Is your program effectively and efficiently accomplishing its goals? Does your grant-funded program meet the expectations of the funding agency? Do you need help collecting, managing, and interpreting data generated by your program? Applied Research Center consultants are well trained in the art of evaluation and the science of data analysis. We work diligently with program owners and stakeholders to identify and answer primary questions in the most helpful and detailed way possible. Your program, organizational practices, and desired outcomes will be strengthened through the program evaluation.
Whether you are in the planning phase of a program or examining an existing program, the ARC can develop an evaluation plan to fit your needs.
What to expect from an ARC Evaluation:
- Adaptive evaluation plans to meet program needs and budget
- Client-focused, collaborative approach to implementation
- Robust systems for data collection that provide training and support at the program level
- In-depth analysis that provides foundation for data-driven decision-making
- Reporting that is clear and easy to understand
- Deliverables that meet the needs of key stakeholders
- Responsiveness and flexibility to meet critical deadlines
- Ability to partner with an array of subject matter experts from the UW-Stout community
Example Evaluation Projects
TAACCCT Round 3: INTERFACE
In 2013, the 16 Wisconsin Technical Colleges received US Department of Labor funding to implement INTERFACE, a strategic alignment focusing on strengthening computer skill competency and expanding pathways in information technology related programs to TAA-eligible, Veteran, and other adult learners. The INTERFACE project brings together the 16 colleges, workforce development organizations, and local businesses to ensure strategic alignment through the education and jobs pipeline.
The ARC serves as the INTERFACE external evaluation team. ARC has designed logic models and implemented mixed methods to access data necessary for grant reporting to the US Department of Labor and INTERFACE leadership. The evaluation team has developed strong stakeholder relationships and has created useful evaluation reports regarding the progress of the complex grant programs and outcomes. The team also provided training and support to local college staff to ensure consistent and efficient data collection.
In the fourth and final year of the evaluation, the ARC will conduct a robust impact analysis using quasi-experimental methods aimed at determining intervention effectiveness and providing evidence for future funding and expanded programming.
Arts Integration Menomonie (AIM)
AIM is a collaboration between UW-Stout, the Menomonie Areas School District and community arts partners. The grant-funded programs are designed to enhance teacher competence, confidence, and wellbeing as well as improve teacher retention. ARC serves as AIM’s external evaluation team by working closely with the lead stakeholders of AIM to gather evidence of effectiveness. The evaluation plan will look at yearly outcomes as well as gather data to look at the impact on participant’s years after they complete. A variety of reports, for different audiences, are created to illustrate the progress and outcomes of AIM for the stakeholders as well as the grant funders at Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies (MACP).
The Cyber Security project is an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) grant-funded project through the National Science Foundation. The Cyber Security project is aimed at establishing a training pipeline in Ohio to increase the number of Cyber Security professionals available for employment in both the private and public sector. The ARC is working closely with Columbus State Community College as the third-party evaluator for the project. A summative evaluation is being conducted to determine whether the overall pipeline goal is met across the three-year grant period. Also, a formative evaluation is being conducted to help Columbus State develop and implement an Associate of Applied Science degree, Cyber Security certificates, and articulation agreements. Second, Columbus State is strengthening the first stage of the pipeline model by developing and implementing an educational workshop for high school teachers.