Fall 2014 Internships at Research for Action

Posted by Research for Action on September 1, 2014

Fall 2014 Internships at Research for Action

Research for Action (RFA) seeks to use research as the basis for the improvement of educational opportunities and outcomes for traditionally underserved students. Our work is designed to strengthen public schools and postsecondary institutions; provide research-based recommendations to policymakers, practitioners and the public at the local, state and national levels; and enrich the civic and community dialogue about public education.

Fall internships run from September – December. 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. 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 and interns may also be eligible for course credit.
Administrative Communications Intern

The Administrative Communications intern will assist the Communications Director with an overhaul of our publications database. The ideal candidate will be detail oriented and organized. Experience with databases a plus, but not required. Undergraduates interested in business, IT, communications, and library science are encouraged to apply.

Hours: 10-15 per week


Elev8 Project Intern

Project Description: Developed by the Atlantic Philanthropies, an international grant making foundation, Elev8 (pronounced ‘Elevate’) is committed to building on what has worked to improve the quality of life and academic performance of middle school youth. The initiative’s work is based on the understanding the the coordinated or integrated delivery of learning, health and family support programs is more likely than any single approach to make lasting changes in the lives of children and youth in communities with fewer resources. The components of the initiative are:

Extended-day learning – providing high-quality academic and enrichment activities before and after school, on weekends and during the summer, which are coordinated with in-school learning;

Comprehensive school-based health services – making primary care, age appropriate reproductive health, mental health and dental services available at school’ and

Family support – ensuring that children and youth benefit from mentors and connecting their families with the public benefits and services available to them, including health coverage through SCHIP and Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, etc.

Elev8 is a national initiative with sites in Chicago, Illinois; Oakland, California; Baltimore, Maryland; and across the state of New Mexico. Research for Action is an evaluation partner on the initiative. The activities of the evaluation will support ELev8 sites in: developing and delivering strong programs, understanding “what works and what doesn’t”, and promoting the growth of the integrated services in schools field.

Intern Role: Data management, analysis, and report writing will be a key component of the Elev8 evaluation activities this Fall. The intern’s role will be to assist in organizing data in various formats and clerical-related administrative tasks to the Elev8 project in August and September. Beyond this work, there may be some document review and literature review searches needed as well. The intern will also provide administrative support to the Elev8 project and the Project Manager.

Hours: 12 – 15 per week; some combination of Monday, Wednesday and Thursday preferred


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 third year in September.

Intern Role: The project intern will contribute to project work in multiple ways, including assistance with qualitative data collection and preparation, transcription, coding and preliminary data analysis, and document review. Also, the intern may provide support to the team through quantitative data organization/management and analysis guided by the co-Project Director.

Hours: 10 – 15 per week; Monday – Thursday preferred


PACTT Project Intern

Project Description: Research for Action is working with the Pennsylvania Academic and Career/Technical Training Alliance (PACTT) to develop an evidence base for their work through refining data collection, analyzing PACTT data, assessing variation in PACTT implementation and participating in administrative meetings. PACTT’s mission is to ensure that youths in correctional institutions in Pennsylvania receive rigorous, relevant and high-quality education that prepares them for graduation, post-secondary education and family-sustaining careers. They are further committed to ensuring that their education and employment opportunities continue seamlessly when they leave juvenile justice programs.

Intern Role: The primary role of the intern is to work with the new data system created for the PACTT affiliates. The database is a pilot, and the intern would play a critical role in developing strategies for obtaining data from the database, cleaning the data, identifying questions/problems with the data and creating reports. There will also be an opportunity to participate in interviews and transcription.

Hours: 10 – 15 per week


Evaluation of 21st Century Programs Project 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: This intern will engage in many aspects of the project, including qualitative data collection, management and analysis. The intern will assist with conducting and transcribing interviews, coding, and general project administration.

Hours: 10 per week

Intern Role 2: There is one opening for a student with practical basic knowledge of statistical software (STATA preferred, but applicants with coding experience in other programming languages and are fast learners will be considered). This student will participate in quantitative coding, basic data preparation and cleaning of large data sets. Graduate student preferred, but will consider undergraduates with the right level of experience.

Hours: 10 – 20 per week

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