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Methodology

As noted on the Search for Ideas page, on this site, we have identified key strategies and tactics that research has shown contribute to systemic, comprehensive P-16 education improvement. These strategies are:

  • Create a college-going culture
    Regions with a college-going culture have residents who value the public and private benefits of a college degree and a well-educated community.  Profiles include strategies and programs directed at parent, teacher, student, and employer attitudes and values about higher education, as well as P-12 and postsecondary efforts to provide role models to ensure all students take the necessary actions to enroll in and complete a college degree.
  • Increase alignment and rigor
    Bridging the knowledge gaps between P-12 and higher education, and higher education and the workforce, requires improving communication between the various sectors and agreeing upon common definitions for terms such as “college ready” and “work ready.” Profiles include examples of high-quality curriculum, teacher and leader retention, renewal and professional development, student remediation, internships, dual enrollment, and research experiences.
  • Promote access and affordability
    Students who successfully apply to and enroll in college have access to information on the necessary steps to achieve this goal as well as the financial aid options to help pay for it.  Profiles highlight efforts to streamline financial aid applications, increase awareness of access and financial opportunities such as scholarships and grants, and institutional efforts to contain costs.
  • Ensure student success and completion
    These profiles demonstrate efforts to create an academic and co/extra-curricular environment that provides students with social and academic resources that facilitate college completion. Profiles include peer support strategies, such as cohort programs, bridge programs, and study groups; teacher and faculty mentorship; and methods to reduce college drop outs.
The tactics identified are:
  • Advocate for policy change
  • Galvanize the community
  • Institutionalize change
  • Use data to guide practice
For ease of search, we have also grouped content according to key topics important to education improvement, as well as categorizing content according to whether it relates to preschool through high school, postsecondary, or both.
Lastly, we have developed a typology for categorizing content.  Here, StrategicEdSolutions includes content in the form of articles, case studies, tools, and programs.  The latter are categorized into either “programs that work” or “programs to watch” and have been included because they meet the following criteria:
Relevant
The example seeks to create a college-going culture, increase alignment and rigor, promote access and affordability, or ensure student success and completion in k-12 and higher education. It operates on the systemic level instead of the individual level, for example, a city working to provide free tuition to underserved populations. The example fits within one or more of the specified definitions.
Replicable
Sufficient information about the program design and elements is publicly available for other communities to reproduce the program. Examples would include: guidance on how to implement the core strategies, a timeline for implementation, and a list of key participants (e.g., business, postsecondary, and k-12 stakeholders).
Effective
Programs featured on the site have been reviewed and categorized as a level 1, level 2, or level 3 program, depending on evidence.
Level 1: The program has publicly available descriptive data, such as number of participants, outcome scores, or other day-to-day data. However, no statistical analyses have been conducted (program to watch).
Level 2: The program has undergone a systemic evaluation that includes at least one of the rigorous criteria of level 3 (e.g., a program with statistically significant pre/post test findings, but has only been evaluated in one context.). Alternatively, the program has provided outcome data across more than five contexts, but has not conducted statistical tests of significance (program that works).
Level 3: The program has been rigorously evaluated over multiple years, and in multiple contexts, and demonstrates statistically significant positive outcomes. The research design and analysis are appropriate, and provide strong evidence using pre/post testing, or control groups (program that works).
Click for more information on the effectiveness criteria.
Submit your Strategy
If you have a program or strategy you would like to share, please submit it here .  Questions?  Please contact us .

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