Projects

In partnership with Twin Cities Public Television, the Regional Education Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, created a documentary that explores the unique challenges of rural Minnesotan communities and how they impact students searching and preparing for careers. The program featured two evidence-based career readiness programs in rural Minnesota: Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Wadena and Scrubs Camp in Mankato. The documentary made the connection between research and best practice and highlighted factors that contribute to success for students as they develop their future plans.

The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Education to develop a career and college readiness toolkit. The purpose of the toolkit was to support districts and schools in Minnesota in their development of the state-required career and college readiness indicator as part of their World’s Best Workforce plans. The MWCC supported the dissemination, implementation, and continuous improvement of the toolkit, with an emphasis on equitable and inclusive practices.

AIR conducted a randomized controlled trial to determine the effects of Early College High Schools, which allow students to take a mixture of high school and college-level courses. The study examined the impacts of Early College High Schools on college enrollment and degree completion up to 6 years after expected high school graduation, in addition to a cost-benefit analysis of Early College High Schools. The goals of the study were to estimate the longer-term impacts of Early College High Schools on student postsecondary outcomes and compare the financial costs and benefits of these schools.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with Wisconsin Public Television, created a documentary that discusses promising practices for educators to help Black students on their journey to postsecondary education. The documentary sought to raise awareness about the best ways to support Black students’ higher education aspirations.

AIR is partnering with Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities to research and disseminate information about the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program, an initiative that supports diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) postsecondary programs. The overarching goal of this grant is to generate and share knowledge about best practices to promote broad participation of students who are underrepresented within the higher education community.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, created a documentary that reveals best practices for educating Latino students and preparing them for college. It highlights the predominantly Latino Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit and the College Assistance Migrant Program at Michigan State University. The goal of this work was to equip educators with the knowledge they need to tailor their Latino students’ education to reflect their cultural needs and prepare them for college and career readiness.

AIR’s Midwest Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance to the Minnesota Department of Education on implementing strategies outlined in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan, including contributing content expertise to improve the early warning intervention and response process that identifies students at increased risk of not completing high school in 4 years. These improvements aim to help close the state’s wide achievement gaps between students of color and their White peers.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the Management Performance Hub, used student demographic, academic, and financial aid variables to examine what percentage of students achieved early college success. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receiving Pell Grants and 21st century scholarships and early college success among the 2014 cohort of Indiana public high school graduates entering public Indiana colleges in the fall after graduation from high school.

AIR is testing whether Castleman and Page’s “Summer Melt” text messaging intervention increases college enrollment, persistence, and credential attainment among college-intending seniors at high-poverty high schools when implemented at scale in routine educational settings. This randomized controlled study aims to extend existing research on the intervention by studying its cost effectiveness, implementation, and impact on student enrollment and persistence patterns.

AIR conducted an evaluation of the Say Yes to Education Syracuse City School District Program, a citywide collaborative intervention aimed at improving educational outcomes and educational attainment for all Syracuse students. The goals of the evaluation were to examine broad K-12 student outcomes in the context of the Say Yes program and to address the multiple barriers to college access in urban populations characterized by socioeconomic disadvantage.