FIPSE SAIL Proposal Narrative
California State University, Stanislaus
Stanislaus Asociación de Investigación Latina (SAIL)
(Stanislaus Association of Hispanic Researchers)
This proposal submitted by California State University, Stanislaus (CSU Stanislaus) responds to the U.S. Department of Education’s request for proposals under the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE)–Special Focus Competition: Graduate Programs at Institutions of Higher Education Serving Hispanic Americans. This proposal seeks support for a comprehensive program dedicated to increasing the number of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented educational leaders attaining the Master of Arts (MA) in Education and the Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.).
The proposed program at CSU Stanislaus will create a Doctoral culture focused on Hispanic education issues. It will create a learning community, Stanislaus Asociación de Investigación Latina (SAIL). The participants, including professors, CSU Stanislaus Doctoral Community Advisory Board members, and educational leaders will work in concert as partners and mentors to identify, encourage, and support Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students, beginning with recruitment and culminating in professional growth of high academic rigor and career advancement. The specific emphasis of SAIL will be on dual language education. This learning community will build upon the strong foundation already established through the Central Valley Dual Language Consortium (CVDLC), a consortium of 11 k-8 schools. This is multi-year collaboration of educators and parents whose primary focus is on creating effective primary language and secondary language education.
Embedded within the graduate coursework will be an emphasis on laboratories of practice and applied research through which students acclimate to diverse educational environments, while they gain practical experience in intellectual inquiry activities, such as the application of analytical methods to solving real school problems. At the heart of SAIL’s innovative approach to build a community of researchers is its use of EthnoNotes, a social-networking web-based nexus for conducting qualitative and mixed-design research. Developed by Professors Eli Lieber and Thomas Weisner, EthnoNotes website will allow SAIL researchers to share online both qualitative and quantitative data collected from action research in CVDLC schools, to code and analyze the results collaboratively, and to disseminate and discuss the findings with stakeholders. EthnoNotes was developed by a network of researchers at R-1 universities to facilitate multi-researcher collaboration and the teaching of research methodologies (http://EthnoNotes.com/history.html). It provides a field-tested and journal-proven locus for collegial activity where SAIL graduate students and faculty can develop and hone research skills, available at any time convenient to the community of learners. EthnoNotes provides SAIL with a vehicle to reduce the existing isolation of students in our six-county service area and the challenges our graduate students face working full-time and as predominant commuters. EthnoNotes promotes contact with national and international researchers broadening their learning community with those that are concerned with and performing researching on similar topics, contributing to the research conducted. This contact with international colleagues who have extensive experience in dual language education will be of great value to SAIL participants, as the U.S. does not have that same rich history and experience of dual language education as compared to the international community.
To provide expanded academic opportunities for Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students, research assistantships will be created through this grant. Working closely with their assigned faculty members, research assistants will develop working knowledge of the academia, while they enhance competencies in course preparation and development, research skills, grant writing, conference presentations, and journal publications. This grant will address the widely felt problem of the great shortage of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students pursuing graduate education and assuming roles of educational leadership. This grant has the great potential to create an innovative model that will produce significant documentable results in increasing the number of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students successfully pursuing graduate education and assuming educational leadership roles, which will have a significant impact in the field.
STATEMENT OF NEED
Successful graduate programs develop mentoring relationships between the professor and the graduate student that often lasts through the graduate program and into the new scholar’s professional life . Graduates of these programs can tell you which famous scholar trained their advisor and can trace their lineage to someone like Erik Erickson, Carl Jung, or Sigmund Freud. This scholarly mentoring produces long-term, fruitful results in educational research. This proposal seeks to develop such mentoring relationships but takes that notion a step further through the development of small learning communities including faculty, community members, school district teachers, administrators, and peers. The model will develop teachers into educational leaders who will acquire substantial research skills to improve their schools with the support and assistance of these small learning communities.
Local/Regional Context-CSU Stanislaus serves a six-county region in California’s Central Valley and adjacent Sierra Nevada foothills and includes Calaveras, Tuolumne, Mariposa, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Merced counties where English language learners represent 21.4% of the students. Of this group, Spanish speakers account for 83% of English-learning students . Driven mostly by Hispanic migration, the population growth of the region is projected to be an overwhelming 29% between 2000 and 2010 (Great Valley Center organization, 2006) .
