Project Descriptions

Veterans Credentialing Project Initiative (2020-2021)

Client: Ascendium Education Group

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an evaluation of the Military Credentialing Advancement Initiative Pathways Project. Four grantees are supported by Lumina Foundation with technical assistance from SOLID to design military-to-civilian pathways to benefit service members and veterans. The project is focused on military occupational areas where more than 50% of the total occupations are held by Black, Hispanic, and Native American service members. In addition to providing early formative feedback and producing a final evaluation report, we will develop a Scaling Guide for the field to assist practitioners in developing a systematic approach to offer military-to-civilian pathways that result in credentials with labor market value.

READ MORE about Ascendium Education Group’s focus on Streamlining Key Learner Transitions here: https://www.ascendiumphilanthropy.org/our-grantmaking/streamline-key-learner-transitions/

Emergency Aid Research Project (2020-2021)

Client: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS is partnering with the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice to advance the body of empirical evidence on the principles of effective and equitable emergency aid. As part of this effort, we will help document the range of emergency aid programs and implementation practices across funding sources, including both government (e.g., CARES Act during the COVID-19 pandemic) and philanthropic funds. We are leading the development of protocols and conducting follow-up interviews with a subset of institutions that responded to the institutional survey on emergency aid programs developed by the Hope Center.

READ MORE about this project here: https://hope4college.com/emergency-aid-during-the-pandemic-improving-equitable-practice-and-documenting-impact/

Basic Needs for Community College Completion in Arkansas (2020-2022)

Client: ECMC Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an evaluation of the Basic Needs for Community College Completion Initiative in Arkansas. This project seeks to advance and scale a food pantry model and a SNAP outreach program to all 22 Arkansas community colleges. As part of this effort, we will provide formative and summative implementation feedback at the four community colleges piloting these efforts; and, will conduct a Quasi-Experimental Study on the impact of receiving SNAP benefits to address food insecurity on educational outcomes at all 22 Arkansas Community Colleges.

Click here to read more: https://www.ecmcfoundation.org/informed/2019/ecmc-foundation-launches-basic-needs-initiative

Advancing Transportation Solutions for Students in Los Angeles (2020-2021)

Client: Kresge Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an assessment of the Advancing Transportation Solutions for Students Project in Los Angeles. This project is part of a larger research and evaluation effort led by the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University that includes the Los Angeles Community College District, Rio Hondo College, Compton College, Amarillo College, and City Colleges of New York (CUNY). For the LA study, we are partnering with the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority to conduct a Quasi-Experimental Study examining the impact of receiving subsidized transportation passes (U-Pass) on educational outcomes.

Link for Hope Center: https://hope4college.com/

Click here to read more: https://kresge.org/news/commentary-how-five-institutions-secured-funding-advance-transportation-solutions-students

Evaluation of United Way of King County’s Benefits Hub (2019-2021)

Client: Arnold Ventures

DVP-PRAXIS is partnering with the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University to evaluate the United Way of King County’s Benefits Hub, which operates on college campuses to provide access to government public benefits programs, coupled with wrap-around services, to supplement financial aid. We are leading the Feasibility Study for this evaluation to assess the coherence of the Benefits Hub model including the approach to outreach and service delivery, the types of benefits available, and the staffing and resource capacities required for effective operations. By assessing model fidelity at eight Seattle area colleges, the Feasibility Study will provide formative feedback to help colleges improve their service delivery and determine both readiness and colleges’ capacity to participate in rigorous Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) led by the Hope Center.

Click here for information about Hope Center: https://hope4college.com/

Serving Native American Students with Holistic Student Supports (2019-2022)

Client: Achieving the Dream, Inc.

DVP-PRAXIS is designing and leading a student-centered and participatory evaluation with six Tribal Colleges and Universities selected by Achieving the Dream to better serve Native American students with holistic student supports. Our evaluation is informed by an Indigenous Evaluation Framework developed by the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), and is co-led by an enrolled member of MHA Nation with twenty years of student services experience working with Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Click here to learn more about AIHEC: http://www.aihec.org/

Evaluation of the R.I.S.E. Up Initiative (2019-2021)

Client: The Source – Grand Rapids, MI

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an evaluation of the R.I.S.E. Up Initiative in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This project is a partnership between The SOURCE, West Michigan Works!, and Mercy Health to provide employment services to Grand Rapids area job seekers and Mercy Health incumbent workers through a Career Development Center co-located at Mercy Health. The key supports provided at the Center include a Resource Navigator who can connect clients to supports and assistance that address employment barriers, and Career Coaches who guide clients through an evidence-based career coaching process to help them achieve initial employment and job advancement.

