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.
Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, worked with the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) to review college and career readiness indicators in the state. The goals of this effort were to support ADE in several areas, including developing and refining college and career readiness indicators, improving and using data systems and data visualization techniques, gaining a better understanding of the progress of their students as they prepare for college and careers, and identifying where unequal postsecondary education and employment opportunities exist for students.
AIR is conducting a consensus study on behalf of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Committee on Defense Research at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Other Minority Institutions (MIs) that will examine the status of Department of Defense (DoD) research at HBCUs and other MIs. The goal of the study is to gain understanding of the methods and means necessary to advance research capacity at these institutions to comprehensively address the national security and defense needs of the United States.
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.
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.
Researchers at AIR are conducting a study of adult-friendly learning models to improve understanding among stakeholders at postsecondary institutions and state system offices and policymakers about (1) What educational and training program models might best resonate with, and support access and success for, adult learners of color; and (2) how to take an asset-based approach to presenting information about program models in ways that are relevant to the strengths, motivations, and experiences of adult learners of color (particularly Black, Hispanic, and Native American adult learners.). Researchers will conduct interviews with and administer a survey to adults of color who are 1) are currently enrolled in postsecondary education; 2) have some postsecondary experience but no credential and are not currently enrolled; 3) have no recognized postsecondary education or training and may be considered current “non-consumers” of postsecondary education. Researchers will also work with a small group of external research partners on collaborative projects related to how adults of color participate in and make decisions about postsecondary education, growing the field with a more diverse and representative pool of experts.
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.
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 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, 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. Click here to access the project website.