Projects

The National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, plus other partners, have collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to study career and technical education (CTE) in the state. The project aims to investigate several topics, including, the application process for CTE programs and schools, the association between participation in CTE programs and later student outcomes, the variation in student outcomes across CTE programs and student characteristics, and associations between CTE teacher qualifications and student outcomes.

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.

AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) collaborated with CareerWise, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council to support the expansion of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in Colorado. The CCRS Center developed the capacity of a Colorado team to maintain and revise WBL geographic information system map applications. The goal of the project was to improve place-based and data-driven decision making.

AIR is analyzing 20 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 panel using an individual fixed-effects regression strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to estimate the returns to non-credit-bearing credential and licensure pathways compared with credit-bearing credential and associate degree programs that are unrelated to persistent differences in the respondents’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Findings show that credit-bearing credentials yield an approximately equal likelihood to be employed as noncredit-bearing credentials, but significantly improved earnings of about $7,000 a year.

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 is conducting an evaluation of the implementation of the Perkins V legislation, which defines and supports career and technical education (CTE). The evaluation includes a survey of state CTE directors, a nationally representative survey of local education agencies, an evidence review of career development and counseling, analysis of extant data, a content analysis of the states’ Perkins plans, and possibly a survey of community colleges. This research will explore the implementation of the Perkins V legislation and how implementation is changing as a result of new mandates and allowable activities.

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.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC), operated by AIR, assisted the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in providing technical expertise and support to career, technical, and agricultural education staff in the implementation of GaDOE’s career pathways. In addition, SECC and AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center supported the implementation of employability skills and quality work-based learning opportunities for all students. Strategies developed through this work were shared with educators across the state to provide opportunities for all Georgia students to develop the necessary academic, technical, and employability skills for success in postsecondary education and the workplace.

AIR developed a series of online modules that support state and local education agency leaders in the creation of Grow Your Own Programs, which aim to establish an educator talent pipeline. The modules provide examples and considerations for developing a Grow Your Own Program to address educator shortages and retention issues, promote a more diverse workforce, and support college and career readiness development among high school students.

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.