Evaluation of HireReach Evidence-Based Selection (2019-2022)

Clients: W.K. Kellogg Foundation; Doug and Maria Devos Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an evaluation of a Western Michigan project intended to help employers meet their talent demands using an evidence-based selection process that reflects a fair, objective, data-driven process for organizations to make better hiring decisions. This process has been shown to improve quality of hire, reduce first-year turnover, and increase workforce diversity as demonstrated by Mercy Health. Our evaluation will provide formative feedback to the Hire Reach team leading this effort, and a summative assessment among participating employers to document hiring outcomes and job retention.

Click here for more information: https://www.hirereach.org/

Holistic Support Services Formative Evaluation (2018-2020)

Client: Achieving the Dream, Inc.

DVP-PRAXIS is collaborating with Achieving the Dream to support continuous improvement of the Holistic Support Services approach to coaching and institutional transformation. We are producing an implementation evaluation framework for data collection and analysis that will be used to provide formative feedback to colleges; and, a survey instrument to measure the type and extent of coaching services received. The analyses of data collected through in-depth site visits and from survey respondents will be used for continuous improvement by Achieving the Dream and their Holistic Student Supports Coaches.

Click here to read more: https://www.achievingthedream.org/our-services/holistic-student-supports-redesign-coaching-program

National Association of System Heads – TS3: Taking Student Success to Scale (2018-2020)

Client: Lumina Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading an evaluation of four systems and 22 campuses working with NASH to expand high-impact practices with a focus on equity, and to demonstrate direct and indirect learning outcomes for undergraduates who experience high-impact practices. The multi-faceted evaluation encompasses three approaches: (1) an analysis of National Survey of Student Engagement data from 3 systems and 15 campuses to document changes in student participation in high-impact practices, and to assess the relationship between participation in high-impact practices and student learning; (2) an analysis of student-level administrative data in Tennessee among 5 community colleges to document changes in student participation in high-impact practices, and to assess the relationship between participation in high-impact practices, student persistence, and completion; and, (3) an analysis of the relationship between high-impact practices and direct student learning in Wisconsin among 5 state universities whose faculty will assess learning outcomes using the American Association of Colleges & Universities’ VALUE Rubrics. Click here for more information on TS3.

US Department of Education Title III Evaluation – Guided Pathways (2018-2022)

Client: Lake Michigan College

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading the evaluation of a Guided Pathways initiative, in particular the provision of proactive advising and coaching for transitional students who initially start in developmental education courses. The evaluation includes annual formative feedback to guide implementation, and a Quasi-Experimental Design to assess the impact of support services on students’ progress along their educational pathway to include credit accumulation during the first term and first year, persistence from fall to fall, and program completion.

Talent Hubs – Driving Change: Local Solutions to the National Postsecondary Attainment Challenge (2018-2020)

Client: Lumina Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS is partnering with Equal Measure to evaluate the efforts of 23 Talent Hubs to increase postsecondary attainment in their communities. The mixed-method evaluation will document the factors that accelerate or impede the progress of Talent Hubs to improve postsecondary attainment; the progress of their postsecondary partners to implement and scale systemic policy and practice change; and, the extent to which these systemic changes benefit equity populations in their communities. Additionally, using National Student Clearinghouse data, the evaluation will measure the number of additional college credentials awarded in these Talent Hubs during the initiative, and assess if equity gaps in college enrollment, persistence, and completion are closing. Click here for more information on Talent Hubs.

US Department of Education Title V Evaluation – STEM Pathways (2017-2021)

Client: Passaic County Community College

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading a comprehensive evaluation of Pathways 2 STEM Degrees focused on expanding the number of students of color who engage with the college in STEM learning events while in high school, who enroll in the college to pursue STEM programs, and who participate in STEM-focused activities such as the Summer Scholars Academy. The evaluation includes a formative implementation study and two summative outcome studies, including a Quasi-Experimental Design to assess the impact of the Summer Scholars Academy on student success in College-level Math as well as student persistence, and completion.

