Our Projects

ETR can support your organization or project in numerous ways to best fulfill your goals. Whether you need short-term capacity-building assistance, customized trainings, program evaluations, full-scale research projects, technical assistance clearinghouses, or high-quality print and digital resources, we can help. Please review our core competencies to learn more about our areas of expertise.

ETR's multidisciplinary teams are committed to the highest standards of quality in their respective fields.

View projects by area of focus, type of project, or status:


All4You! and All4You2!

All4You! and All4You2!

ETR was funded by the CDC to develop, implement and evaluate All4You!, a 2-component intervention (behavioral skills and community involvement/service learning) for youth in alternative schools with a high rate of sexual risk behaviors. The program was successful in reducing selected sexual risk-taking behaviors at 6 months.

With funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, ETR developed, implemented and evaluated the individual and combined effects of interventions that featured a skills- and norms-based curriculum, All4You2!, and/or service learning. The study involved youth in continuation schools. Results show modest short-term impacts of the skills-based curriculum, but not the service-learning or the combined service-learning/curriculum intervention.

The Benefits of Computer Game Programming: A Research Synthesis

The Benefits of Computer Game Programming: A Research Synthesis

The goal of this project is to systematically analyze and summarize research on the benefits of computer game programming for children. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of tools and opportunities for children and young adults to learn to program computer games, but no accumulation of knowledge about what children learn, the best pedagogical strategies, and which tools and learning environments promote different kinds of outcomes, and for whom. The methodology will use an integrative approach, specifically a meta-synthesis, which is an interpretive integration of qualitative and quantitative research findings based on a systematic literature search and analysis process. The study will go through seven steps, and a panel of content and methodology experts will evaluate the rigor and transparency at each step of the analysis process. The results will be written up and shared with three audiences: academic researchers, educators and program developers, and funders.

Beyond Marketing to Stealth Recruitment: Creating ICT Pathways from High School to College and Work for Underrepresented Groups

Beyond Marketing to Stealth Recruitment: Creating ICT Pathways from High School to College and Work for Underrepresented Groups

This project is building technical education pathways that motivate and prepare rural, high school students from underrepresented groups to enter and stay on information and communications technology (ICT) pathways. It involves two key strategies: building strong, sustainable partnerships across high schools, community colleges, and employers, and infusing ICT skills into digital media high school classes and aligning them with college classes and workforce needs. This “stealth recruitment” approach is in contrast to most efforts that take a marketing approach that tries to convince students of the value of ICT classes; instead it leverages students’ interests in digital media and contextualizes their learning. Read more >>

Boot Camp or University Classroom? Preparing Women and Underrepresented Minorities for the Software Development Workforce

Boot Camp or University Classroom? Preparing Women and Underrepresented Minorities for the Software Development Workforce

With the rapid rise of coding boot camps promising training that leads directly to lucrative jobs, industry has more options for finding trained employees to fill software development jobs. However, it is not well understood who attends these boot camps and how the training they offer aligns with workforce needs. This study—a collaborative work with the College of Charleston—investigates what skills and knowledge both coding boot camps and university computer science programs offer to their students and how these align with the skills and knowledge that employers seek in newly minted software developers.

C2STEM: Learning by Modeling: A Collaborative and Synergistic Approach to K-12 Computing and STEM Education

C2STEM: Learning by Modeling: A Collaborative and Synergistic Approach to K-12 Computing and STEM Education

ETR is serving as the external evaluation for a multi-institutional project that employs Evidence-Centered Design (ECD) principles to design and develop a collaborative, computational STEM (C2STEM) learning environment. C2STEM employs a learning-by-modeling paradigm that combines visual programming with domain specific modeling languages (DSMLs) to promote synergistic learning of discipline-specific (e.g., physics, marine biology) and computer science (computational thinking) concepts and practices.

Can Pair Programming Reduce the Gender Gap in Computing? A Study of Middle School Students Learning to Program

Can Pair Programming Reduce the Gender Gap in Computing? A Study of Middle School Students Learning to Program

This study aims to understand the conditions under which pair programming can foster the kind of thinking and problem solving that will prepare middle school students to pursue and persist in computing fields. The design experiment involves 80 girls and boys from a range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds who are enrolled in game programming classes. Read more >>

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Professional Development Project

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Professional Development Project

ETR coordinated and developed capacity-building services for 27 CDC-funded non-government organizations (NGOs) serving a range of constituents, including juvenile justice providers, service providers to runaway/homeless youth, and state and local education agencies. In collaboration with DASH staff, ETR developed and conducted a comprehensive needs assessment process to inform an annual calendar of CBA events, in the form of multi- and single-day trainings, roundtable discussions, webinars and workshops addressing both content and functions.

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Programs That Work

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Programs That Work

ETR, in partnership with CDC-DASH, spearheaded the first national “Programs that Work” initiative, which built the capacity of state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to disseminate and institutionalize HIV/STD evidence-based interventions (EBIs) and other health education programs. This work included training and technical assistance on EBI selection and implementation, as well as policy and environmental elements necessary for adoption and institutionalization, including gaining stakeholder buy-in and developing infrastructure needed for effective implementation and sustainability. This program reached all 77 funded SEAs and LEAs and provided training to over 250 school districts nationwide.

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Survive Outside

CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) Survive Outside

ETR provided national capacity-building assistance for staff in alternative schools, homeless youth organizations and juvenile justice to implement evidence-based and evidence-informed HIV/STD prevention and sexual health promotion practices and policies. The project worked at the policy level by assisting sites in educating stakeholders and providing training to staff who work directly with youth, and also facilitated linkages between youth and sexual health services, particularly youth-friendly HIV/STD testing. The project reached nearly 20,000 high-risk youth in hundreds of juvenile justice facilities and alternative schools from 25 states, and trained staff from 106 agencies who then conducted training events for community stakeholders.

CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Capacity Building Project

CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention Capacity Building Project

ETR built and managed the Capacity Building Resource Center (CRC), an online resource designed to facilitate communication and collaboration between the CDC-funded Capacity Building Assistance (CBA) providers and CDC’s Capacity Building Branch (CBB) key staff, with the goal of improving the delivery and effectiveness of HIV prevention services provided to the nation’s workforce who serve populations at risk for HIV. The interactive, password-protected website allowed CBA Providers access to timely CDC news alerts and documents related to public health and included a resource library, webinars, CBA provider directory and e-learning courses. Center staff coordinated and archived monthly CBA Network calls; ensured quality of materials through review, assessment and approval by CDC; and completed a yearly assessment of current and future TA needs for CRC services.

Computer Game Programming Classes for Children

Computer Game Programming Classes for Children

ETR has developed, implemented and analyzed studies of over 800 middle school students in computer game programming classes, including developing and testing curriculum and pedagogical approaches for using game programming to teach computational concepts, and testing a range of strategies to assess learning. A systematic synthesis of research on what children learn from computer game programming was begun in fall of 2014.

Computer Science for the Social Good: Using Near-Peers to Engage Latino/a Students

Computer Science for the Social Good: Using Near-Peers to Engage Latino/a Students

Latinos are the fasting growing ethnic minority population in the US, but are underrepresented in computing fields. In this project, we are designing and testing an afterschool program that aims to increase the interest and capacity of Latino youth to pursue and persist in computing fields, and build their capacity to transform their schools. Read more >>

The Digital NEST: Building Pathways to Computing Education and Careers for Latino/a Youth

The Digital NEST: Building Pathways to Computing Education and Careers for Latino/a Youth

This project aims to identify effective strategies that community technology centers can use to prepare, support and motivate underserved high school students to pursue and persist in computer science courses and careers. This is a partnership between ETR and a community technology center called the Digital NEST that prepares Latino/a high school students for the tech workforce. 

Draw the Line/Respect the Line

Draw the Line/Respect the Line

ETR collaborated with the University of California, San Francisco Center for AIDS Prevention Studies on an intervention study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health called Draw the Line, Respect the Line. The study involved the development, implementation and evaluation of a culturally appropriate HIV-prevention intervention aimed at middle school youth, with a special emphasis on Latinos. Results suggest the intervention was successful in delaying the onset of sexual activity among boys as well as improving most psychosocial variables measured.

Evaluations of Promising Prevention Programs and Coordinated School Health Programs

Evaluations of Promising Prevention Programs and Coordinated School Health Programs

ETR provided rapid evaluation technical assistance to agencies funded by the CDC's Division of Adolescent and School Health to implement innovative health programs, including nutrition, physical activity and HIV prevention programs. Staff worked with selected sites to provide assistance in the development of evaluation plans, data collection, data analysis and synthesis, and dissemination of findings.

Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) National Training & Technical Assistance Provider for PREP

Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) National Training & Technical Assistance Provider for PREP

In partnership with RTI, ETR provided training, technical assistance and annual meeting planning services to support the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) grantees. ETR was a lead technical advisor to over 100 state and tribal agencies and community-based organizations funded by FYSB to educate young people toward preventing pregnancy and STD via implementation of evidence-based sexual education programs. Staff designed and delivered both online and in-person trainings and technical assistance to increase knowledge and skills to implement and sustain PREP.

Informal Learning in Computer Science: Social and Conceptual Factors Related to Women's Persistence

Informal Learning in Computer Science: Social and Conceptual Factors Related to Women's Persistence

This study focuses on women who are technologically savvy system administrators on the Salesforce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) cloud-based software platform, who are gathering informal resources such as online tutorials, books and online forums or blogs in order to teach themselves to code and who are forming women-only virtual coaching and learning groups to help them in their learning. The study will use an ethnographic approach to better understand both the social and conceptual barriers to and supports for these women in their quest to learn to code, in order to find ways to develop more effective resources for adult CS learners in the workplace.

Math Pathways: A Longitudinal, Dyadic Study of Parent-Child Influence in Latino Families

Math Pathways: A Longitudinal, Dyadic Study of Parent-Child Influence in Latino Families

In this longitudinal study, we study the role of relationships in children’s development. The focus is on Latino students, who underperform in mathematics; it fills a gap in research on how relationships with parents and teachers shape math achievement and attitudes such as perceived competence and the value attached to learning math. Participants include 300 mother-child-teacher triads who will complete surveys at four time points, starting in 5th grade. Read more >>

National Service Resources and Training (NSRT)

National Service Resources and Training (NSRT)

The NSRT project consolidated work funded by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service to assist the expanding work of AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, VISTA, and Learn and Serve America programs that support the millions of volunteers of all ages working in thousands of organizations and educational settings across the country. Project staff managed and developed the services provided by ETR’s long-standing projects, including the VISTA Campus and Online Learning Center. 

Next Door to Silicon Valley: A Research-Practitioner Partnership to Address Disparities in Access and Expectations for Computer Science Education

Next Door to Silicon Valley: A Research-Practitioner Partnership to Address Disparities in Access and Expectations for Computer Science Education

This project is a collaboration between ETR, Santa Cruz City Schools, and the Santa Cruz Education Foundation. It will build a research-practitioner partnership to address the question: How do we reduce the disparity in students’ access to quality opportunities to learn computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) and ongoing support to persist in computer science?

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