Katherine Shields

Email Katherine Shields

Katherine Shields
Research Associate II

Mailing Address: 

43 Foundry Avenue
Waltham, Massachusetts 02453



Katherine Shields has extensive experience in research, evaluation, and program design for youth and adult education programs. Her research interests include college and career readiness, college access and persistence, and postsecondary developmental education, with a methodological focus on multilevel modeling and psychometrics.  

Shields contributes quantitative research and methodological expertise to the REL Northeast & Islands and other activities of the Learning and Teaching Division. Recently, she led a study of kindergarten entry assessments and student outcomes for the REL-NEI’s Early Childhood Education Research Alliance. In addition, she works with the Providence Public Schools as part of an Institute of Education Sciences Researcher-Practitioner Partnership grant to study longitudinal patterns of achievement among English learner students.

Shields is the lead author of the article "Remedial Education and Completing College: Exploring Differences by Credential and Institutional Level" (The Journal of Higher Education) and the research report How Kindergarten Entry Assessments Are Used in Public Schools and How They Correlate with Spring Assessments. She regularly presents her findings at the annual conferences of national organizations such as the American Educational Research Association, the Annual Association for Education Finance and Policy Conference, and the Society for Research in Child Development.

Before joining EDC, Shields served as an evaluator for Massachusetts statewide youth and adult workforce development initiatives. Her prior experience also includes conducting evaluations for National Science Foundation-funded STEM grants and K-12 student support programs, and developing adult professional training curricula in the U.S., Africa, and Asia. 

Shields received a BA from Harvard University, an EdM in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in Educational Research, Measurement, and Evaluation from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.