CSU Stanislaus is a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), a 2003 Title V Collaborative grant recipient, and is uniquely positioned to serve Hispanic and low-income students. CSU Stanislaus is one of 23 campuses in the California State University (CSU) system. The CSU system is the largest baccalaureate degree granting institution in the nation and the primary choice for California’s Hispanic and other low-income students enrolling in four-year institutions. The CSU system also awards 87% of California’s teaching credentials .
Hispanic students make up nearly 30% of the University’s undergraduate full-time enrollment, and the majority of these students are first-generation college attendees. With an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 7000 students, this represents more than 2000 Hispanic students at any one time. CSU Stanislaus consistently receives high rankings in US News & World Report magazine’s annual ‘Best Colleges’ edition for educational excellence. CSU Stanislaus was rated one of the “Top 100 Colleges for Hispanic Students” by the Journal of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education (2006).
California is quickly becoming a minority majority state, well ahead of the demographic projections, and Hispanics are already the majority in many of our Central Valley communities. Hispanics now make up 41.4% of the k-12 student enrollment in Stanislaus County, 35.4% in San Joaquin County, and 53.8% in Merced County . In Fall 2008, 80% of the students who attended CSU Stanislaus were from these three counties. California Department of Education (2001-2002) statistics indicate the continued need for increasing minority representation in the teacher workforce. Statistics on regional representation of teachers in the teacher workforce indicate that 9.2% in Stanislaus County, 10.7% in San Joaquin County, and 17.4% in Merced County are Hispanic .
The reasons the proposed program is committed to diversifying the educational leadership of the Central Valley are threefold. First, minority teachers and educational leaders serve as role models to minority students. Second, minority teachers and instructional leaders can bring a distinctive understanding of the experiences of their minority students to their classrooms and school districts. Third, minority teachers and educational leaders are more likely to serve in urban communities and at sites with high minority populations .
Distribution of Hispanic k-12 Students, Hispanic Teachers, and Hispanic Administrators in Stanislaus, San Joaquin and Merced Counties
|Merced County||Stanislaus County||San Joaquin County|
Source: California Department of Education Educational Demographics Office – http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/NumTeachCo.asp?cChoice=StateNum&Radio2=A&cYear=2008-09&cLevel=State&cTopic=Paif&myTimeFrame=S&submit1=Submit
The above comparison of the distribution of the Hispanic k-12 students, teachers and administrators gives us a sense of the large number of Hispanic students and the small but growing number of Hispanic administrators serving these students.
State Context-California has a higher proportion of Hispanics than the general U.S. population. For example, based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Hispanics constitute about 44% of the California population as compared to about 29% of the total U.S. population. Specifically, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that California’s population in 2006 was 36,457,549 of which 35.9% (13,074,156) were of Latino or Hispanic origin (includes all races) By comparison, the 2006 estimates for the total U.S. population is at 14.8% Latino or Hispanic .
National Context-The percentage of working age population (ages 25-64) with a bachelor’s degree has increased for all racial/ethnic groups in the United States, but the gaps between groups have actually widened. Asian-Americans have made the most progress, with 46% possessing the bachelor’s degree or higher in 2000 compared with 36% in 1980. Whites increased their attainment, from 20% in 1980 to 30%, African Americans experienced less growth, from 9% in 1980 to 15%, and Hispanics the least growth, from 9% in 1980 to 11% .
Latino Achievement in Higher Education-According to the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos represent about 11% of students in higher education and are the fastest growing college enrollment group. The majority of Hispanic students in higher education are “non-traditional,” and tend to enroll in community colleges near where they live, attend college part-time, commute to college, work at full or part-time jobs, are first-generation college students, are low-income, have less academic preparation than their peers, and are concentrated in a small number of states and institutions of higher education throughout the nation .
Unfortunately, almost half of Latino students in higher education begin at a nearby community college but do not transfer to a baccalaureate-granting institution, and many Latinos who do enroll for the first time at a baccalaureate institution do not graduate. Of Latinos in the U.S. 25 and older, about 11% have a bachelor’s degree while about 29% of Whites and 25% of other non-Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree. Hispanics currently represent 15% (4.1 million) of the total traditional college-age population (18 to 24 years), and it is expected that, by the year 2020, they will be almost 25% of that population .
