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IES Contract

Title: The Training, Education, and Apprenticeship Program Outcomes Toolkit
Center: NCER Year: 2020
Principal Investigator: Gee, Matt Awardee: BrightHive, Inc.
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (06/18/2020 – 06/17/2022) Award Amount: $890,076
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: 91990020C0088

Project Website:

Video Demonstration of the Phase I Prototype:

Purpose: This project will develop and test an open source return on investment (ROI) calculator called the Training, Education, and Apprenticeship Outcomes Toolkit (TEAPOT) that states and postsecondary education networks can use to guide student decision making on education and career pathways. Rapidly rising costs, dramatic changes in the labor market, and a proliferation of new credentialing options are all driving the need for better ROI information across the postsecondary ecosystem. Now more than ever, students need reliable and up-to-date information on the market value of postsecondary opportunities when choosing among institutions, programs, and pathways. TEAPOT addresses the need by simplifying the creation, publication, and use of high-quality ROI information on programs, courses, and competencies.

Project Activities: During Phase I in 2019, BrightHive and partners developed a prototype ROI calculator to guide decision making on education programs and careers by students in the state of Colorado. The calculator combined data about wage outcomes for program graduates with program cost, time-to-completion, and baseline expected wages for high school graduates. This new ROI data was made available to test users through a statewide college and career application (My Colorado Journey) used by high school students to explore education and career pathways. Ninety-one high school students were presented with ROI information and asked to provide feedback and make suggestions for improvements. The research team found that students were more engaged overall by ROI data, spending 10 times the average amount of time on the ROI calculator page than they spent on other My Colorado Journey pages. They also found that institutions benefited from increased student interest and that students hoped to be able to access the tool again in the future.

In Phase II, BrightHive and partners will refine and build out the TEAPOT open source code base to support additional data sources and a menu of ROI calculation methods depending on data availability. The team will also develop training materials and toolkit supports for both postsecondary data collaboratives producing ROI data using the toolkit and embedding ROI information into their apps. At the end of Phase II, research partners will measure the impact of the ROI tool on student outcomes for 300 students, including determining whether ROI information improves the discovery of educational opportunities, increases the likelihood of enrollment overall, and leads to measurable changes in enrollment in high- versus low-ROI programs.

Product: This small business will develop an open-source toolkit that states and networks can use to calculate metrics that support and inform decision making by postsecondary students. This toolkit (TEAPOT) will include several components to support implementation including data requirements, a field guide with instructional materials and technical tools to help partners to securely and ethically combine wage and education data, a resource hub containing expert guidance and recommendations for deploying the ROI metrics in different contexts and apps, and a reference interface that allows states and networks to present ROI data as part of their career guidance applications.

Related IES Project: The Training, Education, and Apprenticeship Program Outcomes Toolkit (TEAPOT) (91990019C0042)