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Knestis Panelist at NSF AISL PI Meeting

Hezel Associates' CEO, Kirk Knestis, will be a panelist for a session at the National Science Foundation's 2016 meeting for principal investigators and program officers working in the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program. This technical assistance session, Evaluation in Informal STEM Education: Ask An Evaluator, will give participants an opportunity to ask questions of a panel of four evaluators experienced in informal STEM learning programs and settings.

This group, led by facilitator Kirsten Ellenbogen, co-Principal Investigator of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education, will reflect on their experiences (good and bad!) to address questions about a range of topics, including measuring the impact of brief learning experiences, distinctions between research and evaluation in NSF projects, and new approaches to measuring learning outcomes for out-of-school STEM learning audiences. The session will take place February 29th at 4:30 pm and anyone attending the meeting is invited to participate.

 

Five-Year Teacher Preparation Grant Evaluation

Hezel Associates finished a five-year external evaluation for SUNY Cortland’s 325T grant, funded through the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (US ED OSEP). The Inclusion Matters: Partnering for Authentic Change in Teaching (IM:PACT) project resulted in a new dual certification teacher preparation program, Inclusive Childhood Education, which prepares teachers to educate elementary students with disabilities.

Hezel Associates interfaced with the dean of the School of Education and faculty in the Childhood/Early Childhood Education and Foundations and Social Advocacy Departments. The faculty benefited from receiving formative evaluation reports and assistance with annual performance reporting to the US ED OSEP. Hezel Associates prepared and analyzed questionnaires for use with teacher candidates, faculty, and school field partners. Each year, the instruments changed to coincide with the stages of project development.

Learn more about the program here: SUNY Cortland Project Narrative

 

Hardy Website Honored By NILOA

The Academic Assessment website developed by Hezel Associates’ Senior Research Associate, Assunta Hardy, PhD in her previous role as Director at Dixie State University has been nationally recognized by NILOAthe National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), and is currently featured on the NILOA website. 

The NILOA Featured Website is a service intended to point other institutions to promising practices in innovative and transparent online communication of student learning outcomes assessment. The selection criteria for determining a featured student learning outcomes assessment website include:

Communication. The website clearly presents information on student learning outcomes assessment and/or results to multiple or specific internal and/or external audiences using layperson’s language and contextualized examples. Information is found on multiple pages across the website, updated regularly and easy to access and navigate via links or search engines. In addition, the site provides explanation or examples of the use of student learning outcomes assessment.

Creativity. The website communicates information on student learning outcomes assessment and/or results in new and innovative ways including integration of multiple measures and use of alternative media such as videos, interactive graphs, or data displays.

Centralized Assessment Repository. The website stores or provides links to assessment information in one central location. To be considered, the site should include one or more of the NILOA Transparency Framework’s six components:
     • Student Learning Outcomes Statements
     • Assessment Plans
     • Assessment Resources
     • Current Assessment Activities
     • Evidence of Student Learning
     • Use of Student Learning Evidence

Dixie State University’s Academic Assessment website was chosen in the Communication and Centralized Assessment Repository category.

Well done, Assunta! Check out the NILOA announcement here: http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/FeaturedWebsiteCurrent.html

 

Hezel Associates Gives Back 2015

The Hezel Associates team recently volunteered at the Rescue Mission of Syracuse during one of our community outreach efforts. We were able to divide our team to help in both the Food Service Center and Clothing Outreach Store. In the Food Center we helped prepare meals and in the Clothing Store we sorted and organized merchandise for resale. 

Happy Holidays from all of us at Hezel Associates!

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Hezel Associates Partners with Graduate NYC! for College Access and Success Mapping Project

Graduate NYC!, an initiative to increase college readiness and success of students in the New York City area, plans to launch the NYC College Access & Success Mapping Project in the fall of 2016. This project will enable stakeholders to search an interactive website of services available in the NYC college access and success community. Hezel Associates and subcontracted partner, Carson Research Consulting (CRC), will collect data from providers of such services and develop a searchable web data system, which will include mapping as a data output feature. Hezel Associates will develop and administer an online questionnaire to obtain data for the web-based system. CRC will use these data to design and build a database, organizing opportunities by region and other factors of interest to stakeholders. The team will also build the user interface to facilitate visualization of the data. The final product will enable Graduate NYC! to release a comprehensive, searchable directory of services, to support student college readiness, matriculation, and degree attainment in the spring of 2016.

