IEBC conducts research and evaluation studies that address actionable issues in education. With funding from public and private sources, our work shines a light on some of the most pressing educational issues and provides research-based solutions that are useful, useable, and actionable. Frequently, IEBC fulfills a supporting role in our partner organizations’ research and evaluation efforts. Our partners trust us to provide them with valid and reliable data collected from student information systems and linked across the educational segments. We also develop evaluation systems used by program and policy implementers that drive program improvement efforts internally and inform external stakeholders.

New: In this section on Research and Evaluation, you will find information about research projects, research support, evaluation projects and evaluation systems.

Cuyamaca College Reaches for Student Success with IEBC Evaluation Research.

Research Projects

Student Learning Outcomes at Community Colleges.

Colleges have struggled in the transition from course outcomes that focus on what will be taught to student learning outcomes that focus on what students will know, understand, and be able to do as a result of passing the course. This research study, funded by the Lumina Foundation as part of IEBC’s Tuning work, assessed the development, implementation, and impact of SLOs at five colleges around the country. We found that although students benefit greatly from well-developed and applied SLOs, faculty skill level in developing SLOs and using them in their classrooms varied greatly.

Read more here: Learning Outcomes and Tuning in Community Colleges.

Research Support

Los Angeles County Executive Office Youth Linkages Project. The Los Angeles County Executive Office was linking data from multiple data systems (e.g., healthcare, justice, public health, mental health) to understand the long-term impact of services on youth formerly in the justice and foster care systems. They were not able, however, to access P-20 educational data for these youth. IEBC provided an educational progress and outcome data set for these youth that allowed the project research team to fulfill their vision of understanding the impact of education on outcomes and how education outcomes are affected by youth demographics and the services these vulnerable youth receive. Findings from this effort continue to have an impact on the ways comprehensive, long-term, wrap-around services are provided to youth in Los Angeles County.  Click here to view the full report from  Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy at the University of Pennsylvania.

Linked Learning Research.  IEBC developed and managed the Linked Learning data system.  As  part of this effort, IEBC partnered with a number of organizations to provide data from the data system to support research efforts. Our partners were guaranteed accurate, reliable, and valid data that had been vetted by IEBC’s Analytics team. IEBC cut data sets for the annual research conducted by SRI for the James Irvine Foundation, which was the primary research endeavor of the nine district pilot project that spanned six years. Additional data cuts were provided to support research on the financial costs of the project, work-based learning efforts, and impact on subpopulations of students. This work continues and has been able to demonstrate statistically significant differences benefiting students in Linked Learning pathways.  The most recent report SRI can be found here.  NOTE: The seventh-year report is at the press and will be available soon.

Postsecondary Metrics Reporting Project. There is considerable interest in identifying metrics related to student progress, success, and cost benefits by which postsecondary institutions could be assessed.  Funded by the Gates Foundation, this effort brought together colleges, community college systems, universities, and for-profit postsecondary education systems executive representatives.  IEBC collected data from 17 of the participating entities to support this project designed to assess the reliability and validity of metrics that could be used to assess postsecondary educational institutions.  IEBC worked with the institutional research offices of these postsecondary systems to coordinate data submission, validate and clean data, and calculate a group of common metrics.  IEBC also provided data cuts to other organizations involved in cost analyses and cohort research.  Read the full Postsecondary Metrics Reporting Project report.

Evaluation Projects

Cuyamaca College HSI STEM Grant Uses Evaluation Research. IEBC was awarded a contract to evaluate Cuyamaca College’s STEM grant under the U.S. Department of Education’s Hispanic Serving Institutions program. The evaluation is designed to assess the impact of policy, instructional, and student support efforts for the target population. Improving outreach and recruitment of Hispanic students into STEM fields is one of the goals of the overall project. In evaluation research, work is driven by the program being evaluated per the program’s goals. At Cuyamaca, the project team is gauging the success of outreach efforts and discovering the impact on students enrolled in the program. Because this is a formative evaluation, helping to form the program, project implementers at Cuyamaca College are receiving feedback from the evaluation in time to make decisions related to program improvement. Read more here.

Evaluation of the Long Beach College Promise Partnership Act.  IEBC was awarded this contract to evaluate the development, implementation, and impact of a student success partnership between Long Beach City College (LBCC) and Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) grounded in a dual enrollment program. California legislation (SB 650) specifically authorized the program and required evaluation. Results of the five year project included lessons learned about how to address program and policy barriers, communication issues, and data sharing; and the impact of the program on student success. The program was shown to produce benefits for students, including greater likelihood to complete 25 transferable units and complete college-level math and English courses by end of the first year at LBCC, and earn a degree/certificate or transfer successfully to a four-year institution within four years of high school graduation.

