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IES Grant

Title: The New York State Literacy Zone Researcher-Practitioner Partnership
Center: NCER Year: 2016
Principal Investigator: Cronen, Stephanie Awardee: American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (8/1/2016-7/31/2018) Award Amount: $398,235
Type: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H160023

Co-Principal Investigator: Purga, Robert

Partner Institutions: American Institutes for Research (AIR), New York State Education Department's Adult Career and Continuing Education Services (ACCES), and the Literacy Assistance Center (LAC).

Purpose: New York State established "Literacy Zone" funding to improve the outcomes of adult education programs located in its poorest neighborhoods. These Literacy Zone grants help adult education programs to fund comprehensive case management services to help adult learners access and succeed in education and training programs by leveraging wraparound services intended to address health concerns, childcare needs, or other needs that may create a barrier to program participation. The IES partnership grant focused on helping improve case managers' ability to use data to support adult learners.

Partnership and Research Activities: In this project, the partners developed and piloted a data-informed decision-making model, as well as accompanying data tools and professional development for case managers. The partnership also conducted exploratory analysis of the relationship between case management and adult student outcomes and disseminated information within the state and its adult education programs. The partnership used a mixed-methods approach that used qualitative data from interview and focus groups and administrative data to explore the relationship between case management practices and participant outcomes. From this work, the team created tools and training for case managers to help improve their ability to assist learners.

Setting: The research took place in across multiple New York Literacy Zone programs.

Sample: Twenty case managers, and 29 Literacy Zone students participated in this project.