Click here to learn more: http://tiny.cc/ersb7x

 

Funding for Environmental Education Available

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) just released its 2016 Environmental Literacy Grant opportunity. The funding is intended for innovative projects that “strengthen the public’s and/or K-12 students’ environmental literacy to enable informed decision-making necessary for community resilience to extreme weather events and other environmental hazards.” The opportunity requires an evaluator to examine the outcomes of each project, in terms of the attitudes, knowledge, skills, and behaviors of the target audience. Hezel Associates is available to apply our existing STEM education evaluation expertise to these projects. Please contact us if you are looking for an evaluator. NOAA will be sure to get several exciting environmental education proposals, we hope to be a part of these efforts!

 

Hezel Associates Evaluates Noyce Northeast Regional Conferences

SUNY Cortland, in conjunction with Drexel University and the University of Massachusetts Boston, organized and hosted three annual conferences for Noyce Scholars, Fellows, and faculty in the Northeast region. The conferences were designed to bring together individuals participating in the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which is an NSF-funded program designed to encourage talented science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors to become K-12 teachers.

The Noyce Northeast Regional Conferences, held in 2013, 2014, and 2015, focused on providing a platform for pre- and in-service teachers to learn about best practices in STEM teaching methods and develop STEM content knowledge. Themes allowed for discussion of specific theme-related content, while also offering general STEM teaching professional development.

Evaluation occurred at the time of each event, and explored attendees’ attitudes toward and perceptions of their experience. These data were useful for understanding immediate outcomes; however, no longer-term information was collected. This current study, being conducted by Hezel Associates, is designed to collect new data from participants, as well as integrate previously collected evaluation data into the analysis.

 

Conclusion of NSC Marks End of TAACCCT Round 1 Grant

The first round of US Department of Labor (USDOL) Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) projects recently came to an end. Hezel Associates served as the Round 1 external evaluator for the National STEM Consortium (NSC). This 10-community college, nine-state partnership developed five 1-year certificate programs in STEM fields: (a) Composites, (b) Cyber Technology, (c) Electric Vehicle Technology, (d) Environmental Technology, and (e) Mechatronics. Based on evaluation findings, this project was overwhelmingly successful, with over 1,300 participants (some still enrolled) and over 600 completers. Student program retention (approximately 82%) was typically much greater than the average for each institution. Student employment after completing a program has also been high; some program coordinators cited 70-100% placement!

Hezel Associates’ evaluation activities helped to inform program coordinators of progress and perceptions of grant stakeholders, such as students and employer partners. Our frequent feedback provided NSC with the knowledge to make adjustments as necessary and to recognize what was working well. Our work culminated in three useful products, available on Skills Commons, the USDOL repository for all TAACCCT curricula and supporting materials:

1. A comprehensive evaluation report. This discusses NSC’s entire project and the evaluation findings from all four project years.
2. A report on the NSC educational model. This is a summary of further research, conducted by Hezel Associates, into specific components of programs, including (a) block scheduling, (b) cohort enrollment, (c) compressed program schedule, (d) employer linkages, (e) hybrid delivery, (f) navigator services (one-on-one program-specific advising), and (g) contextualized online remediation coursework.
3. Retention-Revenue Calculator. A cost analysis tool that can show the relation between student retention and tuition revenue for an institution. This has allowed program coordinators to make the case that the programs could be sustained or scaled up when talking to administrators at their institutions. This tool is an Excel spreadsheet, with instructions and color-coding to help anyone use it.

The NSC has made considerable contributions to STEM training in community colleges, and Hezel Associates is grateful to have had the opportunity to help tell their story.

Read Hezel Associates' comprehensive evaluation report here: pdfHezelAssoc_NSCFinalEvaluationReport.pdf