The Lincy Institute

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The Lincy Institute believes education is one of the most important investments a community can make. Not only does it provide our children and youth with access to knowledge, skills, and opportunity; education serves as a key driver for Southern Nevada’s economy and quality of life.
Our primary aim is to leverage Southern Nevada’s education assets and resources in ways that support high quality educational opportunities from cradle-to-college and career. This includes bridging education research to policy and practice in the following areas:

  • Targeted K-20 investments;
  • English Language Learners;
  • Student Access and Success; and
  • Community Colleges and Workforce Alignment.

By working in direct collaboration with non-profit and research organizations, community-based organizations, student and parent groups, college and university faculty, and Clark County School District officials and staff, The Lincy Institute seeks to improve Southern Nevada’s educational opportunities, access, outcomes and federal resources.

Current Projects

Education Adequacy Studies

The Lincy Institute at UNLV commissioned two separate education adequacy studies. Data for the cost function analysis is available to researchers for their independent analysis. Contact the Director of Education Programs for access to data.

  1. Professional Judgment Approach Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, a consulting group, updated the 2006 Nevada Adequacy study to estimate the resources districts and schools need for students to meet the current state standards. Specifically, the study estimated the base cost figure for per pupil expenditures as well as the adjustments necessary for students with special needs. Nevada educators and professionals were invited to discuss the types of resources and interventions needed to ensure Nevada students have an equitable opportunity to achieve academic success. The study included a specific emphasis on understanding the needs of ELL students by engaging national ELL experts.
  2. Cost Function Analysis Approach Dr. Anna Lukemeyer, professor at UNLV and an expert on education finance and policy, along with Dr. Wen Wang, professor at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, are conducting a study using existing quantitative data to estimate the cost of providing students a reasonable opportunity to reach state performance indicators in Nevada. The study provides estimated funding adjustments for students who fall into the following groups: English Language Learners, students from low-income families, and special education students. To the extent possible, the study provides additional adjustments for students with concentrated poverty or other disadvantages. The researchers of this study hope to identify and develop a specific, policy relevant operational definition of “adequacy”.

College Governance and Two Year Institutions

The purpose of the Community Colleges Section is to provide information and resources on community colleges in four critical areas: (1) Governance; (2) Funding; (3) Academic and Student Success; and (4) Workforce and Economic Outcomes.

College & Career Aspirations in Nevada

Nevada has one of the lowest college going rates in the nation. However, recent national data indicates that K-12 students have high academic aspirations and college plans, yet these aspirations are not translating to college or certificate enrollment and completion. In partnership with and the American College Application Campaign, this research project aims to provide key data on the college-going culture in Nevada. The purpose of this research project is to examine a group of Nevada high schools and their students’ aspirations, college plans, and perceptions of school and family support and encouragement. The survey is conducted as a part of College Application Month, the first step in a three part series known as “College Journey Initiatives.” College Journey Initiatives also consists of “FAFSA Completion Season” and “College Decision Days” events, each of which contributes to the statewide initiative to increase college-access. The Lincy Institute, Education Programs will continue to investigate this initiative, and share findings with education and policy leaders to inform policies and practices that can improve college going rates and completion for Nevada students.

Southern Nevada College Transfer Students

Nationally, more students are beginning their college degrees at pre-baccalaureate institutions and then transferring to four-year institutions. The goal of this research project is to gain a better understanding of the region’s transfer population and their completion trajectory. Results of this research will be shared with education and policy leaders to inform in the transfer and success policies and practices.

Advisory Boards

K-20 Education Collaborative Education Advisory Board

The purpose of the K-20 Education Collaborative Advisory Board (ECAB) is to help The Lincy Institute in its mission to increase the capacity of nonprofit education agencies and organizations to improve education in Southern Nevada. By providing expertise and professional insight, the advisory board guides The Lincy Institute in its efforts to identify community priorities and develop research-informed K-20 education policies and practices.

Nevada Statewide English Mastery Council

Senate Bill 504 was passed by the 2013 Nevada Legislature. The bill requires the creation of a statewide English Mastery Council in order to improve the quality of English Language Learner education for students in Nevada. The Council will make recommendations in three core areas: 1) Teaching English as a Second Language Endorsement; 2) District Policy and Planning Criteria to serve English Language Learner Student Populations; and 3) Standards and Criteria for a Curriculum for English Language Learner Student Populations. The Council is chaired by Dr. Magdalena Martinez.

The Nevada Consortium on the Teacher Pipeline

Dr. Martinez, along with education collaborative advisory board members, are actively engaged in The Nevada Consortium for the Teacher Pipeline. Dr. Martinez helps to facilitate the Consortium which includes a group of professionals from multiple agencies. The intention is to begin a conversation across a broad constituency that will lead to systematic and concrete solutions to address the ongoing teacher shortages in Nevada.

Reports and Briefs

The Lincy Institute writes and commissions policy briefs and reports in areas of education, health and social services. Policy briefs and reports provide a concise summary of an issue, the policy options available to address it, and recommendations to achieve a desired outcome.

Past Projects

Under the direction of Dr. Sonya Horsford

Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood Initiative

The Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood (LVPN) Initiative is a community-led effort to provide a cradle-to-college and career continuum of solutions that ensures every child residing and attending school within the Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood (historic West Las Vegas) is ready for school and ready for life.

In anticipation of the possible release of a Promise Neighborhoods federal grant competition this summer, The Lincy Institute releases its technical report, The Las Vegas Promise Neighborhood Initiative: A Community-Based Approach to Improving Educational Opportunity & Achievement. The report offers a brief overview of Promise Neighborhoods, the original LVPN planning grant application, discussion of the collaborative activity that LVPN partners have engaged in since its original submission, and the "promise" of such neighborhood-based education reform efforts in Southern Nevada.

Coalesce Clark County

Coalesce Clark County is an emergent community-based coalition of education organizers, advocates, and activists dedicated to improving education in Southern Nevada by supporting public schools and institutions. Coalesce Clark County believes public schools, colleges, and universities are community institutions and seeks to advance educational equity and social justice in education for Southern Nevada’s diversifying student populations.

Research Study — English Language Learners in Clark County, Nevada: An Analysis of Enrollment, Educational Opportunities, and Outcomes

This research study is a three-way partnership among The Lincy Institute, Clark County School District (CCSD), and Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR) at Brown University. The purpose of this study is to provide the public with an easy-to understand review of the status of K–12 public education in CCSD, with a focus on English language learners (ELL). Since CCSD represents 71 percent of Nevada’s students, 82 percent of its ELL students, and has the second largest percentage of ELL students in the country, a comprehensive review of the district’s enrollment and outcomes for ELL students will support CCSD in its objective to increase both ELL achievement and student achievement overall.

  • Nevada's English Language Learner Population: A Review of Enrollment, Outcomes, and Opportunities
  • Clark County School District's English Language Learners - An Analysis of Enrollment, Educational Opportunities, and Outcomes in Nevada and CCSD
  • On Thursday, December 5th, Carrie Sampson, GA at The Lincy Institute, presented to members of the Leadership Excellence Academy and the Adult Basic Education Director, Nevada Department of Education.