Research Topics

Education & Training

From 2009 to 2011, the Heldrich Center evaluated the Stay-in-Step Academy, which sought to improve the noncognitive skills of black males at Essex County College. The program’s goal was to boost students’ motivation, their sense of self-efficacy, and other attitudes associated with positive academic and life outcomes. The Center conducted a process evaluation of the program’s implementation based on surveys, interviews, and focus groups.

From 2009 to 2011, the Heldrich Center conducted a process evaluation of the implementation of a change in Essex County College’s math education to add a recitation section to its first required math course (Algebra) that created a learning community in STEM. The evaluation included interviews with staff, focus groups with students and tutors, and participant observation. The Center has produced several reports with timely feedback for the college.

From 1998 to 2000, the Heldrich Center performed two process evaluations of the newly established literacy labs in New Jersey’s One-Stop Career Centers, to inform the implementation and expansion of the effort. The Literacy Labs, which rely heavily on computer-based learning tools, are the state’s main effort to provide basic skills, literacy, and English as Second Language training to individuals in One-Stop Career Centers. The evaluations used interviews with program staff and stakeholders as well as focus groups with participants.

Since 1998, the Heldrich Center has worked closely with the State of New Jersey to design and implement a state-of-the-art consumer report card system for post-secondary training and education programs. The Heldrich Center currently calculates employment and wage outcomes for over 2,000 training programs on a quarterly basis and posts this information on the NJTrainingSystems.org website. (Funded by a grant from the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission and Department of Labor)

The Heldrich Center worked closely with Mathematica and the Jacob France Institute at the University of Baltimore to conduct a quasi-experimental evaluation of the effect of participating in a registered apprenticeship program on employment outcomes.