As the warm days of August fade into September, many of us, regardless of our age, are reminded that for 12 to 20 years of our lives we headed back to school during this time of year. For High Schools across America, new students come to class, and graduates head out into the “real world.” The question is, how prepared are they? The even bigger question is, how prepared will they think they were five years from now? All of the money and time spent in altering curriculum, designing classroom structure and scheduling all to prepare students for their next step in life is great. But, how well is it working? Senior exit surveys are incredibly helpful in providing a benchmark of how your grads feel about where they are now, their plans and thoughts about how they intend to use their high school education and where they would like to be five years from now. Graduate surveys that measure a students thoughts, not only as an exiting senior, but also at six months after graduation and at five years after graduation can give educators and school administration a good look at whether or not their curriculum and programs are working. How prepared were your students when they entered college or the working world and how have their views changed since graduation? Imagine what just 10 years of data from your graduates could tell you about your efforts to send them into the world with the tools they need to be successful? As schools start their new year, now is the time to get survey programs started and in the budget for 2014 grads. It’s time to start tracking those students you have given a strong start on their paths to success.