Resources

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.

This infographic examines five well-known, publicly available national college rankings systems chosen because of their widespread use and/or their focus on student outcomes.

In a recent virtual event, College Promise hosted a panel featuring top academic voices to discuss this disconnect. The panel heard from CARPE Director, Alexandria Walton Radford, and other experts on top priorities for research in the field, including economic benefits from a national, federal, and state partnership, the future of the workforce, and how this affects postsecondary education and underemployment amongst college graduates.

Projects

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.

AIR engaged in an evaluation of non-traditional occupations (NTOs) for women. The purpose of the NTO study was to: (1) identify barriers to NTOs and promising strategies for addressing those barriers, (2) design and implement a demonstration of a promising strategy, and (3) evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy implemented under the demonstration. The research team initiated a randomized-control trial (RCT), in which a treatment group received gender-themed recruitment content designed to increase awareness of NTOs among women and to address misperceptions women may have about NTOs and a control group received non-themed, generic recruitment content.

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.