Erin Stafford

Email Erin Stafford

Erin Stafford
Senior Research Associate

Mailing Address: 

770 N. Halsted Street, Suite 205
Chicago, IL  60642



Erin Stafford has extensive experience working directly with formal and informal education practitioners and nonprofit professionals to design, refine, and evaluate education curricula, interventions, and professional development experiences. Stafford currently leads the evaluation efforts on the Home Visiting Improvement Action Center (HV-ImpACT), funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the evaluation of Maker/STEM Education Support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, funded by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS). She is also helping to lead a Low-Cost, Short-Duration Randomized Control Trial in Michigan, “The Impact of an Orientation Course on Online Students' Completion Rates, funded by the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES).

With expertise in virtual learning, out-of-school time, informal education and STEM, Stafford has worked with various federal, state and municipal agencies as well as foundations, museums, schools and community organizations to answer their questions of policy and practice. Past experience includes serving as the analytic technical assistance manager for the REL Northeast & Islands at EDC. In that role, she guided practitioners in setting research agendas, helped build the capacity of state- and district-level practitioners to use data in their practice, and assisted school and district teams in incorporating continuous improvement processes into their decision-making. In her role as a researcher for both REL Northeast & Islands and REL Midwest, Stafford facilitated a research/practitioner alliance on virtual education and managed survey development projects, data collection efforts, and prototype and usability testing.

Stafford coauthored three IES publications on virtual education: Professional Experiences of Online Teachers: Training and Challenges, Online Course Use in Iowa and Wisconsin Public High Schools: Results of Two Statewide Surveys, and An Analysis of Student Engagement Patterns and Online Course Outcomes in Wisconsin. In addition, Stafford is the coauthor of a three-part IES series on survey methods for education practitioners and an article for the Journal of Online Learning Research, “Training for Online Teachers to Support Student Success: Themes from a Survey Administered to Teachers in Four Online Learning Programs.”

Before joining EDC, Stafford served as manager of research, evaluation and assessment for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, and as an evaluator at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Stafford received her BA in Psychology and Religious Studies from Washington University in St. Louis. She has an MA in Social and Cultural Foundations in Education from DePaul University.