Higher Education Enrollment-Hispanic representation in higher education continues to increase representing almost 10% of the total student enrollment in higher education (1.5 million) in the year 2000 compared to only 4% in 1976 (383,800). The number of Hispanics enrolled in undergraduate education increased 25% between 1996 and 2000, compared with only 2% for Whites, 15% for Blacks, and 18% for Asian/Pacific Islanders. Despite these increases, only 22% of college-age Hispanics were enrolled in college, compared to close to
40% of Whites, 30% of Blacks, and 56% of Asian/Pacific Islanders .
The majority of Hispanic students in higher education are concentrated in a few states. Over 50% are enrolled in college in California and Texas. The majority of Hispanics in higher education are enrolled in two-year institutions and more Hispanic students are enrolled in higher education as part-time students compared to the other ethnicities .
Educational Attainment-Only 4% of Hispanics completed a postsecondary degree through the traditional path (enroll within one year of high school graduation and attain the bachelor’s degree within six years), compared to 15% of Whites and 23% of Asians (based upon students in 8th grade in 1988). Hispanic students represented 9% of associate’s and 6% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2000. Whites earned 72% of associate’s and 75% of bachelor’s degrees, Blacks earned 11% and 9%, and Asian/Pacific Islanders earned 5% and 6% .
Distribution of Enrollment and Degrees Conferred by Ethnicity for 2000
|Race/ Ethnicity||% of Enrollment in 4-year Institutions % of Enrollment in 2-year||% of Enrollment in 2-year Institutions||% of Bachelor Degrees Conferred||% of Associate Degrees Conferred|
Source: “Federal Policy and Latinos in Higher Education,” Deborah A. Santiago and Sarita Brown, Pew Hispanic Center, June 23, 2004.
Latinos in Graduate Education-Graduate education provides the opportunity to advance to the professional level of a discipline, become an expert in a field of study, or take a higher level leadership role in educational institutions. Hispanics accounted for 5% of graduate students in the year 2000, while Whites were 68%, Blacks were 9%, Asian/Pacific Islanders were 5%, and nonresident aliens 13%. Hispanics earned 5% of master’s degrees in 2001 (21,500 degrees) while White students earned 70%, Blacks earned 8%, Asian/Pacific Islanders earned 5%, and nonresident aliens earned 12% of all master’s degrees . More Hispanics are earning Doctoral degrees than before, but the overall numbers are still small. In 2001, Hispanics earned 3% of Doctoral degrees (1,500). In comparison, Whites earned 61%, Blacks 5%, Asian/Pacific Islanders 6%, and nonresident aliens 24% of Doctoral degrees .
Distribution of Graduate and First-Professional Enrollment and Degrees Conferred
|Race/ Ethnicity||% of Enrollment||% of Master’s Degrees||% of Doctoral Degrees||% of Enrollment||% of Degrees|
Source: “Federal Policy and Latinos in Higher Education,” Deborah A. Santiago and Sarita Brown, Pew Hispanic Center, June 23, 2004.
PROGRAM GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Three broad goals have been established for the project.
- To establish a learning community that will provide an academic and social support structure for students.
- To increase student engagement in their academic program.
- To increase student motivation to complete the program and continue in the profession.
- To create a bridge between the academic and professional culture.
- To increase student retention and graduation rates.
- To develop research capacities within graduate students.
- To improve the ability of students to establish research questions.
- To improve the ability of students to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.
- To improve the data analysis skills of students.
- To improve the written communication and formal presentation skills of students.
- To establish a collaborative to study key issues in the education of Hispanic students.
- To develop a mentoring relationship between graduate students, professors, practitioners and educational leaders from the surrounding community.
- To conduct research on dual-language schools in the local area.
- To conduct research on effective dual language instruction.
SPECIFIC PROJECT DESIGN TO ADDRESS IDENTIFIED PROBLEMS OR NEEDS
Project purpose- To create a Doctoral culture on Hispanic Education through the establishment of the SAIL. This project will create a pathway for Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students and educators to pursue Master’s and Doctoral education by providing equitable opportunities and resources, including the development of a Doctoral culture that characterizes multidisciplinary and multidimensional perspectives and experiences. Embedded within the coursework will be an emphasis on laboratories of practice and applied research through which students acclimate to diverse educational environments and gain practical experience in intellectual inquiry activities, applying analytical methods to solving real school problems and an examination of ethnic, cultural, and language issues in education.
