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Senior Education Researcher, Center for Education Policy
Nicole Arshan, Ph.D., is a Senior Researcher in the Center for Education Policy at SRI International. Arshan specializes in the design and execution of rigorous mixed-methods studies evaluating educational interventions designed to impact student achievement through improved instructional quality. These studies combine formative feedback to support program implementation with independent and empirically rigorous summative impact evaluations.
Arshan currently leads multiple cluster-randomized control trials evaluating teacher professional development in writing instruction supported by federal Investing in Innovation (i3) and Supporting Effective Educators (SEED) grants.
- The College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) supports secondary teachers in rural areas to teach sourced-based argument writing in grades 7-10. The i3 Validation study of this work found that CRWP students demonstrated greater proficiency in the quality of reasoning and use of evidence in their writing. Subsequent studies are investigating the effects of a condensed cycle of professional development and the impacts of a version scaled into earlier grades.
- 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.
Arshan leads the SEED-supported Evaluation of the New Leaders Emerging Leaders Program. Emerging Leaders will receive training in motivating, coaching, and giving feedback to teachers on an instructional team and will work with their teacher teams to use data to determine student baselines, set student achievement goals, and monitor student growth.
Arshan also leads the i3-supported Evaluation of Linked Learning: San Bernardino, which aims to transform high schools through programs of study that integrate rigorous academic instruction with a demanding technical curriculum and work-based learning. The program is developing a system of career-themed academic pathways throughout the district to improve student cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes.
Prior work has included investigations into early childhood literacy, barriers to reclassification for English language learners, the effects of high school exit exams, principal’s use of school resources, and the evaluation of 10 years of evaluations conducted under a federal grant program.
Before joining SRI, Arshan was at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis. 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.