Projects

AIR is evaluating STEMfast, a program developed by New Mexico Highlands University to provide comprehensive support services to Hispanic students and students from low-income backgrounds who are studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEMfast addresses the underrepresentation of these students in STEM fields and works to decrease the likelihood that developmental core subject courses will deter these students from persisting and graduating from college.

AIR is partnering with Fisk and Vanderbilt Universities to research and disseminate information about the Fisk-Vanderbilt Master’s-to-PhD Bridge Program, an initiative that supports diversity and inclusion in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) postsecondary programs. The overarching goal of this grant is to generate and share knowledge about best practices to promote broad participation of students who are underrepresented within the higher education community.

AIR supported the annual reports and information staff in preparing three major annual reports, as well as a variety of other analytic, indicator, and tabular reports and studies on education statistics. The aim of this work was to support NCES’ annual reports and information staff in compiling, maintaining, and analyzing survey data; writing reports; and disseminating the information gathered and maintained by NCES, the U.S. Census Bureau, and other federal and nonfederal education data sources.

AIR’s Southeast Comprehensive Center supported state education agencies in strengthening their plans for implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments. These supports addressed the lack of capacity for implementation and improvement of effective statewide assessment and accountability systems.

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 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 is providing support for the Longitudinal Studies Branch, which is responsible for the design and operation of three national early childhood cohort studies and several longitudinal studies of middle school, high school, and postsecondary students. AIR is providing support across the full range of design and reporting activities associated with the major data collection projects and statistical studies, including study development, cognitive laboratory work, field test and national data collection activities, review of data files and data documentation, report review and development, outreach, user support, and training activities.

AIR’s Midwest Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance to the Minnesota Department of Education on implementing strategies outlined in the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act plan, including contributing content expertise to improve the early warning intervention and response process that identifies students at increased risk of not completing high school in 4 years. These improvements aim to help close the state’s wide achievement gaps between students of color and their White peers.

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 College and Career Readiness and Success Center launched the State Work-Based Learning Initiative to help support states in designing, scaling, and implementing work-based learning (WBL) efforts as a strategy to improve student college and career readiness. This initiative is based on four state-led, peer-to-peer networks that focus on specific WBL priorities, promote cross-state learning, and engage external WBL experts. The goals of the initiative are to collect and share emerging strategies, identify common challenges, and develop resources related to the implementation of WBL.