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Current Projects

We go beyond our technical skills as researchers and methodologists and work to truly understand your specific needs. With that in mind, our studies provide the necessary data and recommendations that drive change, efficiency and improvements. Explore our list of current projects to see what Hezel Associates' experts have been working on.


Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) - NSF STEP-UP Evaluation (2013-2018)

Under a National Science Foundation (NSF) (www.nsf.gov) grant, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) (www.siue.edu) implemented the STEP-UP project with five objectives toSIUE increase enrollment and improve retention for engineering students.  Specific objectives include: increase the retention rate of freshman and sophomores by improving their chances of success in mathematics courses; implement a successful student tracking program to better monitor progress of students enrollment in specifics mathematics courses; engage students to the engineering community as early as possible by means of mentoring and various other activities; encourage eligible student to declare an engineering major; and increase the number of engineering graduates. Hezel Associates will conduct a mixed-method external evaluation on both the quality of implementation and the impact of the project. 

Hezel Associates evaluation will answer the summative research question: “How effective are the specific implementation strategies being applied to improve retention and graduation rates of engineering students at SIUE”, as well as the formative research question: “How might those implementations be improved?”  Following current theoretical understandings of the retention of students in sciences and engineering programs, the focus of this evaluation will be on self-efficacy.  Data collection will be done by the client using predetermined assessment tools.  Through this evaluation Hezel Associates will be able to identify the progress of the STEP-UP project. The evaluation plan will incorporate a measure of the success in meeting objective goals as well as the quality of implementation, and therefore opportunities for improvement.


Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) - NSF ITEST Evaluation (2011 - 2016)

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) (www.siue.edu) retained Hezel Associates (Syracuse, NY) to serve as external evaluator of the National Science Foundation (NSF) project entitled Collaborative SIUEResearch: Maximizing Mentor Effectiveness in Increasing Student Interest and Success In STEM: An Empirical Approach Employing Robotics Competitions. This collaborative research project, funded under the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, is being managed by SIUE.

It is the intention of SIUE and their partners at the University of Southern California (USC) to produce empirical findings and research tools likely to build knowledge of STEM education interventions and mentoring strategies to increase students’ self-efficacy and interest in STEM careers. Hezel Associates’ external evaluation applies an independent expert review panel approach on key questions regarding the team’s study design, implementation, findings, and reports. Panels are comprised of three methodological experts and Hezel Associates Director of Research and Evaluation, Kirk Knestis, PhD, who serves as the fourth panelist and facilitator. Panels are held quarterly over the three-year project. It is the responsibility of Hezel Associates to ensure SIUE and their research partners are receiving quality evaluation and documentation of their study design, implementation, and assessment.

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville received an extension to their NSF ITEST project in the summer of 2014 and engaged Hezel Associates to continue their evaluation and consulting for an additional two years.