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CEO Knestis Presenting at Evaluation 2016

Hezel Associates CEO Kirk Knestis PhD will be co-presenting a round table session at Evaluation 2016, the annual conference of the American Evaluation Association, taking place October 24-29 in Atlanta, Georgia. His session, Designing Evaluations for State and Federal Program Grants, will be led by Jessica Weitzel, Director of Evaluation for Via Evaluation (Buffalo, NY). Topics for the participatory discussion will address the challenges that small firms and independent consultants often encounter when designing evaluations for grant applications that focus on securing program funding—designing evaluation studies simultaneous to program design and proposal writing; working with program staff with limited understanding of evaluation; being responsive to application evaluation requirements while still meeting client needs; and ethical and practical implications of supporting this type of evaluation planning. Their round table session (#1489 in the program) is part of the conference’s Independent Consulting track, and is scheduled for Thursday, October 27, 11:00-11:45 AM, in Room A601.

Wildlife Conservation Society Releases Results of its Bridging the Gap Program

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a global organization headquartered at the Bronx Zoo, recently completed a 3-year program to increase awareness of and motivation to pursue zoo and conservation careers among local high school students. Bridging the Gap, funded by the National Science Foundation, included hands-on experiences at four NYC zoos and the New York Aquarium, and consisted of School-to-Career workshops, Career Building weekends, parent events, internships, and community mentoring with zoo staff. WCS recruited 150 students, most of whom self-identified as being Hispanic or African American, over the course of the three years.

Hezel Associates partnered with WCS to help examine the potential impact the programming had on the 150 students who attended. Highlights, found here, indicate that overall, the program increased students’ interest in STEM careers, helped them gain confidence in preparing to attend college, and improved their knowledge of wildlife sciences.

A colorful booklet, featuring participating student stories, can be found here. Hezel Associates’ final report is available here.

Knestis Presenting at NCURA

Hezel Associates CEO, Kirk Knestis, is presenting this week with two grant-writing and evaluation colleagues at the 2016 Pre-award Research Administration Conference of the National Council of KK-webUniversity Research Administrators (NCURA) in New Orleans. Their concurrent session, titled Proposal Preparation and Evaluation Planning: Key Considerations for Successful Integration, will share an overview of Hezel Associates’ time-tested approaches to coordinate research and evaluation design and content into proposals for grant-funded programs. Topics will include research conception; relationships of theory to proposed evaluation plans; data collection and analysis; and clarifying roles, responsibilities, and qualifications for proposal partners.

The session is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, at 10:15am.
Click here to view the program: http://www.ncura.edu/Portals/3/PRA%202016/PRApreliminary.pdf


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!









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


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