Considerations in Designing Survey Studies and Follow-up Systems for Special Education Service Programs

Robert H. Bruininks, Clara Wolman, Martha L. Thurlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The improvement and modification of special education programs should be based, in part, on data about the postschool outcomes of students who were in the programs. For schools and districts, this requires an established, school-based follow-up system that incorporates both the tracking of students and the application of postschool follow-up study procedures. This paper examines considerations for designing a postschool follow-up system in special education. It focuses on survey research techniques, which are widely used in the investigation of the postschool adjustment of former students with disabilities. Specific considerations and applications of survey methodology, particularly as they relate to students with disabilities, include, (a) identifying needed information; (b) mode of data collection; (c) questionnaire construction (wording and format, pretesting, reliability, and validity); (d) sample design; (e) contacting the sample; (f) response rates; (g) reporting survey procedures; and (h) tracking procedures. Sound procedures in designing and implementing follow-up systems for special education programs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-17
Number of pages11
JournalRemedial and Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1990


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