What We Do

RP Group's mission, vision, and strategic framework.

Who We Are

The RP Group strengthens the abilities of California community colleges to gather, analyze and act on information in order to strengthen student success. Grounded in our roots as a professional association for researchers and planners, the RP Group provides research, evaluation, professional development, and technical assistance services that support evidence-based decision-making and inquiry.

Because our work is defined and conducted by community college practitioners, we provide a unique, on-the ground perspective on complex issues within the California community college system. This approach has enabled us to take a leadership role in issues such as shaping statewide accountability reporting, disseminating successful strategies for under-prepared students, and improving implementation of student learning outcomes.

The RP Group, a non-partisan nonprofit, is supported by foundation grants, research and evaluation contracts, and membership dues.

What We Do

A core strategy for strengthening the use of information is to expand the definition of research in the minds of practitioners, funders, and evaluators. We apply a collaborative, action-oriented approach. In order for data to inform improvement, researchers must work in partnership with faculty, staff, and administrators to define research questions, interpret this evidence and determine appropriate action steps.

We work both from the bottom up and top down, bolstering college-level efforts as well as offering insights that can yield system-wide transformation. We utilize two primary types of activities: 1) research and evaluation projects that offer insight into how structures and practices can be changed to meaningfully advance student success and 2) professional development and technical assistance that strengthens the ability of individuals and colleges to use information.

Research and Evaluation

Our work is defined and conducted by community college practitioners and emphasizes student perspectives, thus providing a unique, on-the-ground perspective for complex issues within the California community college system. We take an action-oriented research approach that includes discussing research findings with the field and facilitating conversations about what should be done in light of these insights. Our key research topics include measuring student success, student pathways, basic skills reform, and equity.

Professional Development and Technical Assistance

We actively facilitate efforts that allow practitioners to engage research findings, build skills, and share information about innovation at work within the California community college system. These opportunities include large statewide conferences, multi-day institutes, regional networks, college- or program-based support, and internet-based resources.