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ACT, Inc. Summer Internship: Survey, Validity & Efficacy Research in Iowa City, Iowa


ACT is a nonprofit organization helping people achieve educational and workplace success. Our programs are designed to boost lifelong learning in schools and workplaces around the world. Whether it's guiding students along their learning paths, enabling companies to develop their workforce, fostering parent, teacher, and counselor understanding of student progress, guiding job seekers toward career success, or informing policymakers about education and workforce issues. ACT is passionate about making a difference in all we do.

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Position objective: The summer intern will provide support in furthering ACT’s understanding of the environmental factors that influence students’ attitudes toward, decision-making about, and usage of test preparation. This work will help us better articulate the key levers in test preparation usage through a literature review and with the implementation of a research study. The results of this work will be used as the foundation to investigate the impact of the introduction of modular testing and superscoring on test prep. Co-authorship of publications and submissions to national conferences will also be considered.

Description of type of work/area of focus: The summer intern will capitalize on ecological factors (e.g., systems theory and thinking) in program evaluation to better understand test preparation use. Work will focus on studying ecological factors (e.g., the application of systems theory) in understanding current research on test preparation followed by the design and implementation of a pilot study. The study will help ACT to understand the environmental factors that influence students’ attitudes toward, decision-making about, and usage of test preparation. Work will include: a) the documentation of methodological approaches, b) a framework that applies these methodological approaches to test preparation, c) the implementation of a pilot study that applies this framework, and d) a write-up of findings from the pilot study. A paper will be written that synthesizes this work. Submission to national conferences will also be considered.

Typical work-related activities will include:

  • Conducting a review of the literature on topics of focus

  • Provide support in designing and implementing a study (e.g. development of interview protocols or surveys)

  • The analysis of pilot study data

  • Participate in regular meetings with supervisors

  • Present findings to technical and non-technical audiences

  • Coauthor papers


Minimum Qualifications:Candidates should be currently enrolled in a doctoral graduate program in program evaluation or in social science (e.g., education, psychology, sociology) research program. Completion of two years of graduate school at time of internship required.

Experience Requirements/Preferences: Currently enrolled in a relevant doctoral program with program evaluation and research design training. Prior experience conducting evaluation/research preferred.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:Knowledge of and experience in program evaluation and/or systems theory, research methods (mixed methods preferred) and good professional writing/presentation skills are required.

Job ID2019-1593

of Openings1


TravelNo Travel Required

ACT is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Disabled.