U.S. Department of Education First in the World Validation Study – Carolina Works (2015-2019)

Client: Central Carolina Community College

DVP-PRAXIS designed and is leading the First in the World (FITW) Validation Study for Carolina Works – a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of proactive student success coaching at ten North Carolina community colleges. The consortium of colleges is implementing the success coach model to increase student retention and completion at their institutions. Success Coaches will use the Aviso technology platform to receive automated and faculty-initiated alerts on students, and use predictive analytics to triage outreach to at-risk students. The evaluation design incorporates an implementation study to assess model fidelity, and the RCT is expected to meet What Works Clearinghouse standards of evidence without reservation. READ MORE on FITW

Working Families Success Network, Community College Expansion Implementation and Outcomes Evaluation (2015-2017)

Clients: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Kresge Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is partnering with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. to conduct the implementation and outcomes evaluation of the Working Families Success Network’s Community College (WFSNCC) expansion. DVP-PRAXIS leads the formative, implementation evaluation at nineteen colleges in four states that intend to provide comprehensive support services to low-income students across three WFSNCC pillars: workforce and education services for career advancement, income and work supports, and financial services and asset building. The formative implementation evaluation will provide regular and systematic feedback to clients around operational practices among the colleges, help identify best practices within the WFSNCC pillars, and inform the summative outcomes analyses to be conducted by Mathematica. MORE INFO ON WORKING FAMILIES SUCCESS

Community Partnerships for Attainment Evaluation (2014-2017)

Client: Lumina Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is partnering with Equal Measure to evaluate Community Partnerships for Attainment: a collective impact evaluation in 75 communities committed to improving postsecondary attainment. The learning evaluation uses structured interviews and surveys across all communities, and in-depth site visits at a sample of 20 communities, to document how communities leverage local cross-sector partnerships to enact policies and practices to improve postsecondary attainment, and identify key strategies that facilitate progress as well as factors that inhibit progress. MORE ON COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS FOR ATTAINMENT

US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training: Wisconsin – ACT for Healthcare (2015-2018)

Client: Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC)

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is leading the evaluation of Wisconsin’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant initiative, ACT for Healthcare, in partnership Equal Measure and Brandon Roberts + Associates. A consortium of 15 Wisconsin technical colleges are developing, expanding, and improving career pathways in healthcare in order to assist low-skilled adults acquire the skills and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment available through regional employers. The project includes qualitative, formative implementation evaluation with regular and systematic client and college feedback, and quantitative, summative outcome evaluation utilizing Propensity Score Modeling to compare participant outcomes with a statistically similar comparison group. The evaluation will also focus on statewide efforts to scale career pathways through the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS). READ MORE ON TAACCCT

US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment
 Assistance Community College and Career Training: Northeast Resiliency Consortium (2014-2017)


Client: Passaic County Community College (PCCC)

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is leading the evaluation of the Northeast Resiliency Consortium (NRC) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant initiative in partnership Equal Measure. A consortium of 7 community colleges in four states are developing and expanding stacked and latticed pathways for adults in healthcare, information technology, and environmental sciences: Atlantic Cape and Passaic (NJ), Kingsborough and LaGuardia (NY), Capital and Housatonic (CT), and Bunker Hill (MA). This network of Achieving the Dream colleges is also collaborating to developed regional standards for prior learning assessment and uniform definitions for resiliency competencies that can be applied across the consortium. The evaluation includes qualitative, formative activities to provide regular and systematic client and college feedback, and quantitative, summative outcome evaluation utilizing Propensity Score Modeling to compare participant outcomes with a statistically similar comparison group. MORE INFO ON TRADE ADJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE COMMUNITY COLLEGE AND CAREER TRAINING

US Department of Labor Trade Adjustment
 Assistance Community College and Career Training: Wisconsin – Making the Future (2012-2016)


Client: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC)

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is leading the evaluation of Wisconsin’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) Grant initiative, Making the Future, in partnership with Equal Measure and Brandon Roberts + Associates. A consortium of 15 Wisconsin technical colleges are developing, expanding, and improving career pathways in advanced manufacturing in order to assist low-skilled adults acquire the skills and credentials needed for high-wage, high-skill employment available through regional employers. The project includes qualitative, formative implementation evaluation with regular and systematic client and college feedback, and quantitative, summative outcome evaluation utilizing Propensity Score Modeling to compare participant outcomes with a statistically similar comparison group. READ MORE ON MAKING THE FUTURE

Evaluation of the Catalyst Fund (2013-2015)

Client: Achieving the Dream, Inc.

