Developing a Program of Postsecondary Academic Instruction Over the Transforming Lives Network Improving Evidence of Impact through a National Study of Postsecondary Academic Programming in State prisons Dr. Stephen Meyer, Principal Investigator RMC - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Developing a Program of Postsecondary Academic Instruction Over the Transforming Lives Network Improving Evidence of Impact through a National Study of Postsecondary Academic Programming in State prisons Dr. Stephen Meyer, Principal Investigator RMC

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Current State of Correctional Postsecondary Academic Programming ... Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 37(4). Research in CE: Limitations ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Developing a Program of Postsecondary Academic Instruction Over the Transforming Lives Network Improving Evidence of Impact through a National Study of Postsecondary Academic Programming in State prisons Dr. Stephen Meyer, Principal Investigator RMC


1
Developing a Program of Postsecondary Academic
Instruction Over the Transforming Lives
NetworkImproving Evidence of Impact through a
National Study of Postsecondary Academic
Programming in State prisons Dr. Stephen
Meyer, Principal InvestigatorRMC Research
CorporationCindy Borden Penny Richardson,
Field InvestigatorsNorthstar Correctional
Education ServicesDr. Stephen Steurer, Project
DirectorCorrectional Education Association
  • CEA Leadership Forum March 10, 2008

2
This Session
  • Research in Correctional Education
  • Promotion of Rigorous Research in Education
  • Current State of Correctional Postsecondary
    Academic Programming
  • College of the Air and the Transforming Lives
    Network
  • Overview of the Study
  • More Detailed Information about Incentives, Data
    Collection Activities, Timeline, and Expectations
    of Participating Sites

3
Research in Correctional Education
4
Example Chappell (2004)
  • Review of Postsecondary CE and Recidivism Studies
    Conducted in the 1990s
  • Found a correlation (.31) between PSCE and
    recidivism
  • Only 15 studies met criteria for inclusion.
    These studies had substantial limitations
  • Selection bias control groups for only 3 studies
  • Failure to distinguish between secondary and
    postsecondary
  • Different definitions of PSCE and recidivisim

Chappell, C.A. (2004). Post-Secondary
Correctional Education and Recidivism A
Meta-Analysis of Research Conducted 1990-1999.
Journal of Correctional Education, June.
5
Example Wilson, Gallagher, MacKenzie (2000)
  • Meta analysis of 33 experimental and
    quasi-experimental evaluations of education,
    vocation, and work programs.
  • Found that program participants recidivated at a
    lower rate than nonparticipants
  • The generally weak methodological character of
    these studies, however, prevents attributing this
    observed effect on criminal behavior to the
    activities of the programs.

Wilson, D.B., Gallagher, C.A., MacKenzie, D.L.
(2000). A Meta-Analysis of Corrections-Based
Education, Vocation, and Work Programs for Adult
Offenders. Journal of Research in Crime and
Delinquency, 37(4).
6
Research in CE Limitations
  • Post-treatment outcomes
  • Recidivism as primary outcome
  • Small study samples
  • Quasi-experimental designs
  • Limited statistical controls
  • Limited measurement of program components

See Lewis, J. (2006). Correctional education Why
it is only promising. Journal of Correctional
Education, 57(4).
7
Promotion of Rigorous Research in Education
8
Policy Emphasis on Rigorous Research
  • Focus on evidence-based policy and practice
  • Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program
    in 1990s
  • No Child Left Behind (2002)
  • Requires scientifically valid and readily
    interpretable syntheses of research on practical
    and replicable programs and policies

9
What Works Clearinghouse
  • Established by the US Department of Education to
    be a central source of scientific evidence of
    what works in education
  • Conducts reviews that include only studies that
    meet standards for scientific evidence

10
What Works Clearinghouse Considerations
  • Relevance to the review
  • Were the intervention and outcome measures
    properly defined?
  • Generality of findings
  • Was the intervention tested on relevant
    participants and environments?
  • Precision of outcomes
  • Could accurate effect sizes be derived from the
    study report?
  • Clarity of causal evidence
  • Was the intervention the cause of the change in
    the outcome?

11
What Works Clearinghouse Study Eligibility
  • To be eligible for WWC review, a study must be a
    randomized controlled trial or an eligible
    quasi-experiment.
  • Random assignmentgold standard of
    scientifically based research
  • Comparison groupssilver standard

12
Rigorous Criteria Result in Few Studies for
Review - Example
  • Review of over 1,300 studies that examined the
    effect of teacher professional development on
    student achievement (Yoon et al., 2007)
  • Found that only nine met What Works Clearinghouse
    standards for rigorous evidence!

