Reducing Academic Inequalities Among Diverse Adolescents through Envisioning a Meaningful Future and Postsecondary Planning

Faculty Member: Professor Nancy Hill

The project is based in a partnership between our research team at Harvard Graduate School of Education & Boston College and a local school district. We are focused on understanding how to improve academic achievement and close demographic gaps in achievement by identifying ways to increase students’ connections to school, engagement in school, and help youth understand how school and education will assist them in pursuing their goals.We are focused on college readiness, college-going identity development, envisioning a meaningful future, and how school and family contexts shape these outcomes in youth.  The goal is to help the school district understand the experiences their students have in school and to help them develop more effective practices and policies to support students from diverse backgrounds. We have just completed data collection on about 900 high school youth. For the vast majority of these students, we will be able to connect their data to similar data collected last year and examine change over time.  The data include closed ended quantitative, survey responses and some of the data is open ended, short responses (qualitative data).

Description of RA Duties: 


  • Involvement in quantitative team weekly meetings and tasks
  • Possible assistance with qualitative data analysis
  • Help with data cleaning and analysis 
  • Help with quantitative and/or qualitative data collection (e.g., focus groups with high school students)
  • May also be asked to assist with literature reviews to support grant writing and manuscripts
  • Opportunities to be involved conference presentations and/or publications 
  • Opportunities available for pursuing individual research interests using data



  • Previous research experience and/or
  • Previously taken a methods and/or statistics course
  • Interest in long-term involvement a plus
  • Must be a Harvard College Undergrad 

To apply please send your CV and unofficial transcript to Whitney Polk at wpolk@g.harvard.edy and Allison White at