Postsecondary & Adult Education
Programme for the Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
PIAAC (2009-17) will measure adult literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments in more than 30 countries, including the United States. For the OECD, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) has formed a consortium of institutions from Europe and North America to develop, implement, and report PIAAC. As a member of the PIAAC consortium, Westat is responsible for developing the processes, procedures, and technical standards and guidelines for sampling and data collection; international training guidelines and manuals for field operations; and sampling, weighting, and survey operations reports.
In addition to being a member of the PIAAC international consortium, Westat is responsible for the U.S. component of PIAAC, sponsored by NCES. Westat carried out the field test (2010) and the main study (2011) of PIAAC in the United States. During the main study, over 5,000 study participants were sampled and completed the interview and assessment.
Westat will also complete the PIAAC National Supplement data collection during 2013-14 in which an additional sample of 3,600 young adults, older adults, and unemployed adults from selected households will be sampled, interviewed, and assessed. The National Supplement will also include a sample of 1,200 additional participants selected from prisons.
Data from the PIAAC Main Study and the National Supplement will be combined to create a U.S. national first-look report to look at trends both within the United States and to be compared with the other countries that participated in the international PIAAC.
Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities
Under contract to the National Science Foundation (NSF), Westat is conducting the Survey of Science and Engineering Research Facilities for fiscal year 2009. Under earlier contracts, Westat conducted the first three surveys to collect information from research-performing colleges and universities and biomedical research institutions. The FY 2009 survey activities include the review and cleaning of the population frame, collection and processing of the survey data, production of detailed statistical tables and a methodology report, and the conversion of the survey application to the .net framework.
Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS)
Through the Postsecondary Education Quick Information System (PEQIS), Westat has conducted more than 15 surveys on policy-relevant topics for NCES, such as the following:
- Distance education,
- Dual enrollment of high school students in college,
- Remedial education,
- Students with disabilities, and
- Educational technology in teacher education programs.
In addition to developing the questionnaire and collecting data by mail, web, and telephone, Westat analyzes the data and prepares survey reports.