Review of Idaho’s Educational Technology and Data Systems in Support of Student College and Career Readiness. With funding from the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation,  IEBC evaluated the use of educational technology among Idaho’s 114 school districts. IEBC’s team visited over 30 school districts and interviewed district and school administrators, information technology and research staff, and teachers and support staff for their perspectives on the current status of educational data and technology efforts in Idaho; and included a focus on local technology, data, and college and career readiness issues. Teachers from all districts completed an online survey. Based on findings of the status of education technology in the state, IEBC identified policy and program recommendations that continue to guide improvement efforts at the state and local levels.  Read IEBC’s full report on Idaho’s Educational Technology and Data Systems in Support of Student College and Career Readiness here.

Go On Idaho!  The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation asked IEBC to evaluate the impact of the Go On Idaho! initiative, which was designed to increase the college and career readiness among Idaho’s high school graduates. IEBC helped develop the data analysis plan that integrated almost a dozen metrics (e.g., FAFSA completion rates, standardized test scores, dual enrollment, college applications) to create a picture of the impact of the project’s efforts. IEBC also created data displays for technical and lay reports; and worked with the project’s communications director to tell the Go On Idaho! story.  Read the final report from the Albertson Foundation here.

Parent Institute for Quality Education. The Walter S. Johnson Foundation (WSJF) contracted with IEBC to evaluate their investment in the Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE). The WSJF was concerned about gaps in PIQE’s ability to use information to assess their own work and to provide the Foundation (and others) with information about impact. IEBC staff worked with PIQE to identify appropriate metrics and develop a system to collect data. The evaluation produced enduring results in two ways. Information supported PIQE’s assertions about their impact and laid the foundation for continued self-evaluation for the organization.

Evaluation Systems

Doceõ Centers. The J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation engaged IEBC to develop an evaluation system for their Doceõ Initiative that initiative created educational technology resource centers at two postsecondary institutions. The Foundation wanted to improve its tracking and understanding of the development and implementation process and the impact of the Centers on the use of technology in Idaho’s school districts. IEBC created an annual reporting workbook for the two Doceõ Centers, developed internal evaluation systems, helped the Centers identify key metrics to track, and assisted the Foundation in making use of the information gleaned. The Centers have used the information to expand and improve their services to administrators, faculty, and staff across the state, resulting in increased use of technology in classrooms to support student success.

Idaho Pathways to Technology in Early College High School (PTECH). After successfully developing the Doceõ Center evaluation system, the Albertson Foundation contracted with IEBC to develop an evaluation system for their new PTECH initiative. IEBC partnered with PTECH administrators to develop a logic model, identify leading and lagging indicators for their work, and present their work and its impact to stakeholders in industry and government. As the PTECH initiative developed, their practices and procedures changed considerably in response to the emerging employment needs in the state. IEBC’s team responded to these changes nimbly and quickly, modifying the logic model and identifying metrics relevant to the organization’s new objectives and methods. The tracking and reporting system we developed based on the new metrics is now being used successfully by PTECH.

Tuning Evaluation Toolkit. IEBC was the operational partner for the Lumina Foundation’s Tuning initiative. As part of that effort IEBC was funded to develop an evaluation toolkit that could be used by the field to self-assess their work or guide a partner evaluator. The toolkit consisted of 17 items that included surveys and interview protocols for students, faculty, and others; assessments of the progress of Tuning efforts; frameworks for gathering student progress data; and communication tools. IEBC also developed an annotated guide to using the toolkit.

California Academic Partnership Program (CAPP). The CAPP program office and support team contracted with IEBC to develop a dashboard based on previously identified metrics for the  initiative. IEBC worked with CAPP school districts, support team, and executives to create a custom dashboard that was then used to assess the impact of CAPP programs and identify gaps that could be addressed by the support team. The dashboard was used to provide previously unavailable feedback to project staff in a systematic way that could lead to program improvements and increase the chances of successful college and career outcomes for students in schools with histories of poor academic outcomes.

San Bernardino City Unified School District i3. IEBC is collecting student academic progress and outcome data from the San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD) and partner postsecondary institutions to support the evaluation of its i3 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Before providing the data to the evaluation research team from SRI, IEBC validates the data, links it across institutions and also to national postsecondary data from the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC), and ensures the complete data set is research-ready. This data will be used to fulfill the federal reporting requirements for the grant and other research to assess the impact on students, family, and schools.