DVP-PRAXIS LTD led the evaluation of Achieving the Dream’s Catalyst Fund with support from Equal Measure. This initiative supported four community colleges committed to scaling an innovative practices to serve more or most students within their institutions, or to expand their innovation to other institutions. These two approaches to scale were defined as intra- and inter-institutional scale, respectively. Our evaluation was a case-informed analysis, using these four institutions as a laboratory to examine and understand how scale happens in diverse higher education contexts. Our mostly qualitative evaluation deployed several data collection methods, including in-depth site visit that involved focus groups and interviews of stakeholders throughout campus; observing and interviewing faculty, staff, and intermediaries at statewide and national learning events; telephone interviews with administrators, faculty and staff; and the review of documents colleges submitted to Achieving the Dream. The evaluation lifts up five transformative ingredients for scaling innovative practices in community and technical colleges. THE FINAL REPORT OF THE CATALYST FUND CAN BE FOUND HERE.

Looking Under the Hood: Benchmarking Institutional Financial Aid for Colleges and Universities (2012-2015)

Clients: Association of Governing Boards and National Association for College and University Business Officers (AGB and NACUBO)

DVP-PRAXIS LTD provided strategic advising to project staff on the development of 30 student aid metrics to allow colleges and universities to benchmark their institutional aid policies against a set of peers. To facilitate the use of these metrics by governing boards, chief executives and chief business officers, an online interactive tool was created for these leaders to analyze and better understand how their institutional aid policies are supporting the mission and values of their institution. The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation sponsored this project. MORE ON BENCHMARKING INSTITUTIONAL FINANCIAL AID

Working Families Success Network, Community College Expansion Early Implementation (2014-2015)


Clients: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Lumina Foundation for Education, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, MetLife Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation

DVP-PRAXIS LTD is leading the early implementation evaluation of the Working Families Success Network’s Community College (WFSNCC) expansion in partnership with Brandon Roberts + Associates. Sixteen colleges in four states developed implementation plans to provide comprehensive support services to low-income students across three WFSNCC pillars: workforce and education services for career advancement, income and work supports, and financial services and asset building. The formative evaluation provided regular and systematic feedback to clients to help clarify messaging and expectation setting, as well as to inform the design of technical assistance for development of implementation plans. The evaluation also prepared college-specific implementation readiness assessments for each college to guide implementation plan revisions. MORE ON WFSNCC

BACC-Final-Report-FINALBenefits Access for College Completion Demonstration (2012-2014)

Clients: The Lumina Foundation for Education, Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC)

DVP-PRAXIS LTD led the evaluation of the Benefits Access for College Completion demonstration in partnership with the OMG Center for Collaborative Learning. Five community colleges in five states designed and implemented benefits access services to assist low-income students gain access to an array of public benefits, including food stamps, childcare and transportation, and healthcare. Clients hypothesized that, by gaining access to public benefits, the personal lives of students would become more stable and they would make better progress toward their postsecondary educational goals. The project included qualitative, formative implementation evaluation with regular and systematic feedback to participating colleges and the clients, and an exploratory research project utilizing Propensity Score Modeling to compare college outcomes of students who received public benefits with a statistically similar comparison group. The final evaluation report can be found here. MORE INFO ON THE BENEFITS ACCESS DEMONSTRATION

SG_Strengthening-State-Systems-Report-finalStrengthening State Systems for Adult Learners: An Evaluation of the First Five Years of Shifting Gears (2008-2015)

Client: The Joyce Foundation

Brandon Roberts + Associates in collaboration with DVP-PRAXIS LTD is evaluating this multi-state systems change initiative focused on statewide policy levers to implement systemic reform in adult education, workforce development and postsecondary education practices. The evaluation activities included overall initiative and state-specific Theory of Change/Logic Model development, twice yearly, multi-site visits to each state followed by formative feedback memos to the Shifting Gears Management Team, and the publication of progress reports to inform the broader field of policy and practice. The interim evaluation report (after five years) can be found here. A final evaluation report is planned for July 2015. READ MORE ON SHIFTING GEARS