U.S. Department of Education Awards Worcester Polytechnic Institute $8 Million to Scale and Expand ASSISTments

Alison Duffy
October 21, 2019

Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), in partnership with The ASSISTments Foundation, has been awarded an $8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program. This EIR grant allows for the scale-up of operations for ASSISTments, allowing it to improve student academic performance and achievement, particularly for high-needs students.

This Mid-Phase grant supports interventions that have already demonstrated their effectiveness. In April 2019, the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse published a federal research review of an efficacy trial on ASSISTments and found the study to “meet standards without reservations.” In order to achieve this status, the study of the intervention needed to have had “positive effects without reservation.” This evaluation supported the validity of the study, which provides evidence that ASSISTments is one of only a handful of proven interventions in the U.S. for mathematics.

This five-year grant, led by Neil Heffernan, will be used to scale ASSISTments, a responsive online learning tool based in learning science. This project will focus on high-needs middle school math students and their teachers in predominantly rural areas.

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