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Past Projects

Examples of past evaluation, research, and planning work conducted by Hezel Associates are shared on this page.

CUNY Brooklyn College NSF Faculty Early Career Development Evaluation (2013-2015)

CUNY Brooklyn College (www.brooklyn.cuny.edu) received funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development program to pursue a research and education study that focuses on formal-informal collaborations and activities for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) teacher
Brookllyn College Logo education. This project, entitled Informal Learning Environments and Teacher Education (ILETE) in STEM, is under the leadership of Principal Investigator (PI) Jennifer Adams, PhD, and explores the integration and effects of informal learning environments (ILEs) on classroom teaching, and ultimately determine best practices for using ILE in science education. 

Hezel Associates, in collaboration with CUNY Brooklyn College, designed an external evaluation to provide formative feedback to the PI regarding the progression of the project, the quality of the research design, and to assure that the intended project activities are completed as intended. Data collection methods, such as project document review and exploratory interviews with the PI, aided in gathering information to determine extent and quality of implementation of the research. These data were analyzed against a preordinate scheme that compared findings to specified evaluation questions. The Hezel Associates team also served as expert reviewers by assessing the PI’s research quality as related to the project’s research questions. To accomplish this, the evaluation team reviewed program documents and data generated to ensure research methods were appropriate to study design. Formative summaries were provided to the PI each year to inform ongoing research and to generate consideration of any necessary improvements.

 

Literacy Coalition of Oswego County Needs Assessment (2014)

The Literacy Coalition of Oswego County consists of more than 36 local organizations literacyheaderproviding services to improve literacy. Organizations within the coalition serve literacy needs of all ages and areas including basic, workforce, computer, health, and financial literacy. Strong literacy skills are essential for overcoming civic, social, and economic challenges faces by individuals and families in Oswego County where up to 17,000 individuals function at the lowest level of literacy. The Coalition contracted Hezel Associates to conduct a needs assessment in order to identify barriers to services and best practices in community literacy programs.

Throughout this engagement Hezel Associates used a needs assessment framework in order to identify current needs, what the desired conditions would look like, and where there are discrepancies between the two. Hezel Associates collected data through literature reviews, document reviews, and interviews with local agency representatives. This needs assessment focused on family literacy and the literacy skills necessary for employment. Through this research, Hezel Associates outlined current literacy services provided in Oswego County, evidence-based strategies and interventions, barriers to increasing literacy in Oswego County, and recommendations for effectively addressing these barriers through interventions or resources.

 

Delaware Technical Community College TAACCCT (Round 1) Evaluation (2014 - 2015)

Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) is a 2-year institution of higher education consisting of four campuses across the state of Delaware (Dover, Georgetown, Stanton, and Wilmington). In September 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) awarded DTCC a Round 1 TAACCCT grant. The project focused on six DTCCprograms of study: Renewable Energy Solar degree, Information Security degree, Aviation Powerplant Maintenance certificate, Sustainable Landscaping certificate, Energy Efficient Manufacturing certificate, and Electronic Health Records certificate. Other grant activities included establishing an Accelerated Learning Program, two computer lab-based math courses, a remedial math course, a Learning Communities framework, a Delaware workforce development Center for Excellence, and an online portal for an Open Course Ware online repository.

Hezel Associates served as external evaluator for this Round 1 TAACCCT project, conducting a retrospective evaluation of the implementation and impact of program strategies and performance measures. The evaluation plan developed by Hezel Associates addressed nine main research questions. These questions were answered through a mixed-methods evaluation approach. Hezel Associates developed and implemented two instruments for this evaluation: a staff interview protocol and a document review framework. Hezel Associates analyzed extant data collected by DTCC to address the impact of the project on program completion, appropriate data on employment and earnings were not made available from the Delaware State Department of Labor. Data from all sources were analyzed and synthesized to provide DTCC project staff with a better understanding of the implementation and impact of the TAACCCT Round 1 project. This study was administered April 2014 through September 2015.

 

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.

 

University System of Georgia Multi-State Grant Evaluation (2014)

In 2014, the University System of Georgia (www.usg.edu) hired Hezel Associates for a four-month summative evaluation to assess its six-month grant activities and outcomes for a Multi-State New Models Engagement: Building Momentum project in 2013, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.USG

In order to address research questions regarding implementation, impacts, and next steps for the project, Hezel Associates selected document review and telephone interviews with project participants (primarily higher education leaders spanning nine states) involved in the two-phase project of convening and forming three work groups.

A single report provided the University System of Georgia and Gates Foundation with answers to its research questions and provided information to guide future directions for the project. The University System reported satisfaction with Hezel Associates work performance and utility of the report.