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Oregon professional development incentives study


Description: Many states are working to enhance the quality of their early childhood education (ECE) workforce by improving the education and training of their ECE providers. Oregon has defined pathways for professional development (called a career ladder or lattice) as part of its ECE professional development system. State education stakeholders have requested this study to better understand whether various interventions motivate ECE professionals to enter the career lattice and reach higher education levels (particularly the more than 50 percent who have less than an associate's degree). This study may also inform other states' incentive structures to encourage professional development of their ECE workforce.

This study is conducted in partnership with the Oregon Center for Career Development in Childhood Care and Education (OCCD) at Portland State University.

Research questions:

  1. To what extent do behavioral nudges impact the decision to enroll in Oregon's early child education (ECE) career lattice?
  2. To what extent do behavioral nudges, incentives, or scholarships impact professional development (PD) outcomes of ECE professionals in Oregon's ECE career lattice?
  3. To what extent does the impact of the behavioral nudges, incentives, and scholarships on career lattice enrollment, the number of PD hours recorded, the number of college credits earned, and career lattice movement differ by individual characteristics and community factors?
  4. How were the incentives/scholarships advertised, distributed, and perceived?
  5. How extensively do participants report receiving the behavioral nudges and/or incentive/scholarship information?

Study design: This study uses a randomized controlled trial design. More details on the study design will be available in the published report.

Projected release date: Fall 2021

Partnership or research alliance: Oregon Early Learning Collaborative

Related products: Making an Impact report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Ashley Pierson, REL Northwest at Education Northwest
Jill Cannon, RAND Corporation