Improving Your Program
Most people who hear the phrase "program evaluation", refering to their program (if they know what "program evaluation means!), have an immediate negative reaction.
They become afraid. Or angry. Evaluation, to them, means "judgement" or "criticism". Maybe a bad performance review.
It doesn't have to be!
The evaluative process uses scientific methods developed in the fields of psychology and sociology to find what is true. The results, even if not encouraging, can be possitive.
In business, especially the tech field, "R&D" is a big deal. Companies research and develop new products. Sometimes (usually) their first try does not work. They don't
fire the engineers! They learn from the failure and make changes. They know what to change because they used scientific methods to test their ideas. The results of their studies show them
where the first idea was wrong and what to try to change.
The same process can be used in education. Even nationally distributed programs do not fit perfectly into every school. They need to be tweeked. When your Gear Up program
doesn't produce the results you want, how do you know what to change? Do you guess? Maybe you have an ESL/ELL program for middle-school students who have plateaued after years in your school
system. But these students improve only slightly. Do you make a wild stab at what should be changed? Or do you have solid experimental evidence of where the problem is?
Community Empowerment Research has the expertise and experience to help you set up reliable and accurate research on your program so that your results can
be accurately used to improve your program.
We also help school districts articulate the details of their program model. Schools rarely write out a detailed program model, but it is essential both to see what makes the program work
and where changes might be best made. Foundations also like program models as having one shows that you know what you are doing and have thought it through carefully. A program model can greatly
improve a grant request.