Yoon, K. S., Duncan, T., Lee, S. W.-Y., Scarloss,
B., Shapley, K. (2007). Reviewing the evidence
on how teacher professional development affects
student achievement (Issues Answers Report, REL
2007No. 033). Washington, DC U.S. Department of
Education, Institute of Education Sciences,
National Center for Education Evaluation and
Regional Assistance, Regional Educational
Laboratory Southwest.
13
Promoting More Rigorous Research
  • The Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
  • Established in 2002 to provide rigorous evidence
    on which to ground education practice and policy
  • Has the goal of identifying, developing, and
    validating effective education programs,
    practices, policies, and approaches as well as
    understanding the factors that influence
    variation in their effectiveness such as
    implementation.

14
IES 2007 Grants
  • Postsecondary Education added as new research
    topic
  • Only three proposals funded in FY 2007 (from over
    50 applications)

15
IES Priorities for Study Design
  • Clearly defined interventions
  • Random Assignment Cluster Randomized Trials
  • Study design and sample size that provides
    adequate statistical power
  • Process (implementation) measures

16
Benefits of Random Assignment
  • Participants have equal chances of being assigned
    to each of the conditions
  • Differences between conditions cannot be
    attributed to pre-existing differences between
    participants and/or selection biases
  • Provides evidence of causality

17
Benefits of This Study
  • Results are expected to provide valuable
    information about the effectiveness and impact of
    a widely available postsecondary academic
    delivery model that can increase access,
    persistence, and completion of postsecondary
    education by incarcerated youth.
  • Because access to this type of curriculum by
    incarcerated youth is limited, development of
    this model and documentation of its impact has
    great potential to improve postsecondary
    correctional education.
  • Study design will provide evidence that meets WWC
    standards

18
State of PS Academic Programming and College of
the Air and the Transforming Lives Network
19
Current State of Correctional Postsecondary
Academic Programming
  • Programs on rise, recovering from loss of Pell
    grants
  • IYO age/funding cap legislative changes
  • 60 state/73 federal offenders have earned
    pre-requisite HSD/GED
  • 5 nationwide have access to academic post
    secondary
  • Slow migration from vocational to academic
  • Politically unpopular
  • Lack of funding primary barrier

20
College of the Air and the Transforming Lives
Network
  • Nationwide satellite broadcast owned and operated
    by CEA
  • Three 22-credit certificates culminating in A.A.
  • 325/three-credit course (no out-of-state
    tuition) offered by Milwaukee Area Technical
    College
  • 200 level or above for transferability
  • 1195 annual site fee for unlimited TLN use
  • Pioneered by Wisconsin DOC

21
Overview of the IES Study
22
Overview of the IES Study
  • The College of the Air curricula delivered via
    the Transforming Lives Network (COA/TLN) has
    great potential to increase access, persistence,
    and completion of courses by incarcerated youth
    leading to postsecondary degrees.
  • This study is designed to obtain impact data to
    determine the efficacy of this approach.

23
Research Questions
  • To what extent does College of the Air delivered
    via the Transforming Lives Network (COA/TLN)
  • Increase rates of participation in postsecondary
    and other academic programming?
  • Improve participants academic achievement
    outcomes and progress toward postsecondary
    academic degrees?
  • Improve participants achievement motivation and
    educational aspirations?
  • Affect post-release employability for
    participants?
  • Affect institutional outcomes, such as
    institutional climate and recidivism?
  • To what extent do aspects of the COA/TLN
    curriculum and its delivery, institutional
    support, participant engagement, and participant
    characteristics affect outcomes?

Defined as reincarceration as a result of a new
crime or parole violation.
24
Logic Model
25
Timeline
  • Three-year study, beginning fall 2008
  • Fall and spring data collection through spring
    2011

26
Sample
  • Forty-four prisons that serve a high
    concentration of youth offenders
  • Have the infrastructure in place to provide
    postsecondary academic instruction
  • Have not offered COA/TLN in the past
  • Provide IYO or other funds for PS academic
    programs
  • Willing to be randomly assigned to treatment or
    control condition as part of the study
  • Have a population that will provided a minimum of
    approximately 15 study participants beginning PS
    academic programming in fall 2008 who are (1)
    between the ages of 18 and 25 (2) with a release
    date between 1 and 5 years (3) in possession of
    a high school diploma or equivalent and (4)
    whose tuition costs are paid using IYO or other
    grant funding.

