Research Projects


1) Afterschool Outcome Measures Online Toolbox

Click here for the website.

2) Summer Learning Outcome Measures Project

Click here for more information.

3) Development of Training Materials for the Promising Practices Rating System

      • Funded by the William T. Grant Foundation

The goal of this project is to develop a training program for the Promising Practices Rating System (PPRS), an observational measure of process quality in after-school programs. The training program allows broader use of the PPRS for research and program development purposes. We collected videos in afterschool programs representing a range of quality. We use the videos to prepare an online, video-based training program that includes training videos that illustrate key concepts and provide rating practice, certification and drift videos to ensure observer reliability, and written materials to complement the videos.

Click here for documentation; here for more information.

4) Child-Policy Fit in Experimental Early Childhood Interventions

      • Funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) 2011-2017

This ongoing research project is part of a collaborative P01 award titled Human Capital Interventions across Childhood and Adolescence and focuses on early childhood programs such as Head Start and Early Head Start. It employs both stage/policy- and child/policy-fit perspectives and largely experimental data to derive and test hypotheses about which combinations of child, family, and child care program characteristics lead to larger child care treatment effects on cognitive and behavioral outcomes for young children. Specifically, the compensatory hypothesis holds that high-quality child care benefits environmentally disadvantaged children; the skill begets skill hypothesis posits the opposite – that the most skilled children profit the most from high-quality education-oriented investments; the protective hypothesis argues that supportive family factors protect at-risk children from the negative effects of low-quality care; and the differential susceptibility hypothesis holds that children with fragile temperaments are at once hurt the most by low-quality care and helped the most by high-quality care. These hypotheses are tested using four experimental and one quasi-experimental intervention projects.

Click here for more information and the study’s website.

5) Postdoctoral Training Program on Human Capital Interventions in Development

      • Funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), 2012-2017
      • Four total fellowships, each lasting two years.
      • Five mentors.

This training grant allows postdoctoral fellows to work with and learn from the research faculty of the Irvine Network on Interventions in Development, a research group created for the P01 award Human Capital Interventions across Childhood and Adolescence (see#4 above)

Click here for more information and the study’s website.

6) STEM in Out-of-School Time

Click here for information.

7) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development

      • Phases I-IV funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
      • Phase V and VI funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Click here for detailed information.

8) Tiger Woods Learning Center: Ongoing Evaluation Partnership

Click here for information.

9) Study of Promising After-School Programs

Click here for information.

10) High Quality Supplemental Educational Services and Afterschool Partnerships Demonstration Project: An Evaluation of THINK Together Programs in Santa Ana Unified School District.

Click here for information.

11) Experience Sampling Study: Do After-School Programs Affect Student Experience? An Enhancement Study to the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Evaluation

Click here for information.

For further information and reports of the above projects please visit Dr. Vandell’s website at