College and Career Success Research Alliance
Research Alliance Quicktabs
Research alliances connect practitioners, researchers, and policymakers around regional education challenges. Alliances are tasked with addressing these challenges through regional research, technical assistance, and dissemination projects. Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest supports eight alliances.
Although the number of students enrolling in college has increased significantly during the last decades, many students who enter college do not complete a degree. The College and Career Success Research Alliance (CCSRA) aims to develop the capacity to design and implement evidence-based policies and programs that support college access, college completion, and workforce success.
Guiding Research Questions
- What measures predict whether a student is on track for college enrollment and success?
- What interventions increase college enrollment, persistence, and completion of a college credential?
Brian Barber, Michigan Department of Education
Ashley Becker, Illinois Community College Board
Jenny Berry, Indiana Department of Education
Meredith Fergus, Minnesota Office of Higher Education
Angie Johnson, Minnesota Department of Education
Brandy Johnson, Michigan College Access Network
Pradeep Kotamraju, Iowa Department of Education
Brittania Morey, Iowa College Access Network
Julie Sweitzer, University of Minnesota
Mark Thomas, Northview High School
Stacy Townsley, Indiana Commission for Higher Education
Elisabeth Davis, Ph.D., Senior Researcher at AIR
Jim Lindsay, Ph.D., Senior Researcher at AIR
Erin Roth, Researcher at AIR
Technical Assistance Projects Develop systems, surveys, and other tools to help stakeholders apply data to their work
Policies and Programs in Midwestern States That Prepare and Support Adult Learners to Successfully Transition to Postsecondary Education (2013)
Goal: To expand the knowledge base about state policies and programs designed to support the transition to postsecondary education for adult learners.
- Reviewed the research literature.
- Conducted in-depth interviews with state and local adult education leaders.
- Detailed regional similarities and differences in the transition programs.
- Identified common strategies for student recruitment data systems.
Improving State Longitudinal Data Systems to Better Capture Predictors of College Success (2015–16)
Goal: To provide states with a road map for improving their state longitudinal data systems to better capture predictors of college success.
- Conducted a systematic review of the literature on student predictors of college success.
- Reviewed the content and coverage of three states’ longitudinal data systems to determine which predictors of college success are contained within or missing from the system.
- Reported to states on ways they may consider expanding the content and coverage of their longitudinal data systems in order to be better able to prepare students for success in college.
Research Projects Collect and analyze data and summarize information for dissemination
Who Will Succeed and Who Will Struggle? Predicting Early College Success with Indiana’s Student Information System (2012)
Goal: To use state longitudinal data to identify the characteristics of students, high schools, and colleges that predict three measures of early college success.
- Examined the first-year college success of recent Indiana high school graduates who enrolled in two- and four-year public colleges in Indiana.
- Examined the relationship between student, high school, and college characteristics and three measures of early college success, including immediate enrollment in credit-bearing courses, earning all credits attempted, and persistence to a second year.
Ramp-Up to Readiness Implementation Evaluation and Impact Study (2013–15)
Goal: To study the implementation and impact of Ramp-Up to Readiness, a schoolwide guidance program that aims to increase students’ likelihood of college enrollment and completion by improving their college readiness.
- Conducted an implementation evaluation that studied the degree to which schools implemented Ramp-Up to Readiness as the program developers intended.
- Conducted an impact study that examined whether students who participated in Ramp-Up to Readiness were more likely than their peers who did not to complete key college actions, such as submitting at least one college application and submitting the Free Application for Federal Study Aid.
The Characteristics and Postsecondary Pathways of Students Who Participate in Acceleration Programs (2014–15)
Goal: To gain information on the characteristics and the postsecondary pathways of students who participate in acceleration programs, including advanced coursework and dual or concurrent enrollment.
- Use state longitudinal data to study participation in acceleration programs among a recent cohort of high school graduates in a single state in the Midwest.
- Describe who participates in acceleration programs, their high school outcomes, and the relationship between participation in acceleration programs and indicators of postsecondary success, including college enrollment, achievement, and persistence.