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Past Projects

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

Madison Area Technical College (MATC) NSF Informal Science Education Program Evaluation: Fusion Science Theater (2011 - 2013)

Madison Area Technical College (madisoncollege.edu) engaged Hezel Associates to provide an external evaluation of its National Science Foundation (NSF) Informal Science Educational (ISE) research project. The Hezel team is charged with providing feedback in terms of the scientific validity and quality of the internal evaluation, to help the Principal Investigator (PI) make program-improvement decisions and meet performance reporting requirements established by the NSF.

This independent evaluation examines data and products generated by the internal evaluator (e.g., descriptive statistics, graphic data outputs, and project annual reports), in order to gauge the quality and rigor of efforts by the PI and internal evaluator to test the effectiveness of an innovative model that uses drama to science concepts to teach young children. The approach that is at the core of this 2-year research and development effort includes workshops to train performers to do the educational “SCI Shows;” the Distance Performance Training Program, a program to deliver those workshops remotely; and methods workshops for educators. The project also includes a comprehensive recruiting and dissemination plan.

The internal evaluator is applying paper-pencil instruments (e.g., a simple “ballot-style” paper assessment of science learning) to measure affective and cognitive outcomes among performers, educators, and young child audience members. The internal evaluator and PI are responsible for reporting to their NSF program officer, while Hezel Associates has been tasked with developing and delivering year-end reports to the project team.


NYCDOE Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) Evaluation (2012 - 2013)

The Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI) project focused on improving literacy of New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE) (schools.nyc.gov) middle school students by incorporating the Five Pillars of the MSQI program into middle school practices: (1) Using the Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) literacy assessment to determine students’ instructional needs; (2) Providing reading instruction in a small group format to enhance learning; (3) Implementing robust literacy instruction that incorporates reading, writing, listening, and speaking strategies into core content subjects; (4) Fostering collaboration between middle school teachers through teaming activities focused on instructional approaches; and (5) Promoting continuous team training and leadership through professional development. Hezel Associates, LLC was contracted by the NYCDOE to act as third party evaluators for this project.

The evaluation plan developed by Hezel Associates addressed five main research questions. These questions were answered through a mixed-method evaluation approach. Hezel Associates developed and implemented four instruments for this evaluation: an educator questionnaire, a teacher group-interview protocol, an administrator interview protocol, and a site-visit classroom observation protocol. Hezel Associates also used extant data collected by the NYCDOE from the multiple administrations of the DRP assessment to assess student progress in literacy resulting from the MSQI program. Data from all sources was analyzed and synthesized in order to provide NYCDOE with a better understanding of the strengths and potential areas for improvement of this program.


SUNY ESF H1B DOL Assessment (2012 - 2013)

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) (www.esf.edu) was awarded a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) grant through the Employment and Training Administration H-1B Technical SUNYESFSkills Training program: Enhancing American Jobs and Global Competitiveness: A collaborative Initiative in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing. With this funding, SUNY ESF established a graduate certificate program in Radiation Curing of Polymer Technologies, which will serve professionals and graduate students wishing to pursue documented graduate-level study, but who may not be interested in attending a traditional graduate degree program. This certificate program is complementary to the Institute for Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing (ISMM) program at SUNY ESF, which prepares students to work with sustainable materials and manufacturing, a vital and growing sector in the U.S. economy. SUNY ESF contracted with Hezel Associates on a consulting basis to aid in the evaluation and assessment of this new certificate program.

As part of this consultation, Hezel Associates collected, analyzed, and reported on a program needs assessment for the online radiation curing credit courses, overall project outcomes, and DOL required participant-level data. Hezel Associates developed quality assessment protocols and execution plans for the online course sequence focusing on effectiveness of learning outcomes, instructor participant efficiency, and participant satisfaction with the program. As a consultant, Hezel Associates provided SUNY ESF with a program needs assessment providing insight into the success of this new certificate offering.


NYCDOE Office of Achievement Resources (OAR) CFI Focus Group Study (2013)

 The NYCDOE’s Office of Achievement Resources (OAR) (schools.nyc.gov) sponsors the Children’s First Initiative (CFI) professional development for network Achievement Coaches in New York City Schools. The coaches receive the CFI professional development to provide them with the knowledge and resources they need to provide mentoring, guidance, and support to NYC educators as they work in collaborative teams to use data to improve instructional practice and increase student achievement. The NYCDOE OAR contracted Hezel Associates to conduct focus groups of the network Achievement Coaches who participated in OAR professional development during the 2012-2013 school year.

Through the implementation of focus groups with 20 coaches and the analysis of these data, Hezel Associates researchers provided OAR staff with research findings to help them formatively evaluate the effectiveness of professional development offered to the coaches in terms of their working relationships with educators and their impact on teaching practice. OAR staff used these findings to inform the creation of future professional development models, in hopes of improving coaches work with educators in schools and, ultimately, to improve instruction in classrooms.


CUNY Medgar Evers College - Advancing the Spirit of Transformation, Realizing Dreams – Strategic Planning (2011-12)

Medgar Evers College (www.mec.cuny.edu/) is a historically Black undergraduate institution within the City University of New York (CUNY) system.  Recognized as one of the most vibrant, student-centered campuses within CUNY, the College fosters an intellectual atmosphere based on open-minded inquiry, collegiate discourse, and a passion for learning.  The College makes a commitment to intellectual growth and personal development by providing academic programs that enable students to pursue their academic and professional goals.  Faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized and offer innovative curricula in traditional classroom settings as well as online learning platforms.  In an effort to provide continuous assessment, innovation, and improvement, Medgar Evers College contracted with Hezel Associates to provide evaluation services on Strategic Planning efforts within the institution. 

To support the strategic planning process, Hezel Associates offered guidance in the re-design of the College’s Values and Mission Statement.  With the help of Hezel Associates, the College established a set of five strategic initiative goals focusing on the student experience, accountability, operational strength, the College’s environment, and relationships with the College’s wide-ranging communities.

Hezel Associates offered several recommendations at the conclusion of the study, some which suggested direct organizational changes and providing technical support in the implementation of new strategic initiatives.  With the guidance of Hezel Associates’ reporting, CUNY Medgar Evers will continue to improve internal capacities to provide students with the opportunity to become dynamic professionals, scholars, and community leaders.

pdfCUNY Medgar Evers College Strategic Plan