Fall 2015 Interns, Research for Action

Posted by Research for Action on August 24, 2015

Now Hiring: Fall 2015 Interns

Fall internships run from August/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 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. Interns not receiving work-study will be paid $7.25/hr.

Gates & Lumina Outcomes-Based Funding Intern
Project Description: In partnership with the Gates and Lumina Foundation, RFA is conducting an analysis of the effects of outcomes-based funding models on postsecondary student outcomes. Historically, many higher education institutions have received state funding based on how many full-time equivalent students are enrolled at the beginning of the semester. In recent years, states have shifted their funding model to increase the number of students graduated from the state’s colleges and universities – this is called outcomes-based funding.

Intern Role:
1. Quantitative tasks will include cleaning raw data files, merging data sets from student longitudinal data files, reviewing project team’s code and assisting in data analysis.
2. Qualitative tasks will include developing coding scheme for analysis of qualitative interviews, document review based on knowledge of outcomes-based funding models, and coding and analyzing qualitative data on outcomes-based funding through ATLAS.ti.
3. Assist in writing a Literature Review on the effects of outcomes-based funding models on student performance measures.

The intern will assist with other project tasks as needed.

Desired skill sets and experience:
 Strong writing skills, interest in research in education and non-profit administration
 Experience with the Stata statistical software package and Excel preferred
 Familiarity with coding based statistical packages such as Stata, SAS, or R. Experience with coding in other computer languages is a plus.

Hours: 16 – 20 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) A survey of ELO coordinators is currently in the field. The intern for this project will facilitate the end of the survey and assist in cleaning and analyzing survey data.
2) Student-level data for this project is scheduled to be delivered in Late September/Early October. The intern for this project will be extensively involved in cleaning and analyzing this student-level data. The intern will also help determine how to integrate data from the ELO coordinator survey into the student-level analysis.

Desired Skills and Experience: Stata experience, or desire to learn, is essential. Data analysis likely will not begin until a few months into the internship (since we won’t have it before October) so there is time to learn, but previous experience with Stata would be a gigantic plus. Work with large datasets highly preferred. Experience with survey analysis and cleaning also highly preferred.

Hours: 16 per week, Mondays preferred but not necessary


Wallace Foundation Afterschool Youth Arts Initiative Intern
Project Description: Research for Action (RFA), in partnership with McClanahan Associates, Inc. (MAI), is conducting the evaluation of the Wallace Foundation’s Afterschool Youth Arts Initiative (YAI). In engaging the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to partner on this endeavor, the Wallace Foundation has embarked upon a unique approach to delivering high-quality arts programs to disadvantaged tweens. The YAI program aims to achieve access, equity, and quality in arts education programming with a comprehensive model that is built on 10 quality principles, overseen by the BGCA national office, and adopted across multiple sites. The program will be piloted in three cities in 2014-2015, with two Boys and Girls clubs in each city implementing arts program aligned with 10 quality principals. The purposes of the evaluation is identification of early implementation successes, challenges, solutions, and lessons for the field that could lead the way for the successful development of similar programs throughout the country.

Intern Role: The Wallace intern will assist in fall 2015 survey preparation, interview/focus group protocol development, and may possibly sit in on phone interviews. Additionally, the intern may work on transcription of interviews from the field, code interview data in ATLAS.ti, conduct qualitative data analysis, and write analytic memos.

Desired Skills and Experience: Graduate level student preferred, with some experience in conducting qualitative data analysis, strong writing skills; Proficiency in Microsoft Office Word and Excel, ability to work independently and as part of a team. Applicants should be interested in education, social science, after-school programming, and the arts.

Hours: 10 per week


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 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and federal levels 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

Research consultation for the Pennsylvania Academic and Career and Technical Training Alliance

Project Description: Research for Action supports the Pennsylvania Academic and Career Technical Training Network with implementation research and analysis of student outcome data. PACTT is a network of facilities serving adjudicated youth who have agreed to a common set of educational standards including provision of career and technical training for youth in their care. Implementation research in the coming year focuses on the provision of CTE supports and consists of phone interviews with staff of network affiliation, several site visits and interviews with youth and regarding transitions out of placement. RFA will also continue to conduct a literature review and scan of the field regarding best practices in CTE programming.

Intern Role: The intern will support the literature review and qualitative data collection and analysis. Specifically, the intern would help with coding and analysis of qualitative interview and site visit data.

Desired skill sets and experience: Coursework and experience with qualitative research and interest in juvenile justice issues. (Graduate student preferred.)

Desired Hours: 10 – 15 per week

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