PREP Entry-Exit Surveys
Why use entry-exit surveys?
These surveys, which ask about participants' experience with the program, are part of PREP performance measures. The goal of evidence-based programs (EBPs) in adolescent sexual health is to change behaviors that lead to unhealthy or unwanted outcomes. How do we know that what we are doing is working? Unless we actually measure change within individual participants, we can only make educated guesses as to the effectiveness of the program. Surveys that ask the same questions of students before and after the program content is delivered can give some indication of program success.
Using the surveys is a requirement of PREP funding.
What questions are asked on the PREP entry-exit surveys?
The Entry survey asks information about participant demographics, attitudes, and experiences regarding sexual health. The Exit survey has the same questions, and adds a few about their experience with the program. The PDFs below show the questions asked on each survey. Participants will complete electronic surveys; these PDFs should only be used when preparing staff and arranging for permission to administer the surveys.
When should I use the surveys?
- Sessions. Educators give the entry survey to participants at the beginning of the first session of the cycle, and give the exit survey after the last activity in the EBP is completed.
- Cycles. PREP providers are required to use both surveys with every PREP EBP cycle.
Administering Surveys: An Overview
Administering the surveys takes planning and time — time that may already be tight in any given program cycle. Preparation is key.
In order to conduct the surveys, you will need permission from the organization that is hosting the EBP, and you may also need to allow parents to opt their children out of the survey.
When introducing the tool, be sure to let administrators know that this tool and protocol have gone through rigorous review processes by Cornell University's Institutional Review Board. This board has high standards for protecting the privacy, rights, and welfare of participants in research and evaluation projects, and they have approved this tool and protocol.
You may wish to emphasize:
- PREP is a federally-funded, nationwide initiative, and these surveys are being used with youth participants across the country. Survey responses from NYS youth will be combined with those from around the country as part of the evaluation of the PREP initiative.
- Surveys are anonymous. Names are never collected with surveys. Program facilitators will not even see individual survey responses, only aggregate data.
- Individual participation is optional. Parents and youth participants can decide to NOT take the surveys. Youth participants may also skip any questions on the surveys.
The process for obtaining permission differs depending on whether the cycle is being implemented in or outside of New York City public schools.
For cycles in sites OUTSIDE New York City public schools:
Discuss the use of surveys with the site administrator or principal. ACT for Youth has developed templates you can use to initiate this conversation or to draw talking points from. The letter may be sent with the parent information/opt-out form below. Feel free to modify the template to fit your needs.
- Send documentation of the site administrator's or principal's permission to use the survey to your ACT for Youth evaluation contact. This can be as simple as a forwarded email exchange. This is required.
- If desired by the site, send the parent information/opt-out form (English; Spanish) home prior to survey administration. If a signed form is returned, be sure the youth participant returning the form does NOT complete surveys. Note: a youth participant without permission to complete surveys may still participate in EBP programming, if permission was granted.
For cycles WITHIN New York City public schools:
In New York City public schools, the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) requires additional steps.
- Any educators who have not yet been fingerprinted by the NYC DOE will need to submit copies or photos of both a signed social security card and driver's license to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) Personnel Eligibility Tracking System (PETS) system via email (PETSAdminSupport@schools.nyc.gov). The PETS team will enter the educator's information into the IRB system and the educator will then receive a nomination email within 24 hours. All instructions will be in the nomination email. If you have any questions, please contact Vicki Baum.
- Send documentation of fingerprinting to the NYC DOE Institutional Review Board. This is required.
- Discuss the use of surveys with the principal. Be sure to obtain their permission before administering surveys.
- Have the principal complete the approval to conduct research form, making sure that the school ATS code is included. Send the completed form to your ACT for Youth evaluation contact.
- Send the parent information/opt-out form (English; Spanish) home prior to survey administration. This is required. If a signed form is returned, be sure the student returning the form does NOT complete surveys. Note: a student without permission to complete surveys may still participate in EBP programming.
If you need a copy of the Cornell University or NYC DOE Institutional Review Board letters of exemption/approval, please contact Amanda Purington Drake (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Working with providers who are experienced in collecting surveys, ACT for Youth has developed guidance for survey administration. Check to make sure you and your technology are prepared. Note: in addition to URL links, providers can also distribute QR codes if participants have cell phones available. Please reach out to your evaluation team contact to make a plan for survey administration using the best tools for your program.
It is important for youth participants to understand that their participation is voluntary and their responses will be kept anonymous. Before they administer surveys, educators need to become familiar with the script regarding informed consent/assent — this can be found in the survey administration document.