Projects

AIR is evaluating STEMfast, a program developed by New Mexico Highlands University to provide comprehensive support services to Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds who are studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEMfast addresses the underrepresentation of these students in STEM fields and works to decrease the likelihood that developmental core subject courses will deter these students from persisting and graduating from college.

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.

AIR is conducting a 50-month research and evaluation project of 29 institutions and two state systems to enhance the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and the broader field’s understanding of the institutional transformation process. The goal of the project is to share findings and results from institutional-level and cross-case data related to what catalyzes the transformation process at an institution, the key components of effective models of transformation, how stakeholders are engaged in the transformation process, the timeline for seeing visible changes in institutional and student outcomes, and the risks to transformation.

AIR is evaluating IDEA (Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement) Public Schools’ implementation of two computer science interventions that aim to (a) increase access to and participation in rigorous mathematics and computer science coursework among students who are traditionally underrepresented and (b) increase the number of teachers with deep content knowledge in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) within schools predominantly consisting of students from low-income backgrounds. The goals of the evaluation are to determine if the two interventions are improving students’ performance on district, state, and Advanced Placement mathematics assessments and if they contribute to postsecondary STEM aspirations.

AIR is partnering with the Arkansas Department of Education to identify which student-level K–12 indicators are best suited for predicting postsecondary success. The aims of this research are twofold to better understand the malleable conditions and characteristics that place students at risk of not attaining postsecondary readiness and to use data to support timely and targeted interventions designed to enhance students' odds of experiencing later life success.

AIR is evaluating the implementation and impact of the New Tech Network’s (NTN) partnership with 10 high schools in Texas, which is intended to improve student advising during the transition to college. The goals of this evaluation are to help NTN address any implementation issues and determine the effectiveness of their revised advising practices.

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.