Resources

This journal article provides a review of causes and policy solutions of two equity problems: (a) Too many college students from disadvantaged backgrounds in the United States do not complete their coursework with any college credential, whereas others earn degrees or certificates with little labor market value; and (b) many of these students also struggle to pay for college, and some incur debts that they have difficulty repaying. Solutions include those focused on both individual students and institutional reform.

This journal article uses longitudinal data from Washington state to investigate the relationships among career and technical education (CTE) enrollment, inclusion in general education, and high school and postsecondary outcomes for students with learning disabilities. Researchers replicated earlier findings that students with learning disabilities who were enrolled in a "concentration" of CTE courses had higher rates of employment after graduation than observably similar students with learning disabilities who were enrolled in fewer CTE courses.

Projects

AIR is serving as an evaluation partner for the Data for the American Dream (D4AD) initiative. D4AD supports innovative efforts to expand access to education and career data, with the specific goal of helping students and jobseekers make better career decisions in a changing economy through data-driven information, and especially to help low-income and unemployed Americans access better jobs and education opportunities. AIR’s role is to help grantees, sponsors, and the field learn from these efforts.

AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center (CCRS Center) collaborated with CareerWise, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Workforce Development Council to support the expansion of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities in Colorado. The CCRS Center developed the capacity of a Colorado team to maintain and revise WBL geographic information system map applications. The goal of the project was to improve place-based and data-driven decision making.

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.

The Southeast Comprehensive Center (SECC), operated by AIR, assisted the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) in providing technical expertise and support to career, technical, and agricultural education staff in the implementation of GaDOE’s career pathways. In addition, SECC and AIR’s College and Career Readiness and Success Center supported the implementation of employability skills and quality work-based learning opportunities for all students. Strategies developed through this work were shared with educators across the state to provide opportunities for all Georgia students to develop the necessary academic, technical, and employability skills for success in postsecondary education and the workplace.

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.

AIR is analyzing 20 years of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 panel using an individual fixed-effects regression strategy. The purpose of the analysis is to estimate the returns to non-credit-bearing credential and licensure pathways compared with credit-bearing credential and associate degree programs that are unrelated to persistent differences in the respondents’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Findings show that credit-bearing credentials yield an approximately equal likelihood to be employed as noncredit-bearing credentials, but significantly improved earnings of about $7,000 a year.

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 developed a series of online modules that support state and local education agency leaders in the creation of Grow Your Own Programs, which aim to establish an educator talent pipeline. The modules provide examples and considerations for developing a Grow Your Own Program to address educator shortages and retention issues, promote a more diverse workforce, and support college and career readiness development among high school students.