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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


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


Hezel Associates Goes to AEA!

The American Evaluation Association (AEA; www.eval.org) is hosting their annual meeting in Chicago November 9-14! Conference participants will have the opportunity to learn about exemplary evaluations, enabling evaluation environments, evaluation policies, evaluation theories and methods, and research on evaluation from a range of cultures and regions throughout the world. Hezel Associates is proud to be sending three evaluators to this
prestigious conference: Dr. Kirk Knestis, Sarah (Stewart) Singer, and Caitlin Griffin. All three will not only be attending the conference but will also be presenting and contributing.

KK-webDr. Knestis (bio) will be participating in two concurrent sessions. At his first session, he will be presenting a model integrating two crucial functions, often difficult to untangle for grant-funded STEM education projects: research to support iterative development of a program or learning innovation, and external program evaluation to assess implementation and impact of grant-supported activities.

An Integrated R&D and Evaluation Approach for Grant-Funded STEM Education Projects
Session Number: 1746
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Kirk Knestis
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM) CST
Room: Roosevelt

During the second session, he will be part of a panel that features evaluation practitioners sharing theory-driven evaluation science (TDES) successes and lessons learned. The three panelist will each share a story of what, how, and why he/she used TDES and the impact of using TDES. Specifically, Dr. Knestis will describe our team’s work with a complex National Science Foundation STEM learning research & development project.

Theory-Driven Evaluation Science Exemplars: Stories from the Field
Session Number: 2299
Session Chair: Karen Jackson [Custom Evaluation Services]
Discussant: Karen Jackson [Custom Evaluation Services]
Presenter 1: Kirk Knestis [Hezel Associates, LLC]
Presenter 2: Charles H Gasper [TCC Group]
Presenter 3: Veronica S. Smith, MSEE [data2insight LLC]

Stewart-webTime: Nov 13, 2015 (08:00 AM - 09:30 AM) CST

Room: Columbus G

Ms. Singer (bio) and Ms. Griffin (bio) will host a roundtable discussion about the inclusion of return on investment outcomes in evaluation of higher education programs. The goal of this session is to share experiences and resources to assist interested evaluators in expanding their skill set in cost analysis methods.

Return on Investment: Can We Provide a New Perspective for Education Impact Evaluations?
Session Number: 1273

Author or Discussion Group Leader: Caitlin Griffin & Sarah Stewart
Time: Nov 12, 2015 (11:00 AM - 11:45 AM) CST
Room: Stetson A


TCI Featured Evaluator Sarah Stewart Shares Retention-Revenue Calculator

Stewart-webSarah (Stewart) Singer (bio) has been featured in the Transformative Change Initiative’s (TCI) new Featured Evaluator blog. The TCI community of evaluators has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and insights into evaluation of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College Career Training (TAACCCT) grants being implementation throughout the United States. The blog post discusses her development of the Retention-Revenue Calculator, a cost analysis tool for the National STEM Consortium (NSC) Round 1 project.

Click here to learn more: http://goo.gl/fb/03HfFX