Research for Action

Summer 2015 Interns, Research for Action

Posted on March 23, 2015

Now Hiring: Summer 2015 Interns

Summer internships run from May – August. Exact start and end dates are based on the needs of the project and the availability of the student. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resumé to applicants@researchforaction.org with the subject of “Summer Intern Application”. In your email, please include the two projects you’d most like to work on selected from the list below.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Research for Action qualifies for work study and PHEAA. Interns may also be eligible for course credit.

Policy Intern
RFA’s policy team works to inform education policy discussions with relevant, rigorous, and nonpartisan policy research. The intern will support the team by researching education policy initiatives at the local, state, and federal level and contributing to briefs on specific issues. Applicants should be interested in education policy, qualitative research, and urban school reform. Graduate student preferred.
Desired Hours: 8 – 12 per week

21st Century Programs Quantitative Interns
Project Description: RFA serves as the local evaluator for twelve 21st Century providers of community youth programs and Out-of-School Time educational opportunities for students in the Philadelphia area. As the local evaluator, RFA examines the implementation of the 21st Century programs and outcomes related to student attendance, academic achievement, and behavior.

Intern Role 1: One intern will mainly work on 21st Century project but will also contribute to other projects. The tasks will include collecting quantitative data for the projects, cleaning data and preparing for analysis. The interns will also work with other team members to conduct basic descriptive analysis, and create graphs, tables, and bullets to summarize and explain data and the results from analyses.
Desired Skills and Experience: Basic knowledge in statistics and education, experience using statistical software packages such as PSSA, SAS, or STATA and desire to learn STATA; proficiency in Microsoft Office Word and Excel, ability to work independently and as part of a team.
Hours: 10 – 20 per week

Intern Role 2: Two additional interns will manage a large database of survey information. They will work on scanning in and constructing the teacher survey database for 21C. They will also assist in data entry for student data and basic data preparation and cleaning in STATA.
Desired Skills and Experience: Applicants should be well-organized and detail oriented. Willingness to learn statistical and/or survey software is essential (Excel, Snap, STATA).
Hours: 15 – 20 per week

Project LIFT Project Intern
Project Description: Project L.I.F.T. (Leadership and Investment for Transformation), a philanthropic initiative funded by local community and family foundations, recognizes the achievement gap that separates thousands of minority and low-income students from their peers in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Project L.I.F.T. aspires to lift up and accelerate the school district’s efforts to improve academic outcomes for all students, with particular attention to the West Charlotte Corridor. Focusing on the West Corridor student feeder pattern consisting of 9 schools and 7,000 students, Project L.I.F.T. aims to eliminate the educational disparities through support of four key intervention approaches: Talent, Time, Technology, and Parent and Community Support. Additionally, Project L.I.F.T. will promote district and state policy that will advance educational outcomes for students to reduce the achievement gap. This program has potential to serve as a turnaround model to be used in other low-performing CMS zones, as well as other urban school districts throughout the country. As the external evaluator for this initiative, Research for Action is currently conducting a mixed-methods study that will examine implementation and report on student outcomes. The study is beginning its fourth year in September.
Intern Role: The project intern will contribute to project work in multiple ways, including assistance with qualitative data preparation, coding and preliminary data analysis. The intern may also assist in document and policy review.
Hours: 10 per week

Nellie Mae/New Hampshire ELO Study Intern
Project Description: New Hampshire law allows students to take courses known as Extended Learning Opportunities (ELOs), which generally occur outside the umbrella of traditional high school courses and can involve academic work or on-the-job training – for example through internships, community service, or online coursework. The courses fit into New Hampshire’s overall efforts to better align its high school curriculum with the skills needed in college and the job market. Research for Action, through a grant provided by the Nellie Mae Foundation, is conducting an evaluation of ELOs in New Hampshire. RFA staff are working closely with staff at the New Hampshire Department of Education and with staff at participant schools (roughly one fifth of the high schools in the state are participating). The study has national implications given the growing prominence of competency-based education.
Intern Role: The intern for this project will take a leading role in two major tasks:
1) At the conclusion of the summer, RFA will present a high-level policy brief designed to inform New Hampshire policymakers and others around the country about the state’s competency-based learning policies, as well as discussing the ELO policy as an approach to meeting competency-based standards. The intern for this project will take a lead role in writing and researching the brief.
2) Year two of the study will include a survey of ELO coordinators and other school-based stakeholders in the state. The intern for this project will assist in coding and interpreting the results of the survey.
Desired Skills and Experience: Background in policy writing (or desire to develop such skills) is the biggest requirement. Any previous survey experience highly desirable. Stata experience a big plus but not necessary.
Hours: 16 per week


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