Resources

This journal article explores whether community college websites are a useful medium for providing knowledge relevant to degree completion. The findings suggest that participants frequently encountered problems with finding and understanding information about degree selection and completion. The content analysis of these problems yields recommendations for improving the usability of community college websites for answering common questions about degree completion.

This journal article discusses a qualitative study of a college coach program introduced in 12 nonselective Chicago Public Schools in fall 2004. It describes how the coach program works and analyzes key aspects that may explain its positive relationship with college enrollment outcomes.

Projects

AIR is conducting an evaluation of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Solution Network, an initiative seeking to systematically connect the needs of higher education institutions with support resources via a network approach. The goal of the evaluation is to support the Foundation's larger postsecondary strategy by analyzing and reporting on what works, for whom, and under what circumstances within the Network.

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.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary strategy, AIR evaluated a group of organizations, or Channel Partners, in their postsecondary institutional transformation efforts. The goals of the evaluation included understanding the services and resources that Channel Partners provide to clients, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and share lessons learned to support continuous improvement and the development of strategy.

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.

AIR conducted an in-depth examination of articulation policies in six states and their 20 institutions of higher education (IHEs). The study findings are based on more than 100 telephone interviews and focus groups with (a) state-level higher education administrators, policy staff, and representatives from articulation oversight committees; (b) senior academic administrators, faculty, and staff from IHEs; and (c) students who had transferred or were planning to transfer between a 2-year and a 4-year IHE within the state. The findings address policy approaches to articulation, governance structures, the roles played by various stakeholders, and supports provided to transfer students.

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, in collaboration with Quality Education for Minorities and the Kapor Center, is examining learning environments that enable undergraduate students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to thrive and subsequently attain doctoral degrees in science and engineering (S&E). The goals of the study are to (a) identify unique characteristics of S&E learning environments at the 21 HBCUs ranked as top producers of Black baccalaureate degree recipients who earn S&E doctorates (“anchor institutions”), (b) identify HBCUs that have similar characteristics as the anchor institutions and have a high potential to graduate students who go on to earn doctoral degrees, and (c) develop and disseminate a model that builds HBCU capacity to produce graduates who go on to earn S&E doctorates.

AIR is conducting a 3-year evaluation of 12 separate organizations selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as Intermediaries for Scale. The goals of evaluation are to support the Foundation’s postsecondary strategy by better understanding the relationships between intermediary capabilities and institutional transformation.