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.

Projects

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.

Researchers from AIR conducted an evaluation of CareerSource North Central Florida's Opportunity Quest program. The program leveraged U.S. Department of Labor Strengthening Working Families Initiative funding to simultaneously address the job training needs and childcare barriers among low-income, low-skilled parents, giving them the flexibility to train toward a sustainable career path. Through partnerships with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), education and training providers, community-based organizations, and local employers, Opportunity Quest linked custodial parents with flexible childcare resources and supportive services and aimed to provide them with an innovative training program offering occupational and entrepreneurial skills training to help participants develop employability and information technology (IT) skills.

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.

Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and Gallup, AIR developed state-specific Web applications that allow students to learn more about programs of study in their state that provide preparation for growing, middle-class wage jobs. These Web applications connect prospective students to state longitudinal data related to wage outcomes of particular programs and help them calculate and understand the relationship between their desired standard of living and choices of occupations, programs, and schools.

AIR’s Technology Solutions is modernizing the American Society for Engineering Education's (ASEE) survey system and providing the organization with a new and flexible reporting tool. The aim of these improvements is to create an appropriate, cost-effective solution that meets ASEE requirements for flexibility, user-friendliness, data analysis and reporting, and integration with other tools.

Researchers from AIR are supporting the University System of Georgia (USG) in an evaluation of student motivations toward entering into technical fields. This project aims to help USG understand how postsecondary students—particularly women and students of color—learn about, understand, and take interest in high-demand, technical degree program offerings. This study, along with additional efforts by USG, will help it reach its ultimate goal of increasing the number of women and people of color who know about and engage in a USG offering that prepares for a career in those sectors.

AIR is analyzing 20 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 panel using an individual fixed-effects regression strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to estimate the returns to non-credit-bearing credential and licensure pathways compared with credit-bearing credential and associate degree programs that are unrelated to persistent differences in the respondents’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Findings show that credit-bearing credentials yield an approximately equal likelihood to be employed as noncredit-bearing credentials, but significantly improved earnings of about $7,000 a year.