Projects

AIR’s NAEP researchers are conducting statistical and psychometric research, evaluation, and data analysis in support of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The goals of the research studies conducted by AIR under this task include (a) developing the psychometric soundness and precision of NAEP assessments, (b) adapting NAEP assessments to changing situations and populations, (c) enhancing understanding of NAEP results, and (d) exploring new ways of modeling NAEP data.

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 IMPAQ, is designing and building a borrower-based dynamic microsimulation model of the repayment of federal student loans for the Cost Estimation and Analysis Division of the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Budget Services. This work will help the Department better estimate the costs and consequences of student loan debt for a wide array of student populations, as well as understand the impact of potential policy changes on loan program costs and student outcomes.

The Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest, operated by AIR, collaborated with members of the Midwest Career Readiness Research Alliance to conduct a study that described the postsecondary pathways of Minnesota public high school graduates. The goals of the study included describing the pathways that graduates take within 1 year of high school graduation; graduate degree attainment and employment outcomes 6 years later; and differences in initial pathways, degree attainment, and employment outcomes for students with different characteristics.

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.

Researchers at the Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, operated by AIR, in collaboration with the Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance, conducted a study to identify associations between predictive indicators and postsecondary science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) success among Hispanic students in Texas. The goals of the study were to identify factors that predict positive STEM-related postsecondary outcomes for students in Texas and to determine whether the association between predictive factors and outcomes differs between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White students.

AIR created an online tool that allows users in Florida to view the return on investment associated with completing a degree from a particular state institution, in a particular major, at a particular level. The tool incorporates data from multiple sources, including statewide completion data, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and Gallup. AIR also produced a report describing the earnings outcomes for college completers of different levels of degrees in different majors from Florida institutions, as well as discussing student debt levels and job growth information. The goals of the project were to present the state’s educational outcome data in a way that makes it easy for users to compare and make decisions about their educational path.

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.

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.

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.