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About the SSP
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the SSP are listed below. Contact us if you need more information.

What is the SSP?

The SSP is a self-report survey that examines middle and high school students' beliefs about themselves, their neighborhoods, schools, families and peer groups. It is based on a contextual perspective that suggests the social environment has a powerful effect on a child's development and success in school. The SSP is administered online and the results are downloaded via the Internet.

What does the SSP tell you?

The SSP gives you information about how students view their world of their neighborhood, school, friends, family, and themselves. The profiles and reports provide insight into how individuals perceive themselves and their environment, and an understanding of the assets and concerns of groups of students.

Who uses this information?

CIS staff, district offices, other school personnel, students, families and communities use the information from the SSP to develop effective strategies for promoting student success.

What is the Individual Profile?

The Individual Profile is a one-page graphical representation of the analysis of a student's survey responses. There are two parts of the SSP Individual Profile: the Social Environment Profile and the Individual Adaptation Profile.

The Social Environment Profile summarizes the student's responses to questions about four life domains: neighborhood, school, friends, and family. Neighborhood dimensions include neighbor support, neighborhood youth behavior, and neighborhood safety. School dimensions include learning climate, school satisfaction, teacher support, and school safety. Friend dimensions include friend support, peer group acceptance, and friend behavior. Family dimensions include family togetherness, parent support, home academic environment, parent education support, and school behavior expectations.

The Individual Adaptation Profile summarizes the student's responses to questions related to three domains: personal beliefs and well-being, school attitudes and behavior, and academic performance. Personal beliefs and well-being dimensions include social support use, physical health, self-confidence, and adjustment. School attitudes and behavior dimensions include school engagement and trouble avoidance. Academic performance includes a single dimension: grades.

How is the Individual Profile used?

The school interventionist discusses the Individual Profile with each student and solicit ideas from the student about how to use the Profile information to help plan for the future.

What about the Group Profile and the Detailed Group Report?

Each school or administration site is able to access and download the summary group profile, which follows a similar format as the Individual Profile. An automated query system allows providers the opportunity to view group data across a number of demographic breakdowns, including most from the No Child Left Behind Legislation. The Detailed Group Report is also available. This report identifies students in terms of demographic characteristics, school performance, and responses to 60 indicators of contextual risks, social capital assets, and internal assets.

How are Group Profiles used?

Group Profiles can be used for identifying and documenting program needs, formulating goals and interventions at the organizational and community level, and measuring progress and directing future program efforts. The group data are used by researchers, educators, and family and community members to document the impact of interventions with at-risk students.

How was the SSP developed?

Researchers at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work consulted national experts in education, adolescent development, and psychometric testing for information regarding questionnaire design and program outcome assessment. Items and scales included in the SSP are based on extensive review of the literature on school success and proven assessment instruments.

Local school administrators, teachers, CIS personnel, parents and students provided critical feedback on specific items and response formats. This collaborative process continues through ongoing feedback from SSP users and student participants.

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