In this NRS Tips, we will describe some of the benefits of and elements necessary to create a quality longitudinal data system.

Understanding your students is key to providing effective instruction and services.

Can your data system answer the following questions?

  • What is the relationship between intensity of instruction, length of time in adult education, and educational gain?
  • How long do students typically stay in adult education?
  • For students who withdraw from adult education programs, how many re-enroll and how long is the gap between withdrawal and re-enrollment?
  • What characteristics (e.g., age, educational functioning level at entry, program type) distinguish students who stay 1 year or more from those who stay for shorter periods?

The National Reporting System (NRS) is the accountability system for the federally funded, State-administered adult education program. It addresses the accountability requirements of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act, Title II of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA-P.L. 105-220). NRS Tips is a new quick reference tool for state directors, program directors and adult education teachers.

NRS Tips are written and produced by the staff at the American Institutes for Research (AIR), a non-profit research and policy organization (see AIR is under contract with the Division of Adult Educational and Literacy (DAEL) of the U.S. Department of Education. Visit for information on a growing number of topics. Do you have an idea for NRS Tips? Send it to