27
Cluster Randomized Trial
  • Random assignment of prisons within states to
    offer either experimental or control condition
  • If assigned to experimental condition, COA/TLN
    must be provided as the primary
    institution-sponsored PS academic curriculum for
    the duration of the study.
  • If assigned to control condition, alternative PS
    academic programming must be made available for
    the duration of the study. COA/TLN must not be
    provided for postsecondary.
  • Options for sites with strong PS academic
    programs already in place

28
More Detailed Information about Incentives, Data
Collection Activities, Timeline, and Expectations
of Participating Sites
29
Incentives
  • COA/TLN sites
  • First Year Reimbursement of up to 1,500 TLN
    equipment purchase costs/installation and the
    1,000 annual site fee.
  • Years 2 and 3 Reimbursement of the 1,000 annual
    site fee.
  • Control sites
  • 2,500 during the first year and 1,000 each
    subsequent year to be applied toward TLN
    equipment/installation at the conclusion of the
    study.

30
Data Collection
  • Data collection activities conducted by research
    team at each site
  • Informed Consent
  • CAAP
  • College Student Survey
  • Site Coordinator Survey
  • Institutional Data
  • College Student Follow-up Interview
  • Case Studies (interviews, focus groups,
    observations)

31
Data Collection CAAP Critical Thinking Test
  • Upon participant recruitment each fall (2008,
    2009, 2010) and each subsequent spring through
    2011
  • Nationally normed, standardized, multiple-choice
    test that measures students skills in
    clarifying, analyzing, evaluating, and extending
    arguments

32
Data Collection College Student Survey
  • Upon participant recruitment each fall (2008,
    2009, 2010) and each subsequent spring through
    2011
  • Measures curriculum and instructional delivery
    academic engagement achievement motivation
    progress toward postsecondary degree educational
    aspirations institutional support institutional
    climate respondent characteristics

33
Data Collection Site Coordinator Survey
  • Spring 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Measures available postsecondary programs and
    inmate participation eligibility criteria and
    incentives for participation in postsecondary
    programs curriculum and instructional delivery
    institutional support institutional climate
    respondent characteristics

34
Data Collection Institutional Data
  • Spring 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Information about
  • Study Participants Education background, course
    and credit completion, sentence length, release
    date, custody level, transfers, post-release
    contact information, recidivism
  • Facility - Size, inmate demographics, recidivism
    rates, availability of and participation in
    academic programs, educational funding and
    staffing, education policies
  • Curriculum - Course content, expected time
    commitment, course sequence and credential,
    delivery mode(s)

35
Data Collection College Student Follow-Up
Interview
  • Spring 2009, 2010, 2011
  • For released inmates
  • Measures of progress toward postsecondary degree,
    achievement motivation, educational aspirations,
    employment status, respondent characteristics

36
Data Collection Case Study Sites
  • Random sample of 10 COA/TLN and 5 control sites
  • Site visits during 2008-09, 2009-10, and 2010-11
    academic years
  • Interviews with site coordinators, focus groups
    with participating students, and observation of
    the learning environment and instructional
    activities
  • Additional information about
  • clarity, value, and relevance of instruction
  • factors that facilitate or impede progress
  • factors affecting motivation, course completion
  • postsecondary and career aspirations
  • support mechanisms associated with pursuing
    coursework and
  • state and local policies affecting participation.

37
Timeline
38
Participating Sites - Requirements
  • Have the infrastructure in place to provide
    postsecondary academic instruction
  • Have not offered COA/TLN in the past
  • Provide IYO or other funds for PS academic
    programs
  • Willing to be randomly assigned to treatment or
    control condition as part of the study
  • Have a population that will provided a minimum of
    approximately 15 study participants beginning PS
    academic programming in fall 2008 who are (1)
    between the ages of 18 and 25 (2) with a release
    date between 1 and 5 years (3) in possession of
    a high school diploma or equivalent and (4)
    whose tuition costs are paid using IYO or other
    grant funding.

39
Participating Sites - Expectations
  • Site Coordinator for each site
  • Assist with security clearance
  • Group students for data collection activities
  • Provide access to student records/ institutional
    databases
  • Provide information to track released offenders
  • Two site visits annually
  • Fall (August or September)
  • Spring (April or May)
  • 1-2 day visit all data collection activities
    conducted by research staff

40
Next Steps
  • Identification of final sample ASAP
  • Initial Northstar visit by June
  • Identify Site Coordinator
  • Inform administrators
  • Secure MOUs
  • Random assignment of sites in June or earlier

41
Dr. Stephen Meyer, Principal InvestigatorRMC
Research Corporationmeyer_at_rmcdenver.comCindy
Borden Penny Richardson, Field
InvestigatorsNorthstar Correctional Education
Servicesnorthstar_at_ekit.comDr. Stephen
Steurer, Project DirectorCorrectional Education
Associationssteurer_at_ceanational.org
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