Projects

The Texas Comprehensive Center collaborated with the Texas Education Agency to implement and sustain a systemic approach for the ASEP. The aims of the project were to create a reporting system that is useful to a broad audience in the state and engage in best practices for data management, analysis, and reporting.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, worked with the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to review college and career readiness indicators in the state. The goals of this effort were to support ADE in several areas, including developing and refining college and career readiness indicators, improving and using data systems and data visualization techniques, gaining a better understanding of the progress of their students as they prepare for college and careers, and identifying where unequal postsecondary education and employment opportunities exist for students.

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.

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center at AIR supported the Kansas Department of Education in ensuring that all students have access to high-quality work-based learning. AIR built a geographic information system mapping tool and convened a group of cross-agency partners to analyze data, with the ultimate goal of developing a work plan to implement different policies and/or strategies.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, collaborated with members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance to conduct a study that described the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates. The goals of the study included describing the pathways that graduates take within 1 year of high school graduation; graduate degree attainment and employment outcomes 6 years later; and differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics.

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 conducted an evaluation to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas OnCourse online training programs, which provide instruction about preparing for high school, college, and future careers to middle school counselors and teachers. Together, the evaluation team and Texas OnCourse staff developed and employed end-of-module assessments and participant perception surveys to measure improvements in counselors’ knowledge of module content and determine program effectiveness on teacher and counselor outcomes. The aim of this research was to improve high school counselors’ awareness of college and career planning information.

AIR supported the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in convening seven PK–16 regional councils across the state to build regional partnerships. The goal of these regional partnerships was to develop successful educator career pathways by allowing multiple districts to work collaboratively with local educator preparation programs.

AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center launched the State Work-Based Learning Initiative to help support states in designing, scaling, and implementing work-based learning (WBL) efforts as a strategy to improve student college and career readiness. This initiative is based on four state-led, peer-to-peer networks that focus on specific WBL priorities, promote cross-state learning, and engage external WBL experts. The goals of the initiative are to collect and share emerging strategies, identify common challenges, and develop resources related to the implementation of WBL.

The Center for Applied Research in Postsecondary Education (CARPE) at the American Institutes for Research held a webinar focused on the use of behavioral science ‘nudges’ in postsecondary settings. The webinar featured presentations by Professor Eric Bettinger of Stanford University, Principal Researcher Christina LiCalsi of AIR, and Associate Professor Lindsay Page of the University of Pittsburgh about the opportunity to leverage text messaging interventions and other virtual ‘nudges’ to increase college enrollment, persistence, and attainment.