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Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research


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FY Awards

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New York City Partnership for College Readiness and Success

Year: 2013
Name of Institution:
New York University
Goal: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership
Principal Investigator:
Kemple, James
Award Amount: $399,824
Award Period: 2 years (7/1/13 – 12/31/14)
Award Number: R305H130048


Co-Principal Investigators: D'Souza, Simone; Crook, David

Partnership Institutions: The Research Alliance for New York City Schools at New York University (NYU); New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE); City University of New York (CUNY)

Purpose: During the project period, the partnership had four aims:

  • establishing the partnership infrastructure including the formation of a management team, a research advisory and review committee, short- and long-term research agendas, data and code sharing agreements, and forums for sharing work in progress and final research products
  • conducting descriptive and exploratory studies that further the development of college-ready indicators and success and that identify individual, community, and organizational factors that enhance or inhibit college preparation, enrollment, persistence, and performance
  • identifying and/or developing systematic interventions that seek to enhance these college-ready factors
  • preparing an application for further IES funding

Project Activities: NYCDOE and CUNY served as the practitioner partners in this collaboration and oversaw the largest K–12 and urban university systems. Each of these institutions brought unique data and analytic resources to the partnership. The Research Alliance for New York City Schools, located at NYU, managed the three-way partnership. The team sought to enhance the capacity of the NYCDOE and CUNY to monitor student progress toward college-ready credentials, hold schools and colleges accountable for helping students reach this goal, and develop interventions and supports for schools that struggle to keep students on track toward college. The partnership established a formal leadership team comprised of the director of NYCDOE's Research and Policy Support Group, the director of CUNY's institutional research office, and the executive director of the Research Alliance. This team met every 2 months to discuss issues related to data archiving, ongoing research projects, and new research ideas. The team established a formal data sharing agreement and data management system. The partnership completed descriptive analyses, documenting patterns of transition into and through postsecondary education and identified indicators of college readiness and success. Additionally, the partnership team developed a proposal applying for further funding from IES.

Key Outcomes:

  • In Coco and Black (2017), the partnership reported that the proportion of New York City 9th graders who enrolled in college increased over time, from 55 percent of students who started high school in 2003 to 61 percent of those who started in 2008. Higher rates of college access decreased somewhat due to students leaving after 1 or 2 years of college. Although most students' primary source of degrees remained 4-year colleges, more students began enrolling in 2-year colleges, and overall fewer students were delaying their college enrollment. Enrollment in 2-year colleges grew faster among students from underrepresented groups, namely, those from the poorest neighborhoods, Black and Latino students, and young men. While all students saw improved college access over time, gaps in enrollment and outcomes associated with gender and neighborhood income persisted, and there was some evidence that differences by race/ethnicity grew.
  • The partnership team created the NYC Partnership dataset, approximately 900,000 individual students could be traced from as early as Kindergarten records in 1994 to as late as college graduation in 2015. This dataset offered information about students' experiences as they move from high school into college in New York City.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The research for this project was conducted in New York City.

Sample: Research carried out by the partnership used two extant data archives. The first, created by the Research Alliance, is a comprehensive and systematically organized archive of NYCDOE data. These data include up to 20 years of information about students, teachers, and schools in NYC. This archive also includes teacher, student, and parent response on the New York City School Surveys and individual-level postsecondary enrollment data from the National Student Clearinghouse. The second data archive is CUNY's Institutional Research Database (IRDB). These data include student-level data from the separate student information systems at each CUNY college. The IRDB contains 15 years' worth of student registration, course-taking, course performance, and graduation records and organizes that information in a way that facilitates both trend reporting and longitudinal tracking of students.

Education Issue: At the time the grant was awarded, each of the participating institutions had established two-way partnerships with each other that were at various stages of maturity. Little had been done, however, to create the conditions for a coherent research agenda or to capitalize on the full range of research opportunities that arise from the unique pathway and data resources that exist between the two education systems and the research capacities that could be coordinated through the Research Alliance for New York City Schools at NYU.

Research Design and Methods: This project used descriptive and correlational data analysis.

Key Measures: Key measures include academic metrics of high school graduation, college access, college enrollment, college readiness, and college success.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers used descriptive analyses to explore the relationships between high school performance and college outcomes. They also used student-level information to investigate how the probability of being identified as college-ready (as measured across several dimensions) fluctuates for various subpopulations of students before, during, and shortly after the high school years. After the descriptive analyses were completed, the research team used ordered logistic regressions to identify student engagement and achievement factors appropriate for inclusion in college readiness indicators and cross-validate these indicators with an independent sample of students.

Products and Publications

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications:

Coca, V.M. (2014). New York City goes to college: A first look at patterns of college enrollment, persistence, and degree attainment of New York City graduates. New York: Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

Coca, V.M. & Black, K.E. (2017). New York City goes to college: New findings and framework for examining college access and success. New York: Research Alliance for New York City Schools.