various summer internships, Research for Action

Posted by Research for Action on March 28, 2016

Research Intern Summer 2016
Qualitative Research – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Research for Action (RFA) is an independent, non-profit educational research organization that seeks to use research as the basis for the improvement of educational opportunities and outcomes for traditionally underserved students along the educational pipeline. With over two decades of experience, 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.

Summer internships run from May – September. Exact start and end dates are based on the needs of the project and the availability of the student. In your cover letter, 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 not receiving work-study will be paid $7.25/hr. Interns may also be eligible for course credit.

21st Century Programs Qualitative Intern

Project Description: RFA serves as the local evaluator for over a dozen 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: Summer RFA interns will be asked to 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. They will assist in basic data preparation and cleaning for these databases in STATA

Desired Skills and Experience: A 21C intern needs to be well organized, detail oriented, and able to think critically concerning how to represent data. They will need to have a base knowledge or willingness to learn certain statistical and survey software (excel, Snap 11, STATA 14). Other tasks (mostly quant.) will be assigned based on the needs of the project.

Hours: 10-20 hours

Project LIFT 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. This summer, RFA will be analyzing data from Year Four (2015-16) of the initiative.

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.

Desired Skills and Experience: Experience working with qualitative data including coding and analysis; strong writing skills; experience conducting policy scans.

Hours: 10 per week

Gates & Lumina Foundation 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: The intern for this project will help in:

1) Research institutions RFA will conduct site visits to compile Institution-specific Profiles

2) Research changes to Outcomes-Based Funding policies in Ohio, Indiana, and Tennessee

3) Developing coding scheme for analysis of qualitative interviews and document review based on knowledge of outcomes-based funding models.

4) Coding and analyzing qualitative data on outcomes-based funding through ATLAS.ti, a qualitative data analysis & research software tool.

Desired Skills and Experience: Strong writing skills, interest in research in postsecondary education and policy.

Hours: 20 per week

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