Projects

AIR is evaluating IDEA (Individuals Dedicated to Excellence and Achievement) Public Schools’ implementation of two computer science interventions that aim to (a) increase access to and participation in rigorous mathematics and computer science coursework among students who are traditionally underrepresented and (b) increase the number of teachers with deep content knowledge in computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) within schools predominantly consisting of students from low-income backgrounds. The goals of the evaluation are to determine if the two interventions are improving students’ performance on district, state, and Advanced Placement mathematics assessments and if they contribute to postsecondary STEM aspirations.

The Center for Applied Research in Postsecondary Education (CARPE) at the American Institutes for Research held a webinar focused on the use of behavioral science ‘nudges’ in postsecondary settings. The webinar featured presentations by Professor Eric Bettinger of Stanford University, Principal Researcher Christina LiCalsi of AIR, and Associate Professor Lindsay Page of the University of Pittsburgh about the opportunity to leverage text messaging interventions and other virtual ‘nudges’ to increase college enrollment, persistence, and attainment.

AIR supported the annual reports and information staff in preparing three major annual reports, as well as a variety of other analytic, indicator, and tabular reports and studies on education statistics. The aim of this work was to support NCES’ annual reports and information staff in compiling, maintaining, and analyzing survey data; writing reports; and disseminating the information gathered and maintained by NCES, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other federal and nonfederal education data sources.

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.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, is conducting a formative evaluation of the Minnesota Learning Center Networked Improvement Community (NIC). The goal is to assess the functioning of the NIC and share a methodology for evaluating the implementation of NICs. Interest is growing in using NICs to address complex problems of educational practice, and this evaluation will contribute to the limited body of research on the extent to which NICs are operating as planned and intended.

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.

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.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, conducted a study examining the impact of providing parents with an informational brochure about the role of Algebra II in college access on students’ grade 11 Algebra II completion rates in Texas. One hundred nine schools, covering all 20 Educational Service Center regions in Texas, participated in the study.

AIR is supporting the Business Higher Education Forum in developing a logic model, an implementation plan, and an evaluation plan to address the need for more digital technology professionals in the Washington, D.C., region. The goal of this grant is to identify implementation needs and opportunities and develop a scalable and replicable model for increasing the number of digital technology professionals in the region.

AIR is evaluating STEMfast, a program developed by New Mexico Highlands University to provide comprehensive support services to Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds who are studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEMfast addresses the underrepresentation of these students in STEM fields and works to decrease the likelihood that developmental core subject courses will deter these students from persisting and graduating from college.