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Past Projects

Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Professional Development (2012 - 2014)

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) (www.wcs.org), through the Bronx Zoo, contracted Hezel Associates as a consultant in an internal initiative to build the capacity of its education staff to undertake WCSprogram evaluation and research projects. As a provider of informal science learning opportunities and professional development (PD) programs for educators, WCS committed to improving their ability to collect and analyze data, deliver programs, and test the efficacy of their programs and innovations. Hezel Associates was responsible for identifying aspects of WCS’s current practice and supporting WCS staff as they developed new protocols, instruments, technology, systems, procedures and practices, and standards of quality assurance.

Hezel Associates began this consulting work by observing current practices, facilitating an agenda-building process, and creating a list of 13 recommendations to guide WCS staff decisions. These recommendations included developing “common measure” instruments to be applied across program offerings; improving program documentation; increasing standardization of data collected from PD deliveries, participants, and outcome measures; developing data-collection and storage technical solutions; and developing a unique identification system for participants and teachers. Hezel Associates played a large role in the development of two instruments measuring teacher attitudes and quality of delivery. The instrument development process included reliability and validity testing through expert content reviews and initial piloting. Hezel Associates assisted WCS staff in executing a number of the original 13 recommendations as well as with additional activities that arose from this project work, such as improving the quality of content assessments across all PD courses. Through the consultant role, Hezel Associates aimed to improve the internal knowledge and ability of the WCS PD evaluation staff to give them the opportunity to pursue these practices and remaining recommendations on their own.