La Follette School Fellowship for an Incoming 2017 Student
The Education Analytics (EA) Fellowship is a La Follette School project assistant position created in partnership with the organization, Education Analytics, which covers full tuition (either in-state or out-of state) and provides a stipend for 20 hours of work per week. The fellow can also choose to pay a small monthly payment for health insurance. The La Follette School of Public Affairs offers fellowships and scholarships to students based on merit. Faculty select fellows during the admission process based on application materials submitted by January 1, 2017. This position is for one academic year with the potential option for renewal in a second year. All applicants who apply by January 1 and indicate interest in the EA Fellowship will be considered for the 2017-18 academic year. The Fellow must be a full-time La Follette student and maintain satisfactory progress toward the Master of Public Affairs degree or the Master of International Public Affairs degree.
Education Analytics Fellowship: The student selected for this fellowship will draw on concepts developed through La Follette’s sequence of graduate courses to contribute to Education Analytics (EA), an organization with the mission of using analytics to improve educational outcomes for students. The fellow will experience EA’s highly collaborative partnership model with educational agencies across the country and learn how analytics inform a range of policy decisions.
Examples of tasks the fellow could be involved with are as follows:
• Conducting background research and literature reviews on topics related to education and assessment policy
• Coordinating and conducting meetings with school district staff and stakeholders
• Preparing written and visual materials for various stakeholder groups communicating EA’s work and analysis process
• Writing and coordinating research and project proposals
• Cleaning and preparing large education administrative data sets for statistical analysis
• Employing statistical models to assess student growth, checking results’ robustness and neutrality
• Develop functions in R to automate the coding and analysis process
Qualifications: The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in education and/or social policy. Strong applicants will have taken introductory courses in microeconomics and statistics, earned a 3.3 GPA or above from undergraduate institution/s, submit strong GRE scores (60% quantitative and 60% verbal, or above) and have some experience working in an education setting. Graduates from Teach for America, Peace Corps, and City Year or a similar organization are encouraged to apply. Final candidates will be interviewed by skype or in person at the La Follette School Visit Day and will be notified no later than April 1st.
This year’s fellow explains the benefits of working at EA:
“Work has been challenging in the best way. A large part of what I do is to seek out public and private funding opportunities for school districts and then to help draft, review, edit and submit grant proposals. Learning to navigate the world of education funding has been a great learning experience. I’ve also been supporting streamlining internal operations by setting up a database for the myriad sources that go into our literature and work.
It has not been too difficult to balance coursework with my work at EA. My supervisors have repeatedly assured me that my coursework takes priority over work at EA. And they’ve allowed me choose my own work schedule, and been very flexible when things come up.
I think what I like most about working at EA is that they genuinely want my feedback on the projects in which I’m involved. My contributions to projects are tangible and meaningful. I don’t ever feel like I am doing useless work, or that my efforts go unappreciated.”
From Last year’s EA Fellow:
“The data analysis and modeling I’m involved in with EA is a direct extension from many of the concepts I’m developing through the La Follette School’s statistical sequence of courses. Just as valuable, EA’s approach to balancing quantitative expertise with policy-relevant decision-making captures a core ideal of the La Follette School community and my own set of values. My split role between the policy and data teams allows me to contribute to many elements of the organization’s work. I’m assisting with all phases of EA projects, from preparing EA administrative data and running EA’s statistical growth models to communicating the measurement process and the student growth results to various education stakeholders.”
Dr. Robert Meyer formed Education Analytics, a non-profit organization headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin, with the objective of conducting research and developing policy and management analytics to support reform and continuous improvement in American education. EA’s institutional mission—to identify ways in which analytics can improve education systems—is central to the organization’s work with school districts, states, nonprofits, and policymakers. EA serves as a partner by engaging in hands-on analytics support and collaboration to address shifts in the policy landscape. EA’s desire to support the data analytic needs of education agencies and help students everywhere succeed drives this unique and collaborative approach. EA staff works towards the latter goal by sharing the research arising from their experience with educational policy stakeholders as well as academic audiences.