Current and Recent Projects

Understanding the Effects of Afterschool and Summer Programs on Youth

Evaluating Accelerating Academic Achievement through Standards-Aligned Expanded Learning (2015-   )  Dr. Grossman is leading a second, larger RCT of Higher Achievement (funded by i3) with co-PIs Dr. Leigh Linden (University of Texas) and Dr. Carla Herrera. This study uses data from two RCTs to examine the short and long term impacts on students’ college outcomes of participation in Higher Achievement, an academically-oriented 4-year expanded learning time program. 

Evaluation of Higher Achievement. (2006-2013) Dr. Grossman is co-PI on this $3 million study to examine whether an intensive well implemented academically focused out-of-school-time (OST) program can increase academic performance of disadvantaged 5th through 8th grade students and at what cost. Over three years, 1,000 students were recruited into the study and randomly assigned to receive an offer to participate in an intensive OST program offered by Higher Achievement (HA) of Washington, DC.  HA provides students 4 years of summer school, after school programming and high school placement assistance. 

The BELL (Building Education Leaders for Life) Middle School Summer Learning Study (2011-2014) The BELL summer program serves low-performing students offering academic instruction taught by certified teachers and enrichment activities in a day-long program. Dr. Grossman (PI) conducted an individual-level RCT to measure the impact on the achievement and school attitudes of low-performing middle school students.  

Understanding the Effects of Mentoring programs on Youth

The Process Through Which School-Based Mentoring Works. (2009-2013). Together with various colleagues around the country, Dr. Grossman is investigating the processes through which school-based mentoring affects various youth outcomes, academic and antisocial.   The study involves further analysis of the School-Based Mentoring Big Brothers Big Sisters data sets.  She is currently investigating the effect of school-based mentoring’s match length and relationship quality on youth outcomes.

Impact of Mentoring At-Risk Youth in Washington State.  (2008-2013). This evaluation examines what the impact of mentoring higher-risk youth is and how that impact compares to mentoring lower risk youth.  The design includes the use of both random assignment and a comparison group strategy.  Dr. Grossman designed the evaluation and served a senior advisor.

Evaluation of School-Based Mentoring. (2003-2007)  Dr. Grossman, along with colleagues at P/PV and Big Brothers Big Sister of America, designed and conducted a random assignment evaluation of school-based mentoring programs across 71 schools.  The study followed the lives of approximately 1,600 elementary and middle school students for a year and a half from the time they apply to the program.  The study examined school behavior, attitudes and performance, as well as out-of-school behavior.

Improving Education

Evaluation of the Technology-Facilitated Scale up of a Proven Middle School Model of Mathematics Instruction. (2012- )  A proven cooperative learning model of mathematics instruction is being scaled up through professional development delivered using innovative uses of computer, video conferencing, and other technologies. As PI of this school-level RCT, Dr. Grossman will be examining how effective the model transmitted in this manner is at improving math performance. 

Evaluation of Completion by Design (CBD).  (2012-2015) CBD is an initiative aimed at learning how to significantly increase completion and graduation rates for student in community colleges. Community colleges in three states are implementing multiple system wide changes and building completion pathways that will provide students with greater structure and support from the moment they first enroll through completion of their studies.  Dr. Grossman led the mixed methods evaluation that examined how institutional change occurred and the key factors shaping the systemic change process.