Resources

AIR’s Dr. Rachel Dinkes joined panelists from academia, policymaking, and the U.S. higher education system to discuss who should foot the bill as postsecondary education expands in the United States.

This journal article uses student-level data to investigate how the college application behavior of underrepresented minorities (URMs) changed in response to the 1998 end of affirmative action in admissions at the University of California (UC). The results show that all URMs experienced a drop in their probability of admission to at least one UC campus.

Projects

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 a coaching series, administered biannually to Wisconsin Technical College System staff. The aims of the series were to support the colleges’ abilities to use research, research methods, and data collection and analysis strategies.

As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary strategy, AIR evaluated a group of organizations, or Channel Partners, in their postsecondary institutional transformation efforts. The goals of the evaluation included understanding the services and resources that Channel Partners provide to clients, identify strengths and areas for improvement, and share lessons learned to support continuous improvement and the development of strategy.

AIR created an online tool that allows users in Utah to view the return on investment associated with completing a degree from a particular state institution, in a particular major, at a particular level. Researchers incorporated data from multiple sources, including statewide completion data, data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Gallup, and more, to build the tool. The goal of the tool was 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.

AIR supported the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction in convening seven PK–16 regional councils across the state to build regional partnerships. The goal of these regional partnerships was to develop successful educator career pathways by allowing multiple districts to work collaboratively with local educator preparation 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.

AIR’s work with the College Completion Network brings together research teams to share ideas, build knowledge, conduct sound research, and share findings about postsecondary success. The Network’s goals include evaluating promising interventions related to college completion, building knowledge about college completion and postsecondary success, providing policymakers and college leaders with reliable evidence, and strengthening the work of Network research teams through collaboration.

The College and Career Readiness and Success Center and the Midwest Comprehensive Center (both operated by AIR) completed a literature review that examined the relationship between potential postsecondary readiness measures for Iowa to consider for accountability and the student outcomes identified in the state’s definition of postsecondary readiness. They also conducted a scan of the postsecondary readiness measures included in other states’ Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans. The goal of the project was to use the literature review and the state scan to coach the Iowa Department of Education in developing a postsecondary readiness indicator for its ESSA plan.