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, 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. Click here for more information.

AIR is conducting an evaluation of the implementation of the Perkins V legislation, which defines and supports career and technical education (CTE). The evaluation includes a survey of state CTE directors, a nationally representative survey of local education agencies, an evidence review of career development and counseling, analysis of extant data, a content analysis of the states’ Perkins plans, and possibly a survey of community colleges. This research will explore the implementation of the Perkins V legislation and how implementation is changing as a result of new mandates and allowable activities.

AIR conducted data collection and analysis for U.S. News and World Report’s rankings of all high schools in the country. The goal was to create a ranking system to identify the top-performing high schools that were exceeding the odds based on the students they serve. Rankings were based on state proficiency standards and the degree to which schools were preparing students for college-level work.

The National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research at AIR, plus other partners, have collaborated with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to study career and technical education (CTE) in the state. The project aims to investigate several topics, including, the application process for CTE programs and schools, the association between participation in CTE programs and later student outcomes, the variation in student outcomes across CTE programs and student characteristics, and associations between CTE teacher qualifications and student outcomes.

Through a grant with the Institute of Education Sciences, AIR's Lynn Mellor and Jason Lee are examining the implementation and outcomes associated with Texas’s enactment of a statewide policy requiring students to complete a financial aid application as a high school graduation requirement. The study aims to learn how districts are supporting students and parents regarding completing college financial aid applications and how this may lead to increased college enrollment for Texas high school students.

AIR is evaluating the implementation and impact of the New Tech Network’s (NTN) partnership with 10 high schools in Texas, which is intended to improve student advising during the transition to college. The goals of this evaluation are to help NTN address any implementation issues and determine the effectiveness of their revised advising practices.

This in-person event, cohosted by the Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, and the Michigan Department of Education, built on strategies that align the expectations of new K–12 teachers with the competencies they need in practice. The event covered existing research on new teacher competencies, offered information about high-leverage practices, and provided case studies from educator preparation institutions and K–12 schools and districts in Michigan working together to prepare novice teachers for success. This work aligned the expectations and training for prospective teachers with the competencies they need as teachers.

AIR, under a grant funded by Walmart, conducted a scan of free college tuition program websites in spring 2021. This scan culminated in a project website, which contains an interactive map, a report, a downloadable database of programs, and a webinar that explores how free college tuition programs for adults might better leverage employers in establishing and advancing programs.

AIR is conducting a 50-month research and evaluation project of 29 institutions and two state systems to enhance the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and the broader field’s understanding of the institutional transformation process. The goal of the project is to share findings and results from institutional-level and cross-case data related to what catalyzes the transformation process at an institution, the key components of effective models of transformation, how stakeholders are engaged in the transformation process, the timeline for seeing visible changes in institutional and student outcomes, and the risks to transformation.