To provide expanded academic opportunities for Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students, research assistantships will be created through this grant. Working closely with their assigned faculty members, research assistants will develop a working knowledge of the academia, while they enhance competencies in course preparation and development, research skills, grant writing, conference presentations, and journal publications. A positive experience in academics is expected to encourage more Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students to enter university professorships.
Through dialogue with the CVDLC, the Principal Investigator (PI) understands that area Bilingual/Dual Language schools have a great need for the expertise of the university to assist them in program assessment and development in the current assessment requirements inherent in No Child Left Behind (NCLB). The PI will conduct a needs assessment in conjunction with the CVDLC to gather qualitative and quantitative data on the need for a program development and assessment model specific to Bilingual/Dual Language Schools. SAIL scholars will participate in this process to enrich their scholarly experience.
The target groups for the project are the current Ed. D. candidates, MA students, and the administrators and teachers at the Bilingual/Dual Language Schools currently seeking educational preparation to provide effective leadership, assessment, and vision. Special emphasis will be on targeting Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students to enter and complete their graduate and postgraduate education in order to address the need for role models to serve in educational leadership capacities. As of fall 2008, there were 320 graduate students enrolled in the College of Education. Hispanic women comprise 54 and Hispanic men comprise 14 of the total. The Ed.D. program at CSU Stanislaus was introduced in the fall of 2008. Currently there are no Hispanic men enrolled and seven Hispanic women.
Source: ORSP_fall2008 Educ MA and Ed.D. enrollments 072809
This grant has the potential to create an innovative model that will produce significant documentable results in increasing the number of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students successfully pursuing graduate education and assuming educational leadership roles, which will likely have a significant impact in the field.
Small Learning Community: This learning community will be committed to academic and educational communities and organizations. Activities will include the hosting visiting lectures, scholars, and post-Doctoral students, as well as sponsorship of monthly faculty colloquia, conference presentations, and initiate the development of a research institute dedicated to bilingual/dual language education. Small learning communities have proven effective in supporting diverse university students in undergraduate education and are increasingly established at the graduate level with positive results as reported in “A Model for Establishing Learning Communities at a HBCU in Graduate Classes” in The Journal of Negro Education, Summer 2008 .
Mentorship: This collaboration will include various organizations on campus, including the Faculty Development Center, the Office of Information Technology, the Office of Research and Sponsored Projects, the Office of Institutional Research, and external organizations including school districts, County Offices of Education, and community colleges. Mentorship activities will include joint research and co-authorship of research studies and presentations at national conferences, and collaboration on developing grant proposals. The program will create graduate assistantship positions, providing opportunities for Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented Doctoral students to engage more closely with Doctoral faculty on various scholarly projects and activities. Six graduate assistants will be selected to work with the bilingual core Doctoral faculty.
Doctoral Values: Teaching and learning in the Doctoral program is inquiry oriented, exploring research questions and applications of the highest levels. The proposed grant will organize and host an annual master’s thesis and dissertation award event, recognizing the exemplary thesis and dissertation work of our Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented graduate students. Doctoral students will be encouraged to submit dissertations to national organizations such as the National Two Way CABE, the National Association for Bilingual Education, and the American Educational Research Association.
Demystification of Graduate Research: The program will create a laboratory experience for Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented graduate students with the Bilingual/Dual Language programs in our service area. The graduate students will be involved in action research/scholarship that addresses the program development and assessment of the regional Bilingual/Dual Language programs, and the programs will benefit from the action research focused on the improvement of their schools.
Online Learning Communities: The program will be using the EthnoNotes internet based software to support students in doing integrated qualitative and quantitative research with teams working across the University service area, across the nation, and internationally. EthnoNotes supports projects involving teams with members in widespread locations carrying out fieldwork. Team members can use different computer platforms and different software to accomplish their tasks. EthnoNotes software will assist in managing and sharing sets of data and will allow us to integrate survey, assessment, ethnographic, and interview data in one easy-to-use database. EthnoNotes is accessible on the Internet through any standard browser on any platform.
SAIL –Stanislaus Asociación de Investigación Latina will develop a climate for education excellence and leadership in diversity at CSU Stanislaus in service of the educational needs of a linguistically and culturally diverse Central Valley of California with the following goals:
- To address the lack of representation of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented in graduate education.
- To assure that every Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented student is supported in pursuing graduate education.
- To engage and introduce Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students to the University and to graduate study.
- To assist students in participating in small learning communities of peers and successful educators committed to Hispanic education that will support them through their graduate education and beyond.
