The ultimate goal of HSSSE is to strengthen student engagement in educationally purposeful activities in secondary schools nationally. HSSSE provides information that can be used to generate discussions on teaching and learning and guide student improvement activities.

Previously, HSSSE was administered by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University as a fee-for-service to schools, districts and other groups who wanted to examine high school student engagement. Starting in Fall 2013, CEEP will work with interested school districts, state departments of education, state and national organizations, and foundations to develop larger-scale research and evaluation studies that evaluate high school student engagement.  These studies may include HSSSE, as well as other data collection methods developed by CEEP in collaboration with relevant stakeholders.  Costs for these studies will be commensurate with the methodology and scope of the study.

HSSSE is a powerful tool in the assessment arena that can complement performance tests. While the results from standardized performance tests are used to evaluate student (and therefore school) success, that data cannot pinpoint the specific educational processes that are linked to the outcomes the tests measure. HSSSE data can identify student engagement and school features that affect outcomes. This data is especially powerful because it pertains to school features that teachers and administrators can improve upon quickly, and often inexpensively, to facilitate student learning and engagement.