This journal article provides a review of causes and policy solutions of two equity problems: (a) Too many college students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the United States do not complete their coursework with any college credential, whereas others earn degrees or certificates with little labor market value; and (b) many of these students also struggle to pay for college, and some incur debts that they have difficulty repaying. Solutions include those focused on both individual students and institutional reform.
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 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.
This in-person event, cohosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, and the Michigan Department of Education, built on strategies that align the expectations of new K–12 teachers with the competencies they need in practice. The event covered existing research on new teacher competencies, offered information about high-leverage practices, and provided case studies from educator preparation institutions and K–12 schools and districts in Michigan working together to prepare novice teachers for success. This work aligned the expectations and training for prospective teachers with the competencies they need as teachers.
Researchers from AIR and the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands, are working with the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE), Office of Postsecondary Commissioner, and others, to develop a work-based learning (WBL) rubric and facilitate a review of the PrepareRI data catalog, a statewide initiative to support young people in developing the skills they need to be successful and competitive for the high-demand jobs of the future. The goals of the project are to support RIDE in evaluating the quality of WBL experiences as well as reviewing its data catalog to identify measures of career readiness for use in future data collection efforts.
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.
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.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, is conducting a study to better understand career and technical education (CTE) course offerings in Indiana and Minnesota and identify gaps in access to high-quality CTE programming in these states.
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’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.