Mathematica is designing an evaluation framework and pilot data system that would enhance the National Science Foundation’s ability to monitor the Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and to conduct evaluations with increasing level of rigor in the future.
- Mixed-methods and quasi-experimental evaluations
- Monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) frameworks
- Access to STEM education for women, minorities, and other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups
- Secondary and Higher Education
- Education in developing countries
Clemencia Cosentino’s research focuses on education practice and policy to increase access to educational opportunity. She has extensively studied the underrepresentation and advancement of U.S. minorities and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education as well as in the workforce. Her work has also focused on efforts to improve access to and outcomes in secondary and higher education for youth in developing countries.
Prior to joining Mathematica in 2010, Cosentino was the director of the Program for Evaluation and Equity Research of the Urban Institute where she conducted extensive research on STEM programs, which she continues today. She has worked on high-profile studies, such as the quasi-experimental evaluations of the Congressionally mandated National Science Foundation (NSF) Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation Program (LSAMP), the LSAMP Bridge to the Doctorate (BD) and, at present, the NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program. She has also led the design of program evaluations (the NSF Gender in Science and Engineering Program) and portfolio evaluations (of higher education projects supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration), as well as the impact, mixed-methods evaluation of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation summer math and science enrichment program for disadvantaged and minority college students interested in attending medical or dental school.
In addition to her work in the U.S., Cosentino developed a similar portfolio of work to improve educational outcomes for disadvantaged youth in developing countries. She led the design of the monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) frame work for the Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education, a collaborative of private foundations that supports innovative approaches to addressing complex problems affecting access to and quality of secondary education in developing countries, especially in Africa and Asia. She is also the principal investigator of MEL efforts for The MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program, an initiative designed to develop the next generation of transformative leaders by supporting more than 15,000 academically promising but economically disadvantaged students from sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the developing world. Currently, she is also collaborating on a policy study of issues and potential solutions to low educational attainment and skills acquisition among youth across Latin American nations.
She has been invited by public and private foundations, international organizations, professional societies, and universities to give lectures and keynote speeches on evaluation and MEL design, findings, uses, and policy implications. These include the National Science Foundation, the National Academies, the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, UNICEF, the Lumina Foundation for Education, the American Society for Engineering Education, Harvard University, Fermilab, and others.
Cosentino has a Ph.D. in sociology (with concentrations in education and international development) from Princeton University.
Research Experiences for Undergraduates: Developing an Evaluation Framework and Pilot-Testing a Longitudinal Tracking System
The Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education
PSIPSE is a multidonor collaborative that works in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. Mathematica supports the collaborative in implementing the monitoring framework and preparing briefs and presentations to share PSIPSE’s vision.
Evaluation of Minority-Serving Institutions Models of Success Program
This study described programs identified as successful models for educating minority students and improving their outcomes.
Diversity and Inclusion in STEM: Evaluation of the National Science Foundation INCLUDES Program
Mathematica is participating in a developmental evaluation of the National Science Foundation INCLUDES initiative, which funds projects aimed at broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in science and engineering discovery and innovation.
Evaluation of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Bridge to the Doctorate Initiative
Mathematica monitored the educational progression and ultimate employment outcomes of the first four cohorts of the National Science Foundation’s Bridge to the Doctorate fellowship recipients and assessed the program impact using a quasi-experimental design.
New Research Highlights Key Ways to Improve Teacher Quality in East Africa and India
A new study from Mathematica Policy Research examines the innovative approaches that the multi-donor Partnership to Strengthen Innovation and Practice in Secondary Education (PSIPSE) employed to improve teacher quality in East Africa and India.
Our STEM Portfolio: Boosting Scientific and Technological Advancement
As the United States and other nations strive to lead the world in scientific discovery and innovation, assessing the success of policies and programs in STEM—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—becomes increasingly important.
New Reports Highlight What We Know—and Still Need to Find Out—to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries
Remarkable strides have been made in increasing the number of children receiving a primary education around the globe. However, many children are not able to transition to secondary school and receive the high quality and relevant education that positions them for success later in life.
Interview with Mathematica Researcher Clemencia Cosentino
Chief Diversity Officer Dianne Hertz interviews with Mathematica researcher Clemencia Cosentino during Hispanic Heritage Month. Cosentino discusses how she became a researcher, her work at Mathematica and her identity as Latin American and Hispanic.