Susan Cole is a senior researcher at AIR. She is the deputy project director for the Evaluation of the Early College High School Initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, an initiative that serves students traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education and offers them the opportunity to simultaneously pursue a high school diploma and earn college credit. Cole is also the site visit task leader for case studies on the Study of School Turnaround funded by the U.S. Department of Education, an examination of implementation of the School Improvement Grants over time. Her research experience includes project management and coordination, developing and implementing qualitative research approaches and study designs, and overseeing and conducting case studies.
Cole has been involved with a number of formative and summative evaluations of school reform initiatives. As the AIR site visit task leader she conducted site visits and was on the district portfolio team for the Evaluation of the High School Grants Initiative for the Gates Foundation. Other federally and state-funded projects include an evaluation of the District Assistance and Intervention Team for the California Comprehensive Center for the U.S. Department of Education, the Study of the Immediate Intervention/Underperforming Schools Program for the California Department of Education, and the Magnet Schools Assistance Program Evaluation for the U.S. Department of Education. Cole is the first author on a chapter on student experiences in Early College Schools in High Schools for a Complex World, published by Information Age Publishing, Inc. in 2011.