Nitya Venkateswaran, an associate with RTI’s Center for Evaluation and the Study of Educational Equity, conducts research on initiatives and practices at all levels of education, from K-12 to postsecondary. Dr. Venkateswaran takes a social justice lens with her research, and is committed to addressing structural inequities that systematically marginalize groups across dimensions of race, class, and gender. She takes a collaborative approach to evaluation that elevates stakeholders’ voices and ensures that processes and findings have immediate value for program implementers.
With expertise in program evaluation, qualitative and quantitative methods, and multi-site studies, she has worked with a wide range of local, federal, and private foundation clients. Dr. Venkateswaran’s K-12 projects include a national evaluation of a nationwide program that supports voluntary home visits that aims to deepen relationships between students, teachers and families. Also in the K-12 space, she is involved with the evaluation of Race to the Top Consortium District award, a collective impact initiative that aims to close achievement and opportunity gaps in South Seattle’s highest-need elementary, middle, and high schools. She has directed an evaluation of a statewide pilot of the implementation of a teacher candidates’ performance assessment, called edTPA, in seven teacher educator preparation programs in Connecticut. Some of her ongoing projects in post-secondary education include evaluating services to students with disabilities and efforts to improve workforce development education programs in Montana community colleges.
Before joining RTI in 2015, Dr. Venkateswaran worked at several non-profit organizations dedicated to serving youth in communities of color. She is a member of the American Educational Research Association.