Jennifer Acosta is a survey analyst with more than six years of experience leading tasks on large-scale, longitudinal data collection in early childhood.
Acosta has led and supported activities for the Home Based Child Care Supply and Quality project, the 2017 Early Head Start Family and Child Experiences Study, the long-term follow-up phase of the Mother and Infant Home Visiting Program Evaluation, and the Harlem Children's Zone Longitudinal Study.
Acosta has extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods and analysis, critical participatory action research, and survey methods and operations. Acosta is passionate about equitable and participatory research methodologies and learning about ways to support families and improve access to high-quality learning environments for young children from ethnically and racially diverse backgrounds, including those whose families have low incomes. Acosta’s lived experience as a first-generation Latinx immigrant who grew up in a Spanish-speaking household and attended Head Start and Title I public schools informs her passion for research practices that meaningfully include and amplify community voices.
During her time in graduate school as a Saul Zaentz Early Education Fellow, Acosta analyzed and presented on child assessment and parent survey data from the Early Learning Study at Harvard. She also worked with youth co-researchers through the City of Somerville’s Department of Racial and Social Justice to collaboratively design, execute, and present on a study of student experiences of gentrification in Somerville, Massachusetts. Before joining Mathematica, Acosta served as a project manager for Baby Books 2, an early literacy intervention study at the University of Maryland College Park. Using a randomized control trial, the study focused on ethnically and racially diverse first-time parents and their literacy practices with their infants.
Acosta holds an Ed.M. in human development and education with a concentration in early childhood from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.