Projects

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.

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.

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, in collaboration with 2M Research and Education Strategies Group, is designing and executing the National Evaluation of Career and Technical Education Under Perkins V. The evaluation will assess the implementation of CTE under the new law, how CTE participation and outcomes are evolving over time,  and the effectiveness of CTE strategies permitted under Perkins V in improving key student outcomes. The evaluation will satisfy a legislative mandate in Perkins V and will give Congress and other policymakers a comprehensive assessment of CTE under the new law.

AIR is working with five open- and broad-access institutions across Texas to conduct a randomized controlled trial that assigns students to either corequisites or traditional developmental education courses and then compares 3-year outcomes in terms of course success, persistence, and degree completion. The goal of the study is to better understand the impact and implementation of corequisite courses in Texas community colleges.

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.

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 conducted a retrospective study to examine American Society of Limnology and Oceanography Multicultural Program (ASLOMP) participant characteristics, experiences, and education and career outcomes. Two cohorts of study participants completed an online retrospective survey between July and November 2012, and study findings indicated that ASLOMP successfully attracted and retained students who are underrepresented in programs and careers in the aquatic sciences.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, is conducting a formative evaluation of the Minnesota Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The goal is to assess the functioning of the NIC and share a methodology for evaluating the implementation of NICs. Interest is growing in using NICs to address complex problems of educational practice, and this evaluation will contribute to the limited body of research on the extent to which NICs are operating as planned and intended.

AIR’s work with the College Completion Network brings together research teams to share ideas, build knowledge, conduct sound research, and share findings about postsecondary success. The Network’s goals include evaluating promising interventions related to college completion, building knowledge about college completion and postsecondary success, providing policymakers and college leaders with reliable evidence, and strengthening the work of Network research teams through collaboration.