CEL Projects

Overview

Current Projects

California’s College and Career Readiness Standards and Assessments

Funders: 

Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Stupski Family Foundation

In partnership with the California Department of Education (CDE), the California State University Chancellor’s Office, and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, we are examining the adoption of California’s college and career readiness standards and aligned assessments. We are conducting descriptive analyses to identify college and career readiness patterns across the state, in specific regions and for various subgroups of students.  We also seek to understand the causal impact of the college readiness signals students receive from the Early Assessment Program, embedded in the CAASPP, on 12th grade course-taking and college application and enrollment. Specifically, we aim to answer the following research questions: 

  1. What are the characteristics of students identified as college and career ready? How do these differ from prior standards?
  2. Which schools produce students who are college and career ready? How has this changed over time and how does this differ by key student demographics and school characteristics?
  3. How well do college and career readiness standards correlate with measures of postsecondary success, and has this changed in light of the new SBAC standards relative to the prior standards?
  4. What is the causal effect of receiving a signal that one is college ready? How does this differ by key student demographics and school characteristics?
  5. Do college readiness signals affect courses taken in 12th grade, academic performance in 12th grade, and college application and enrollment patterns? How does this differ by key student demographics and school characteristics?

Career Technical Education in K-12 and California Community Colleges

Funders: 

Center for Analysis of Postsecondary Education and Employment

Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

The James Irvine Foundation

In collaboration with the California Department of Education and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office (CCCCO), we are investigating the outcomes of students enrolled in CTE courses and programs. Specifically, we are answering the following research questions:

  1. What factors explain the substantial variation in earnings returns to CTE education across specific disciplines and fields?
  2. How can CTE student enrollment types, goals, and associated outcomes be better identified, particularly for non-degree seekers?
  3. What factors, particularly flexibility in program characteristics, affect the likelihood of certificate or degree completion?

California Community Colleges and Student Financial Aid

Funders: 

Institute of Educational Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

The James Irvine Foundation

In collaboration with the California Community College Chancellor’s Office and the California Student Aid Commission we are examining how California community college students are financing their education. Specifically, we are investigating student take-up of financial aid, including student background characteristics and enrollment behaviors, as well as institutional practices and policies. In upcoming work, we will evaluate the impact of important changes to the Cal Grant B program, which generate strong financial incentives for students to complete an Associates degree within two years. We will then look at the impact of financial aid, and changes in financial aid eligibility requirements and award amounts, on long-term student outcomes.

Intersegmental Partnerships and Alignment

Funders: 

College Futures Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation

Through engagement with community and education leaders across the state, we are surveying best practices in intersegmental partnerships. In these partnerships, stakeholders from multiple educational, workforce, and community sectors work collaboratively to improve the educational attainment and workforce outcomes of the students they serve. Although partnerships’ goals may differ, partnerships often share a common focus on improvement. Therefore, we seek to understand these commonalities and to highlight promising practices in the following areas:

  1. The goals and experiences of current intersegmental partnerships
  2. Data sharing, management, and data use practices within intersegmental partnerships
  3. Technical and planning capacity among staff within intersegmental partnerships
  4. Implications for scaling intersegmental partnerships across the state
  5. Tools and resources to help developing partnerships advance their efforts

Student Success and Persistence in College: The Role of Faculty

Funders: 

College Futures Foundation

Along with partners at California State University, we are studying one of the least understood aspects of college success—the role of faculty feedback.  We employ a “light touch” intervention that increases and personalizes faculty engagement with their students to test theoretical claims about the impact of interactions between faculty and students.  Results from our research will offer important implications for the teaching and learning experiences of students and faculty across similar higher education settings.

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