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Senior Education Researcher, Center for Education Policy
Nicole Arshan, Ph.D., is a senior education researcher in the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. She specializes in experimental and quasi-experimental research design. Her work also includes project management, the use of district administrative and survey data, measurement and measurement error, and survey development.
Arshan currently co-leads two cluster-randomized control trials evaluating teacher professional development in writing instruction. Both projects are supported by a federal Investing in Innovation (I3) grant. The Pathways to Academic Success project provides professional development and curricular materials to secondary ELA teachers in districts with high enrollments of English learners. It aims to improve student academic literacy and writing through student use of cognitive strategies and revision. The evaluation combines an experimental teacher-randomized controlled design with a formative evaluation and includes teacher surveys, interviews, and student achievement data. The College-Ready Writers Program supports secondary teachers in rural areas to teach argument and informational writing. The evaluation combines an experimental district-randomized controlled design with a formative evaluation and includes teacher surveys, teacher daily instructional logs, interviews, and student achievement data.
Arshan also works on two projects evaluating an effort to transform high schools through programs of study that integrate rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and work-based learning. She co-leads the I3-supported Evaluation of Linked Learning: San Bernardino. The program is developing a system of career-themed academic pathways throughout the district to improve student cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. The evaluation uses a quasi-experimental design to estimate program effects on students. Teacher surveys and qualitative data will inform teacher and school outcomes. Arshan also leads the analysis of student outcomes for ConnectEd’s Linked Learning Initiative, using data from nine California school districts to examine indicators of high school students’ achievement and engagement. She also leads outcome evaluations of preschool students for the McKnight Foundation Education and Learning Program.
Arshan’s past project work at SRI includes a descriptive analysis of the barriers to reclassification for English language learners and an analysis of the quality of 10 years of evaluations undertaken as part of the National Science Foundation’s Innovative Technologies for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program.
Before joining SRI, Arshan was at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis. There, her research focused on the effects of the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE) and other issues in California education policy and finance.
Arshan began her career in education in undergraduate admissions at Georgetown University. Arshan earned her Ph.D. in policy analysis and M.A. in social sciences in education from the Stanford University School of Education. She holds a B.A. in history from The College of William and Mary.