Projects

AIR is supporting the implementation of the National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education, an annual Web-based survey of postsecondary institutions in the United States geared toward assessing the state of the competency-based education (CBE) field. The goals of this project are to grow the community of researchers within the National Research Collaborative on Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning and build rigorous evidence for CBE’s efficacy to support responsible scaling.

AIR developed a coaching series, administered biannually to Wisconsin Technical College System staff. The aims of the series were to support the colleges’ abilities to use research, research methods, and data collection and analysis strategies.

AIR is supporting the Business Higher Education Forum in developing a logic model, an implementation plan, and an evaluation plan to address the need for more digital technology professionals in the Washington, D.C., region. The goal of this grant is to identify implementation needs and opportunities and develop a scalable and replicable model for increasing the number of digital technology professionals in the region.

AIR developed action-oriented summaries of existing research about approaches to competency-based or focused learning. These summaries provide employers, providers, and state policymakers with relevant information and research, with the overarching goal of supporting the design, development, facilitation, or funding of competency-based or focused learning approaches.

AIR evaluated several competency-based education (CBE) programs to build evidence related to student outcomes. The evaluation was a response to the minimal availability of evidence-based student achievement and cost outcomes surrounding CBE programs. The goals of the evaluation were to build evidence about student outcomes in CBE programs and provide tools for program leaders and researchers to support evaluation and continuous improvement efforts.

AIR developed and facilitated a training series for Rhode Island high schools that provided staff with data to inform conversations about how best to prepare their students for college and careers. Researchers worked with school leadership teams to examine student profile data and use the information to determine priority areas for focused improvement, inform strategic planning, and access resources to improve postsecondary outcomes.

AIR is serving as an evaluation partner for the Data for the American Dream (D4AD) initiative. D4AD supports innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data, with the specific goal of helping students and jobseekers make better career decisions in a changing economy through data-driven information, and especially to help low-income and unemployed Americans access better jobs and education opportunities. AIR’s role is to help grantees, sponsors, and the field learn from these efforts.

Researchers from AIR supported the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics in data collection efforts related to IPEDS. Specifically, AIR staff prepared IPEDS survey components, developed and maintained written work products, prepared reports, verified statistics, provided expertise on complex data structures and data systems, and participated in planning meetings related to the postsecondary administrative data collection.

AIR created an online tool that allows users in Florida to view the return on investment associated with completing a degree from a particular state institution, in a particular major, at a particular level. The tool incorporates data from multiple sources, including statewide completion data, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and Gallup. AIR also produced a report describing the earnings outcomes for college completers of different levels of degrees in different majors from Florida institutions, as well as discussing student debt levels and job growth information. The goals of the project were to present the state’s educational outcome data in a way that makes it easy for users to compare and make decisions about their educational path.

Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Gallup, AIR developed state-specific Web applications that allow students to learn more about programs of study in their state that provide preparation for growing, middle-class wage jobs. These Web applications connect prospective students to state longitudinal data related to wage outcomes of particular programs and help them calculate and understand the relationship between their desired standard of living and choices of occupations, programs, and schools.