"It's easy to make judgments.....that's evaluation.
It's easy to ask questions about impact....that's evaluation.
It's easy to disseminate reports....that's evaluation.
What's hard is to put all those pieces together in a meaningful whole
which tells people something they want to know and can use about a matter of importance.
Evaluation is critical to future program success, in that it shows districts what worked, what didn’t work, what participants thought about the program, and what objectives were accomplished. Schools can then use the results of program evaluation to make informed decisions about continuation and alteration of existing and future programs.
What is Program Evaluation?
- Program evaluation is a process designed to determine the quality and effectiveness of a particular program. Most program evaluations include both formative and summative components.
- Formative program evaluation generates information used to guide decision-making about a program’s desirability, feasibility, fidelity, and soundness in producing desired results.
- Summative program evaluation involves the collection of data necessary for judging the ultimate success of a program.
Benefits of Program Evaluation
- Strengthens program design by clearly articulating shared goals and objectives
- Facilitates informed decision-making about improving the quality of a program
- Contributes to making constructive changes to enhance program effectiveness
- Helps identify and celebrate successes when desired outcomes are achieved
- Reinforces the link between school-wide program strategies and student outcomes
* Adapted from “Evaluating Whole-School Reform Efforts: A Guide for District and School Staff," Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, August 2000.
Program Monitoring & Evaluation
Every school wants to know if its programs are having an impact. Program evaluation is the process by which schools examine program quality and effectiveness. Our Evaluation Specialists conduct evaluations of programs on the district/local, consortium, and state levels for improving programs and fulfilling reporting requirements. This process may include documenting program implementation, conducting site visits, collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, preparing final evaluation reports, and making recommendations for program improvement.
Funding agencies often require grant applicants to provide a plan for evaluating a program
so that the funder knows what outcome resulted from its funding, and whether the recipient
achieved its goals and objectives. Our Evaluation Specialists design individualized evaluation
plans and narratives for schools applying for funding. We work with the school to craft an
efficient plan that meets both the funder’s and school’s needs.
An important part of grants and program evaluation is the appropriate use of data.
Demographics, assessment data, and survey results all play key roles in demonstrating
accountability. Our grant and evaluation specialists design surveys, instruments, and systems
to assist schools in collecting and analyzing relevant data for developing needs statements,
proving program results, understanding student achievement, and making decisions about
Evaluating AIU Programs
AIU Evaluation Specialists can even conduct impartial third-party evaluations for internal customers. An unbiased position in the evaluation process can be maintained because evaluators are not involved in implementation of any projects they evaluate. This is especially beneficial for AIU programs, as it is less expensive to contract internally for evaluation services, than with an outside vendor.
Want More Information?
For more information on evaluation, contact Yolanda Yugar.