents), and demographics (household composition, race, sex, ethnicity, and so forth). Questions on employment and schooling were constructed and arranged in an “event history” format in order to provide information suitable for analyses using advanced techniques for determining parameters of transition models.
The purpose of the sophomore cohort first follow-up questionnaire was to document secondary school experiences. Content areas included education (high school program, courses taken, grades, standardized tests taken, attendance and disciplinary behavior, parental involvement, extracurricular and leisure activities, assessment of quality of school and teachers), postsecondary education (goals, expectations, plans and financing), work/labor force participation (occupational goals, attitudes toward military service), demographics (parents’ education, father’s occupation, family composition, school age siblings, family income, marital status, race, ethnicity, sex, birth date, physical handicaps) and values (attitudes toward life goals, feelings about self and so forth). There was a separate questionnaire for persons who had dropped out of high school, members of the sophomore cohort who had transferred from their base year sample high school to another high school, and members of the sophomore cohort who graduated from high school ahead of schedule. Dropout supplement content areas included circumstances of leaving school, participation in training programs and other postsecondary education work, financial status, marital status, demographics, and other personal characteristics. Transfer supplement content areas were reasons for transferring and for selecting a particular school, identification of school, location, grade respondent was in at time of transfer, entrance requirements, length of interruption in schooling (if any) and reason, type of school, size of student body and grades. An early graduate supplement addressed reasons for graduating early, when decision was made, persons involved in the decision, course adjustments required, school requirements and postsecondary education and work experience.
The second follow-up survey was conducted in 1984. The senior cohort was asked to update background information and to provide information about postsecondary education, work experience, military service, family information, income and life goals. Event history formats were used for obtaining responses about jobs held, schools attended and periods of unemployment. New items included a limited series on computer literacy, financial assistance received from parents for pursuing postsecondary education, and education and training obtained outside of regular school, college or military programs. As the sophomore cohort was out of school by 1984, the follow-up survey had items taking this change into consideration. The questionnaire asked for detailed information (kind of school attended, hours per week spent in class, kind of degree sought, requirements completed) on schools attended after high school, for up to three schools.