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:


A Coordinated, Cross-Institutional Career and Technical Education Cybersecurity Pathway

A Coordinated, Cross-Institutional Career and Technical Education Cybersecurity Pathway

This Research-Practice partnership is a collaboration between Pajaro Valley Unified School District, Digital NEST, Cabrillo College, and Education, Training, Research. The goal is to strengthen, connect, and expand existing efforts to increase the number of Latinx students who enter and stay on a path to computer information systems (CIS) at a community college and the workforce.

The Community College Information Technology Study

The Community College Information Technology Study

The Community College Information Technology (CCIT) is a longitudinal study, focused on two-year colleges in California that serve 2.7 million students each year. Previous research on community college (CC) students’ enrollment and persistence in Information Technology (IT) courses/programs is limited or has not focused exclusively on CC students.

Computing for the Social Good: A Research-Practice Partnership to Increase Equity among Students and Parents

Computing for the Social Good: A Research-Practice Partnership to Increase Equity among Students and Parents

This project is a collaboration between Santa Cruz City Schools, the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, and Education, Training, Research (ETR), with additional researchers from Stanford University and the University of California. The funds will be used to motivate, prepare and support teachers to integrate equity-oriented computer science into core curriculum with supports for English language development; Develop a K-8 pathway that attracts students and families by preparing them to be citizens who use CS for the social good; Build family engagement and competence through computer literacy and leadership activities, and Grow our Research-Practice Partnership.

Extra Innings: Using Serious Games and the Science of Baseball to Teach Science and Mathematics

Extra Innings: Using Serious Games and the Science of Baseball to Teach Science and Mathematics

ETR is working with dfusion inc. and the Science of Sport to develop and evaluate a serious gaming app that complements the Science of Baseball curriculum for elementary and middle school students.

Impactathons: Student-Led Peer-to-Peer Learning in Community Social-Change Technology Projects

Impactathons: Student-Led Peer-to-Peer Learning in Community Social-Change Technology Projects

ETR is serving as the external evaluator for a project led by the University of California, Santa Cruz. The goal is to understand the effectiveness of student-led, peer-to-peer learning in applied social change settings, for overcoming barriers to effectively learning and using digital technologies for historically marginalized populations.

Leveling the Field: Increasing the Preparedness and Belonging of Underrepresented Community College Students in Computing

Leveling the Field: Increasing the Preparedness and Belonging of Underrepresented Community College Students in Computing

ETR has partnered with Las Positas College in Livermore, CA to develop and test an intensive intervention open to students enrolled in introductory computer science the following semester. The program is designed to increase the confidence and preparation of community college students traditionally underrepresented in computer science. Our goal is to grow the success and retention of these students in computer science classes.

Sustainability in STEM

Sustainability in STEM

ETR is serving as the external evaluator for a project led by Cabrillo College. The goal is to develop and revise key STEM curricula to infuse content and resources related to environmental sustainability and to develop/pilot student-centered services that promote STEM success, persistence, degree completion, and transfer.

About Us: A Healthy Relationships Program for Vulnerable Youth

About Us: A Healthy Relationships Program for Vulnerable Youth

ETR was awarded a Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies Program grant from the Family & Youth Services Bureau to refine and evaluate a relationships-based program called About Us. About Us is an innovative intervention that draws on developmental neuroscience principles to support young people in exploring and developing healthy romantic relationships and using condoms and highly effective contraceptives if having sex. ETR has partnered with the California School-Based Health Alliance to implement About Us in school-based health centers located in rural or suburban counties in California with large Hispanic populations. The evaluation is being conducted by Dr. Eric Walsh-Buhi and his team from the Graduate School of Public Health/ Institute for Behavioral and Community Health at San Diego State University. 

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 >>

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 >>

Digitally Blending HIV Prevention for Heightened Impact (Blended RTR or BRTR)

Digitally Blending HIV Prevention for Heightened Impact (Blended RTR or BRTR)

In this Phase I SBIR project, dfusion with its research partner, Education Training and Research (ETR), will establish the technical merit and feasibility of producing and using a “blended” learning version of Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, STD and HIV (RTR) for 14-18 year olds. A modernized delivery model will be used that capitalizes on recent trends, such as blended learning and technological advances to enhance students’ motivation and perceived relevancy, yielding stronger and more lasting impact. The Blended RTR prototype will use a flipped classroom approach and include traditional RTR classroom-based activities and new transposed online activities (InstaRTR activities) to be completed by youth as online assignments, outside of the classroom.

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.

Gents: Empowering Young African American Men

Gents: Empowering Young African American Men

ETR was awarded an innovation sub-grant from Texas A&M as a part of the Office of Adolescent Health innovation funding to develop a sexual health module implemented as part of a mentoring program for African American young men. The sexual health module promotes topics such as healthy relationships, respect, sexual consent, correct and consistent use of condoms, supporting a partner’s use of highly effective birth control, sexual boundaries, and empowering young men to make informed choices to navigate sexual risk in light of future goals. ETR has partnered with the Oakland Chapter of Omega Psi Phi, the largest black fraternity in the country and developer of the mentoring program, to inform, develop and provide feedback on the module.

Inaccuracies in Self-Report Measures of Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors

Inaccuracies in Self-Report Measures of Adolescent Risk-Taking Behaviors

Self-report measures of adolescent sexual behaviors are essential for monitoring risk and evaluating prevention program effectiveness, yet relatively little is known about the accuracy of these measures across developmental stages and demographic groups. This R03 research project will provide new information about the rates of inconsistencies, by types (e.g., “yes” to ever had sex at baseline survey and “no” at 12-month follow-up) and across demographic subgroups, in adolescents’ self-reported sexual behaviors using data from four large longitudinal studies of the effectiveness of HIV/STI/pregnancy prevention programs for high-risk youth. It also seeks to contribute new information about the impact of removing different types of inconsistent cases on study power and generalizability. Finally, it will identify subgroups of youth with whom to explore, in a future study, reasons behind and potential remedies to inconsistent reporting of sexual behaviors.

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