- To identify Hispanic leaders and role models in education and facilitate their participation in the small learning communities in support of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented graduate students in their academic and professional development. These small learning communities will also aid in creating a bridge to the academic and professional culture.
- To build on our proven and successful relationship with Bilingual/Dual Language schools in our service area.
- To create opportunity to develop thesis/dissertation topics that will benefit the development of the Bilingual/Dual language programs as well as provide excellent opportunities for data collection for the improvement of the education of English learners through assessment models.
- To identify research fellowships and grants to study Hispanic education.
- To create learning communities of faculty, educational leaders, and graduate students to share best practices in curriculum development, research, and mentoring through frequent exchanges both in person and through online communities using EthnoNotes.
- To establish a Hispanic Education Research Symposium to expose our graduate students each semester to national scholars conducting cutting edge research in Hispanic Education and to motivate our students to pursue similar research projects.
- To establish faculty driven, student centered, and institutionally supported graduate student research opportunities. The focus will be to demystify research for our graduate students so that they overcome their limited research experiences.
- To sponsor culminating scholarly gatherings to allow the small learning community members to celebrate student’s progress towards completion of theses/projects and graduate program.
- To provide mentor development encompassing the school districts in our service area.
- To support graduate students in making presentations on their research at local and national conferences.
TIMELINE OF ACTIVITIES/IMPLEMENTATION
See Appendices for project timeline chart
The Principal Investigator, along with selected faculty, will be responsible for the following:
- Establish the SAIL.
- Recruit mentors from the faculty and area school districts.
- Oversee the identification and recruitment of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented graduate students.
- Establish calendar of activities of SAIL.
- Establish the graduate student led board of directors/leadership of SAIL.
- Oversee the umbrella of support to graduate students.
- Oversee the establishment of small learning communities of peers and successful educators committed to Hispanic education that will support them through their graduate education and beyond.
- Identify Hispanic leaders and role models in education and the community to participate in the small learning communities.
- Facilitate relationship and partnership with Central Valley Dual Language Consortium in our service area.
- Identify research fellowships and grants in the study of Hispanic education and support funding needs of our graduate students.
- Oversee creation of learning communities of faculty, educational leaders, and graduate students.
- Oversee establishment of research symposiums (2 annually) on the topic of Hispanic Education.
- Oversee establishment of graduate student research opportunities that are faculty driven, student centered, and institutionally supported.
- Oversee culminating activities and scholarly gatherings.
Graduate Assistant-The graduate assistant will be responsible for assisting the PI in the administration of the grant as well as providing internal support in the development and implementation of SAIL and the program goals.
Faculty Mentors-Faculty from CSU Stanislaus will be selected to serve as small learning community members. In addition to serving as mentors, each faculty will have varied programmatic roles that may include but are not limited to: online community building and monitoring, student research project development, student theses/dissertation support, community outreach activity coordination, and personal and academic counseling and guidance.
Educational Leader Members of Small Learning Communities-These leaders and role models will participate with the graduate students and work closely with them. They will meet monthly with the students and support job-shadowing periodically in their educational leadership role. Their mentor roles will include student research project development, student theses/dissertation support, community outreach activity coordination, personal counseling and guidance.
The most important element of the grant is the development of the SAIL as well as the small learning communities. These small learning communities and SAIL will continue beyond the grant because of the student leadership development component of the grant. The Office of the Dean of the College of Education and the Graduate Office will continue supporting the development of the Association and the small learning communities beyond the grant. The PI is currently the coordinator of the Master’s program in multilingual education and will support the SAIL program beyond the grant funding. Once the program determines that the EthnoNotes Software is successful in building an online research community to support students, it will be incorporated as a course requirement in the MA and Doctoral classes.
The proposal addresses the most salient features of the identified research for the development of successful Hispanic graduate program initiatives. The direct connection between theory and practice to improve the curricular issues in dual language schools by effective preparation of educational leadership is the model. Dual language school educators participating in the learning community will express the real problems and issues faced daily in dual language education. The learning communities together, defining the problems into researchable matters for master theses and doctoral dissertations, will have a direct impact on the instructional programs of the dual language schools. This grant has the great potential to create an innovative model that will produce significant documentable results in increasing the number of Hispanic and other underserved and underrepresented students successfully pursuing graduate education and assuming educational leadership roles, which will likely have a significant impact in the field. The target group demographic is found primarily at teaching institutions, not research institutions. Attention must be given to universities that support and dedicate their mission to serving this population. The CSU and its 23 campuses are dedicated to serving this population. It is the largest four-year public university in the U.S. with nearly 450,000 students. The CSU awards 51% of all bachelor’s degrees and 40% of all Master’s degrees in California. This model of small learning community participatory research in education, and specifically dual language education, is replicable at all CSU campuses and universities with similar missions.
