Victoria (Tori) Cirks is a principal technical assistance consultant at AIR. Cirks has more than fifteen years of experience managing research and technical assistance projects and teams and providing technical assistance at the state, district, and school level to improve student outcomes with a specific focus on continuous improvement college and career readiness, dropout prevention, career and technical education, early college and postsecondary success, and student-centered learning models such as competency-based education and deeper learning. She serves as the project director for Early College/Innovation Pathways Program Reviews and as senior advisor to the Early College/Innovation Pathways Cost Analysis Study in Massachusetts. She also serves as the principal investigator for a social capital developmental evaluation funded by the Clayton Christensen Institute, and a senior advisor to the College and Career Readiness Empirical Study in Maryland. In addition, she manages work through federally funded regional comprehensive centers and serves as project director for AIR’s work supporting the Colorado Department of Education update its dropout prevention framework. Cirks also leads business development and program activities focused on the integration of technical assistance and research and co-leads AIR’s cross-program technical assistance work group.
Previously, Cirks served as the project director for a cluster of formative evaluation projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation intended to evaluate the success of and provide near-term feedback on the Foundation’s postsecondary scaling strategy. She served as co-PI of a student agency study funded by Jobs for the Future, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and the Overdeck Foundation that aimed to identify instructional practices to support student agency; as the partnership facilitator for the Iowa Technology and Learning Networked Improvement Community as part of REL Midwest; and as the research lead for the Southwest Networked Improvement Community Partnership through REL Southwest. Cirks has also worked with AIR's College and Career Readiness and Success Center as a technical assistance liaison to four regional comprehensive centers and served as the outreach task leader and worked with the National High School Center on high school improvement and college and career readiness initiatives.
M.A., Peace and Conflict Resolution, American University; B.S., Political Science, Illinois State University