Projects

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, created a documentary that reveals best practices for educating Latino students and preparing them for college. It highlights the predominantly Latino Cesar Chavez Academy High School in Detroit and the College Assistance Migrant Program at Michigan State University. The goal of this work was to equip educators with the knowledge they need to tailor their Latino students’ education to reflect their cultural needs and prepare them for college and career readiness.

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 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 conducted an evaluation to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of Texas OnCourse online training programs, which provide instruction about preparing for high school, college, and future careers to middle school counselors and teachers. Together, the evaluation team and Texas OnCourse staff developed and employed end-of-module assessments and participant perception surveys to measure improvements in counselors’ knowledge of module content and determine program effectiveness on teacher and counselor outcomes. The aim of this research was to improve high school counselors’ awareness of college and career planning information.

AIR is examining the impact of attending a deeper learning network school on students’ civic engagement, college completion, and workforce outcomes and the differences in their college experiences versus those who attend comparison schools. The aim of this study is to measure the longer term impacts of attending a deeper learning network high school not yet captured in previous research.

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 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.

AIR, in collaboration with Quality Education for Minorities and the Kapor Center, is examining learning environments that enable undergraduate students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to thrive and subsequently attain doctoral degrees in science and engineering (S&E). The goals of the study are to (a) identify unique characteristics of S&E learning environments at the 21 HBCUs ranked as top producers of Black baccalaureate degree recipients who earn S&E doctorates (“anchor institutions”), (b) identify HBCUs that have similar characteristics as the anchor institutions and have a high potential to graduate students who go on to earn doctoral degrees, and (c) develop and disseminate a model that builds HBCU capacity to produce graduates who go on to earn S&E doctorates.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC), operated by AIR, assisted the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in providing technical expertise and support to career, technical, and agricultural education staff in the implementation of GaDOE’s career pathways. In addition, SECC and AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center supported the implementation of employability skills and quality work-based learning opportunities for all students. Strategies developed through this work were shared with educators across the state to provide opportunities for all Georgia students to develop the necessary academic, technical, and employability skills for success in postsecondary education and the workplace.

The Delta Cost Project at AIR used quantitative descriptive analyses of patterns and trends to prepare two briefs. The aim of these briefs was twofold: (a) examine the academic workforce across different types of institutions and (b) explore the financial implications of changes to the higher education workforce.