Community Involvement

Coffey Consulting, LLC has a long history of community involvement. Lester Coffey is a past chair of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, a past chair of the Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board and member of the Board of Imagination Stage. He actively participated in Junior Achievement and was a member of the Lions Club International and professional associations all giving back to the community. Lester and Amy Coffey support Habitat for Humanity and do fundraising for charitable organizations.

Mr. Coffey has spoken and shared with individuals in elementary school, community college and graduate school about the preparation needed for success in the workforce. We are especially proud to be a supporter of the George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy – Saturday School program.

George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy – Saturday School

The George B. Thomas, Sr. Learning Academy, Inc. Saturday School program, which helps Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) youth requesting or needing additional academic support to be more successful and better prepared to enter into postsecondary education and/or employment. Students from grade 1 through 12 attend classes taught by instructors meeting MCPS’ standards on Saturday mornings between 8:30 to 11:00 a.m., October through May in 12 sites across the County and serving over 3,000 students annually.  Saturday School provides extra help in reading, language arts, math and test-taking skills, including ACT and SAT preparation. The school was established in 1986 by members of the Mu Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. with Dr. George B. Thomas, Sr. as its leader. 

Data, Metrics & More

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Coffey Consulting’s Senior Study Director, Sue Clery, and Senior Research Associate, Elif Bor, attended the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Research Sparks Convening on October 18-20, 2016 in the Foundation’s Conference Center in Seattle. The Convening brought together researchers from many research organizations and universities across the country. The purpose of the convening was to provide attendees with an overview of the Foundation’s Postsecondary Success Strategy and to explore how to scale promising practices and policies across higher education institutions in the United States. The Convening also provided attendees with opportunities to give input on the Foundation’s postsecondary research and evaluation agenda, to network, and to explore areas for further collaboration.

National Postsecondary Education Cooperative (NPEC)

Coffey staff presented their papers at the U.S. Department of Education’s NPEC October 2016 meetings. Abby Miller, Monika Arntz, Mason Erwin and Samantha Richardson presented Collecting and Disseminating Data on Certificate Awards for the Integrated Postsecondary Education System, and Amy Topper and Melissa Howard presented A Comparison of Federally-Funded Sample Surveys on Postsecondary Education: Areas of Alignment, Duplication, and Variation.

Coffey in the News

Coffey Research Featured in NEA’s Advocate

The National Education Association’s Higher Education Advocate is published five times per year and features trends and data on issues facing postsecondary education institutions and faculty. Coffey’s analysis of the distribution of women and faculty of color at public two- and -four-year institutions by tenure status was recently featured in the January 2017 Advocate issue.

Our research indicates that while women make up an increasing share of faculty, they are overrepresented in non-tenure-track positions and underrepresented in STEM fields. The proportion of faculty of color in both tenure and non-tenure positions has seen a slow, but steady, increase over the past 20 years. A link to the issue, with Coffey’s analysis featured on page 14, is provided here.

First Responder Diversity Convening

Coffey representatives attended a convening hosted by U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez and the International Association of Fire Fighters President Harold Schaitberger to discuss diversity in first responders on July 15, 2016 in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.

The convening featured remarks by Secretary Perez, President Schaitberger, researchers, civil rights leaders, industrial organization psychologists and first responders followed by a panel discussion. It was a prelude to the kickoff of Coffey’s contract to identify best practices for recruitment, training, and retention, and advancement of diverse candidates for first responder positions.

Coffey Contributes Chapter to 2016 NEA Almanac

The National Education Association’s Almanac of Higher Education is an invaluable resource that provides analysis and discussion regarding timely topics such as salaries, economic conditions in the states, and trends in bargaining. Each year, Coffey contributes an essay that focuses on trends in higher education faculty salaries. Authored by Sue Clery, Senior Study Director, the chapter “Faculty Salaries: 2014-2015” provides an overview of current and historical trends in faculty compensation and how it relates to recent economic trends, and trends in salaries by gender and by state. The Almanac’s overview provides a synopsis of Clery’s analysis.

National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) STATS-DC Data Conference

Held July 12-14, 2016 at The Mayflower Hotel. Coffey staff (Drennan Lindsay, Jennifer Rismiller, Carol Johnson and Ben Coffey) assisted with planning and executing this 900-participant conference that offered nine concurrent sessions on technical and policy issues related to the collection, maintenance, and use of education data; information sessions on data collection; and updates on federal and state activities affecting data collection and reporting with a focus on information about the best new approaches.

Staff News

Amelia M. Topper, a Senior Researcher at Coffey Consulting, LLC, earned and received her Ph.D. in Education Policy and Evaluation with a specialization in Higher Education from Arizona State University in December 2015. Her dissertation, A Multiplicity of Success: Capabilities, Refuge, and Pathways in Contemporary Community Colleges, was a mixed methods case study examining conceptualizations of community college student success from the perspective of community college students, faculty, and administrators. Her dissertation was awarded the American Educational Research Association’s Division J – Postsecondary Education 2016 Outstanding Dissertation Award in April 2016 at the association’s annual conference. Dr. Topper was also selected as one of eight current and recently graduated doctoral students to represent Arizona State University at a Joint Doctoral Conference by St. Patrick’s College and Dublin City University in Dublin, Ireland in May 2016.

Protective Services Industry Review and Assessment of Strategies to Increase Workforce Diversity

Coffey’s team attended the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission event for the release of an interagency report on advancing diversity in law enforcement on October 5, 2016 at the Department of Justice. “This effort was designed to build President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which underscored the importance of a law enforcement ‘workforce that contains a broad range of diversity, including race, gender, language, life experience, and cultural background,’ finding that increased diversity not only helps to improve the culture of police departments, but also builds greater trust and legitimacy with all segments of the population.”

National Farmworker Jobs Program

This nationally-directed program of job training and employment assistance for migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) was authorized under Section 167 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to counter the impact of the chronic unemployment and underemployment experienced by MSFWs who depend primarily on jobs in agricultural labor.  Coffey provided technical assistance to the grantees in addition to recently producing Voices from the Field videos.

Higher Education and the Public Good

Amy Topper, Senior Researcher, presented a research paper on November 11, 2016 exploring students’ perceptions of community college student outcomes at the 41st Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) in Columbus, Ohio. “The Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) convenes annually as a community of scholars dedicated to the study of higher education. ASHE encourages proposals that advance knowledge and understanding of a wide range of issues pertaining to higher education as a field of study… from faculty, scholars, administrators, and students who work in higher education, public policy, or a related field; those who work within and across such disciplines as education, public policy, economics, history, philosophy, political science, psychology, and sociology; and those in state and federal agencies, philanthropic organizations, higher education associations, and other entities that use research to inform policy and practice.”