The CREST program has prepared scholars who are fully equipped for interdisciplinary research and evaluation of K-20 policy interventions and associated programs, using sophisticated mixed-methods designs built upon cutting edge quantitative and qualitative methodologies. As an interdisciplinary graduate program, seventeen CREST-affiliated faculty come from six different departments (Educational Psychology, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, Evans School of Public Affairs, Sociology, Economics, and Social Work).

The Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy (CTP) within the UW College of Education administered the CREST program. Over the five year period of the grant, CREST trained 25 doctoral students to meaningfully integrate well-executed quantitative research with rigorous qualitative methods.

CREST scholars  have produced policy research informing the K-20 educational enterprise that uses both qualitative and quantitative research methods strategically to motivate, elaborate, validate, and triangulate quantitative results, as well as to explain and explore the meaning and policy import of these results. A unique emphasis of the program is the study and evaluation of policies and programs that affect struggling learners within and across levels of the system (e. g., especially in high school and postsecondary institutions and at the points of transition between them). CREST fellows completed core and elective coursework in K-20 education policy analysis and quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research methodologies; engaged in research apprenticeships and mentoring from the outset; participated in an integrative proseminar throughout their training; received ongoing advising and progress monitoring from the faculty; and contributed to national scholarly conversations through published dissertations, conference participation, journal reviewing, and other activities.