Projects

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the Management Performance Hub, used student demographic, academic, and financial aid variables to examine what percentage of students achieved early college success. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between receiving Pell Grants and 21st century scholarships and early college success among the 2014 cohort of Indiana public high school graduates entering public Indiana colleges in the fall after graduation from high school.

AIR conducted an analysis of student pathway choices through college and the extent to which they relate to successful degree completion and transfers from 2- to 4-year institutions. The aim of this research was to investigate and understand low college completion rates.

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.

AIR, in collaboration with 2M Research and Education Strategies Group, is designing and executing the National Evaluation of Career and Technical Education Under Perkins V. The evaluation will assess the implementation of CTE under the new law, how CTE participation and outcomes are evolving over time,  and the effectiveness of CTE strategies permitted under Perkins V in improving key student outcomes. The evaluation will satisfy a legislative mandate in Perkins V and will give Congress and other policymakers a comprehensive assessment of CTE under the new law.

AIR evaluated outcomes associated with the Walton Family Foundation’s sizable past investments in the University of Arkansas (UA). AIR analyzed data provided by the Foundation, as well as publicly available data, to estimate the impact of these major investments on key indicators of institutional success at UA. This evaluation has allowed the Foundation to determine how it might further support UA in driving regional economic development and bettering the lives of the state’s residents.

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 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, in collaboration with Student Veterans of America, will examine veterans’ experiences with, and perceptions of, having their learning recognized by a postsecondary institution as they try to obtain a postsecondary credential. The goals of the project are to develop a better understanding of the challenges veterans face in receiving recognition of their learning by postsecondary institutions, and to inform and support institutions’ efforts to address those challenges.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the New Mexico Public Education Department, conducted a study to examine outcomes for several cohorts of students in New Mexico required to meet increased math and science course requirements and to take a new graduation exam. The aims of the study were to examine student outcomes among four years of cohorts before and after the changes in high school graduation requirements were implemented.

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.