The 2007 American Community Survey (ACS) Content Test was designed to assess whether the ACS can reliably collect data on the field of a person’s bachelor’s degree. The inclusion of a field of degree question on the ACS was proposed to provide field of degree data annually for small levels of geography and to assist in building a sampling frame for the National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG).
(see sections 2 and 3)
Comparability of 2007 ACS Content Test field of degree data to other sources (see section 6.1)
Field of degree item missing data rates (see section 6.2)
Reliability of field of degree estimates (see section 6.3)
Correspondence between field of degree question versions (see section 6.4)
The results favor the open-ended question with the exception of the item missing data rates. The over-reporting of multiple degree categories is a flaw in the design or administration of the categorical question, and may indicate difficulty in classifying degrees into the categories. Cognitive testing also found issues with multiple category reporting for the categorical question.