We Conduct Evaluations

At the heart of our evaluation work is the desire to understand the impacts that public investments and large-scale education reforms have on students, educators, and institutions. We assess in real-time how our K-12 and higher education structures are working or not working, and for whom (through developmental evaluation) and we seek to understand the overall impacts of projects or initiatives (through summative evaluation).

Our evaluations draw from qualitative and quantitative data, and they range from assessments of student success programs at public institutions to system-wide higher education reforms. In all cases, we partner with the public education systems and institutions to interpret findings and suggest solutions for improving policy and academic practice.


Our projects focus on issues such as:

INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS: EdInsights is partnering with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office in a developmental evaluation of the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative. The main purpose is to support the Chancellor’s Office in continuously improving its professional learning opportunities to meet the ongoing needs of college administrators, faculty, and staff.

COLLEGE STUDENT SUCCESS: At its host campus, Sacramento State, EdInsights is working with colleagues to evaluate student success programs, such as the Full Circle Project (FCP), which supports Asian American and Pacific Islander students through learning communities. Our evaluations have helped FCP identify the impacts of its efforts on student retention, course taking, and graduation. Going forward, we will work with of services for these students.

GUIDED PATHWAYS: In partnership with the Foundation for California Community Colleges and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, EdInsights is conducting a developmental evaluation of the rollout, planning, implementation, and early impact of the Colleges’ Guided Pathways framework. As the hallmark reform effort of the California Community Colleges, Guided Pathways seeks to improve student success through the development of structured course-taking patterns and embedded supports.


Career Education

This series of briefs revisits findings from a group of community colleges’ efforts to redesign career education (CE) programs to better prepare students for shifting regional workforce needs. The first brief was published in September, 2020, parts two and three were published in October and November respectively. They are available to read and share.

The California Community Colleges provide education and training to diverse student populations for a variety of purposes, including to prepare them for careers in today’s workforce. CE programs are aimed at helping students find meaningful jobs and careers with family-supporting wages, aligning curriculum with industry needs, encouraging timely completion, and providing students with work-based learning opportunities. Click the link below to learn what students describe as most helpful in contributing to their success.


Learning from the experiences of faculty, staff, and administrators can help colleges prepare for barriers and avoid pitfalls while redesigning their career education (CE) programs to better meet students’ needs. Their perspectives are also relevant in the context of current efforts by the U.S. Department of Education to issue grants meant to expand short-term and work-based learning programs to address workforce needs and to revitalize the economy. This second brief focuses on what college personnel describe as barriers to designing and implementing programs with features that students find helpful, as described in the first brief of this series (e.g., cohorts, consistent course schedules, work-based learning opportunities). Click the link below to learn more about reforms to CE programs from the perspective of college personnel. 


In this third brief of our Community Anchor series, EdInsights offers policy recommendations to strengthen workforce development to better serve students, communities, and regional economies. In this brief, we outline steps the state and the California Community Colleges (CCC) have taken to address barriers to more effective career education (CE) programs, point to some early signs of progress, and suggest opportunities for further changes to support the success of CE students. Click the link below to learn how policy can help create a stronger workforce.




Our evaluation reports are confidential, but we share findings that have broad implications for public policy:

or education practice in California: