Supporting learning across a lifetime.

Our services

ICF provides program and policy services designed to enable positive student and teacher outcomes in early childhood, K-12, postsecondary, and adult education.

We support learning across a lifetime. From early care for infants and toddlers through college access and success and workforce training, our innovative approaches and methodologies address critical questions and improve the quality of educational programs. Our 30+ years of program and policy work has built a portfolio of evidence-based solutions that can be applied to new challenges as the education landscape continues to evolve.

We understand the educational priorities of government agencies and the full range of stakeholders active within the education sector. Our highly nuanced and specialized support is strengthened by close working relationships with key people in the field. Our agile approach allows for timely, often immediate, assistance to our clients.

Designed to improve quality, drive outcomes, and increase accountability, ICF’s education services make real improvements and demonstrate quantifiable results. Our roster of successful projects spans community-based organizations to national initiatives—from the training and technical assistance that is enhancing outcomes and building organizational capacity in 40% of all Head Start and Early Head Start programs to the nearly 49,000 military families who have found high-quality child care through our work on Our program evaluations—like the ongoing seven-year assessment of the Texas GEAR UP program’s impact on post secondary education readiness or the formative evaluation of NAF’s Future Ready Labs innovative student internship model—provide real-time input on implementation and key insights around outcomes.

We combine state-of-the-art methodologies with a deep understanding of the most pressing education challenges to give clients the insights they need to turn research into practice, driving improved efficacy and sustainability of educational programs nationwide.

Improving Educational Outcomes for Young People & Adults

ICF provides education consulting for primary to secondary, postsecondary, and adult education programs and institutions.

ICF supports the improvement of youth and adult education through research, evaluation, technical assistance, and training. Our expertise spans elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education and focuses on critical issues such as education reform and improvement; career pathways; college and career readiness; and student, education institution, and intervention program outcomes.

As a trusted partner to our clients-—government at all levels and the wider array of organizations within the education sector ICF recognizes that their stakeholders, including students, parents, educators, researchers, and policymakers-—are our clients, too. ICF's approach is to improve the skills and knowledge of clients while building their capacity to meet future challenges.

ICF is a producer of research that meets rigorous methodological standards and has an extensive history of large scale evaluation of education initiatives, including randomized control trials, quasi-experimental studies, and mixed methods. Examining complex research questions, ICF researchers look for evidence-based answers that translate quickly into improved practice.

Combining proficiency in research and evaluation with expertise in technical assistance enables ICF to guide clients from research through to practical applications. As true partners to our clients, ICF considers their concerns and customizes technical assistance plans, implementation, and evaluations to achieve the outcomes they seek and the capacity to sustain their work.

Education Connections Newsletter Series

  • January 2018  Evaluation of capacity building technical assistance
      Capacity Building Center for States, interview with Caitlin Howley
  • December 2017  Presentations at American Evaluation Association
      Evaluating college access programs, a capacity building practice model, evaluation by service providers
  • November 2017  Presentations at American Evaluation Association and Virginia Education Research Association conferences
  • September 2017  International education, evaluation, market research
     U.S. Department of State, the World Bank, the U.S. Department of Education, USAID, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, interview with Helene Jennings
  • August 2017  Partnering with private as well as public organizations
     College Possible peer coaching, NAF career-themed academy, interview with Jing Sun
  • April 2017 Conducting research that illuminates adult education and employment pathways
  • March 2017 Evaluating student achievement, college access, and career pathways programs
  • February 2017 Partnerships with states
  • January 2017 Monitoring and support to state charter school offices
  • December 2016 Collaborating with state agencies
  • November 2016 Transforming early learning through technical assistance
  • October 2016 Contributing to career pathways and career and technical education
  • September 2016 Building capacity with agencies
  • August 2016 Conducting technical assistance, surveys and evaluation for states
  • July 2016 Conducting evaluation and surveys for States
  • June 2016 Employing data in education

Education in the Appalachian States

ICF examines education in the Appalachian states in a series of information briefs. Sign up to be notified when new Insights are posted.

ICF is embedded in the Appalachian region, with offices in North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. We understand the diversity, uniqueness, and cultural and economic complexity of the area, including issues such as the significance of community development to rural places, the effect of "brain drain" on Appalachian communities, and the advantages and challenges wrought by the region’s history. Like many of our Appalachian clients, our attachment to the area nurtures our commitment to providing high-quality services that improve quality of life in the region.

ICF evaluation, research, and technical assistance services in the Appalachian region are tailored to client needs and are responsive to local and regional contexts. Our experts have a wide range of knowledge, skills, and methods with which to serve the Appalachian area, including:

  • Research and Evaluation
    • Randomized control trials
    • Quasi-experiments
    • Implementation evaluation
    • Survey research
  • Training and Technical Assistance (T/TA)
    • Innovative approaches to T/TA (i.e., Executive coaching)
    • Technology-assisted T/TA
    • T/TA forecasting, tracking, and trend analysis
    • Evaluation of T/TA impact
  • Community Engagement
    • Research and evaluation
    • Stakeholder inclusion in program design and evaluation
    • Community development
    • Housing
  • Supporting Learning Across a Lifetime
    • Adult education
    • Workforce development
    • Leadership development
  • Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable Populations
    • Dropout prevention
    • Child welfare
    • Justice programs and victims’ services
    • Health

Technical Assistance and Support to Tribal Communities

ICF is a leader in providing expert strategic assistance to tribal communities in the United States.

Ensuring that American Indian and Alaska Native communities have access to high quality technical assistance is critical in meeting the specific needs of tribal communities. Equally important, yet challenging, is the ability to provide culturally appropriate services that are respectful of tribal histories, sovereignty, and the traditional beliefs of tribal populations.

The unique qualities of tribal communities are often the same characteristics that demonstrate the need for intense solutions designed to meet the tribes’ challenges. Often geographically isolated, or in extreme rural environments with extremely high poverty rates, low literacy and educational skills, and high alcoholism and suicide rates, tribal communities require technical assistance approaches that recognize their complexities when designing solutions to address these challenges.

ICF has significant, highly specialized expertise in supporting tribal communities in the areas of early education, Head Start, child care, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), family welfare, health, mental health and suicide prevention, and Native American housing and community development. Our in-depth tribal knowledge, combined with our wide range of subject matter expertise, allow us to provide high-quality, respectful, and culturally relevant technical support to American Indian and Alaska Native communities that helps them to grow educationally, physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.

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