Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences

Training researchers whose evidence-based results will help inform education policy and practice.

ITP Fellows group photo


The Interdisciplinary Training Program in Education Sciences (ITP) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is one of a network of pre-doctoral training programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. The ITP is preparing a new generation of outstanding education science scholars by training them in methods of causal inference in the social sciences, engaging them in a weekly seminar and supporting their translational research through a variety of internship opportunities. The community of faculty and Ph.D.-level researchers that work with ITP Fellows come from academic departments in education, social work and across the social sciences. Fellows join an interdisciplinary research community including doctoral students in economics, political science, psychology, social welfare, sociology, educational leadership & policy analysis, educational policy studies and educational psychology.

Upcoming Events

October 29, 2021
  • ITP Ed Sciences: Elise Marifian (ITP Fellow)

    October 29, 2021  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    259 Educational Sciences

    Elise Marifian (ITP Fellow)

    "Financial Aid, Cost Uncertainty, and Student Enrollment Choices: Evidence from Bucky’s Tuition Promise"

    This paper examines how a four year, full-tuition guarantee for modest income residents affects their probability of accepting an enrollment offer at the state flagship. In recent years, colleges have increasingly adopted tuition promise programs to address informational and behavioral barriers to low-income individuals' college attainment. Despite evidence that high-achieving students from low-income backgrounds are less likely than their affluent peers to attend a selective college, few states offer tuition promise programs at their selective public flagship institutions. I study how the college enrollment choices of academically talented students were impacted by the 2018 introduction of one such program—Bucky’s Tuition Promise—at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which promises four (two) years of grant aid to cover undergraduate tuition and fees for incoming first year (transfer) resident students whose household adjusted gross income (AGI) falls below the state median. To identify the causal effect of a BTP offer on admitted students' enrollment decisions, I adopt two strategies: a Regression Discontinuity (RD) design which leverages the discontinuity in BTP eligibility at the household AGI cutoff, and a Differences-in-Differences (DID) design which exploits the unanticipated nature of the policy and data from prior year cohorts. I find that BTP increases enrollment yield by 6 to 7 percentage points among low- and moderate- income residents, with the two designs generating similar results while shedding light on different aspects of the policy’s impacts.

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November 5, 2021
  • ITP Ed Sciences: Dr. Timothy Nokes-Malach

    November 5, 2021  12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
    259 Educational Sciences

    Dr. Timothy Nokes-Malach
    University of Pittsburgh

    "Using Large Educational Data Sets to Understand Factors that Affect Student Success in STEM" 

    Understanding both the barriers as well as the pathways to student success is critical to support all students to learn and achieve in STEM. In this talk, I will describe a research project that brings together an interdisciplinary team of learning scientists to understand the factors that affect student success in STEM disciplines. We are particularly concerned with questions about for whom educational innovations are effective, and their longitudinal outcomes. I will describe the overarching project and how we bring together different types of data and expertise to answer these questions. I will then describe one strand of the project in depth that has focused on understanding underrepresentation of women in physics. As a first step, we have begun to examine student motivational and performance patterns across multiple large introductory physics courses. The findings have implications for the development and implementation of pedagogies and resources to help all students learn.

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Coursework: ITP Seminar

This project is supported by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) in the U.S. Department of Education.