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.
The Midwest Comprehensive Center (MWCC) collaborated with the Minnesota Department of Education to develop a career and college readiness toolkit. The purpose of the toolkit was to support districts and schools in Minnesota in their development of the state-required career and college readiness indicator as part of their World’s Best Workforce plans. The MWCC supported the dissemination, implementation, and continuous improvement of the toolkit, with an emphasis on equitable and inclusive practices.
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.
AIR’s Midwest Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance to the Minnesota Department of Education on implementing strategies outlined in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan, including contributing content expertise to improve the early warning intervention and response process that identifies students at increased risk of not completing high school in 4 years. These improvements aim to help close the state’s wide achievement gaps between students of color and their White peers.
AIR is supporting the implementation of the National Survey of Postsecondary Competency-Based Education, an annual Web-based survey of postsecondary institutions in the United States geared toward assessing the state of the competency-based education (CBE) field. The goals of this project are to grow the community of researchers within the National Research Collaborative on Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning and build rigorous evidence for CBE’s efficacy to support responsible scaling.
The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, collaborated with members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance to conduct a study that described the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates. The goals of the study included describing the pathways that graduates take within 1 year of high school graduation; graduate degree attainment and employment outcomes 6 years later; and differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics.
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.
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.
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.
The College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the Midwest Comprehensive Center (both operated by AIR) completed a literature review that examined the relationship between potential postsecondary readiness measures for Iowa to consider for accountability and the student outcomes identified in the state’s definition of postsecondary readiness. They also conducted a scan of the postsecondary readiness measures included in other states’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. The goal of the project was to use the literature review and the state scan to coach the Iowa Department of Education in developing a postsecondary readiness indicator for its ESSA plan.