The PI will make presentations on the success of SAIL at regional and national conferences and will share the proposal and organizing papers of the program with all interested universities. Of the 23 CSU campuses, 22 award Master’s degrees in Education and 14 offer Ed.D. programs in Education disciplines. The PI will disseminate the SAIL projects findings to the CSU Colleges of Education, as well as to the CSU Chancellor’s Office. Once the proposal is funded, the PI will contact Joan Bissell, Director for Teacher Education and Public School Programs of the CSU Chancellor’s Office and initiate dialogue to share the program model with other CSU programs for anticipated dissemination. Moreover this project has many design elements that can be replicated by other disciplines that experience the challenges in increasing the number of Hispanics and those underserved and underrepresented in their respective graduate programs.
EVALUATION PLAN (EXTERNAL EVALUATOR)
The evaluation design will be divided into three broad categories – Implementation, Outcomes, and Impact. To study the implementation of the program, the program model and its deployment will be studied. A review of the proposed policies and procedures for each of the activities of the project will be undertaken. To study program outcomes, the progress being made toward meeting project goals and objectives will be studied. The impact of the project will be studied by examining the relationship between the program implementation and the project outcomes. A positive relationship between these two broad categories of variables is expected.
Evaluation Questions-Specific evaluation questions will be used to guide the study of the program. Answers to these questions will be used to assess student progress and success as they fulfill their graduation requirements, to analyze the effectiveness of the project, and to support data-driven decisions in order to strengthen the program and its outcomes over time. The evaluation questions are presented below.
- Were the project goals and objectives met?
- Was the project implemented according to plan?
- How well did the project succeed in preparing, retaining, and graduating students?
- What were the most successful activities and strategies of the project?
- What research findings were obtained on effective primary language instruction and secondary language acquisition?
Evaluation Methods-The following data gathering procedures will be used throughout the project in order to monitor progress toward meeting project goals and objectives.
Information about student behaviors and attitudes (Goal 1) will be obtained by examining data obtained from student portfolios, reflection papers, oral presentations, and participant surveys, interviews and focus groups.
Information about student knowledge and skills (Goal 2) will be obtained by examining group projects, literature reviews, student portfolios, reflection papers, oral presentations, chapter outlines, examinations, course grades, surveys, article critiques, research papers, peer-review of papers, and drafts of papers. It is important to note that in order to make general statements across courses and throughout the program, standardized assessment practices should be established. This could take the form of performance rubrics with faculty members participating in scoring sessions to ensure the reliability of scores across courses and throughout the program.
Information about the overall program will be obtained by examining course completion rates, degree attainment levels, program completion, mean GPA, capstone course, theses, and dissertations.
Examination of the program’s strategies will be completed through surveys and focus groups with students. Each will address students’ perceptions of the relevance, influence, and timing of each of the project’s activities. Specific techniques are provided below.
- Select students entering and exiting the program will be interviewed using a common interview protocol.
- A graduation survey will measure student’s perceptions regarding the support mechanisms of the project as well as their needs, challenges, accomplishments, and post-graduation plans.
Annual evaluation reports will include an analysis of findings, an interpretation of results, and recommendations for improving the program.
Data Analysis Procedures-The impact of the program will be studied by comparing outcomes for grant years to program outcomes for two years prior to the program. In the case where outcome data is not available prior to the launch of this program, throughout the project, cohorts will be compared against themselves over time and against each other at specific instances in time. This technique will allow for the simultaneous study of both student impact as well as project implementation. For example, as the Year 1 and Year 2 cohorts progress, measurement of key indicators for each cohort is expected to increase for both of these cohorts (i.e., same cohort, different time). Additionally, by comparing both cohorts at the end of their second semester of participation, (i.e., different cohort, same time), the implementation of the project can be studied.
For this project both descriptive and regression analyses will be conducted. It is expected that many of the program variables will be categorical. Thus, where necessary, logistic regression may be utilized. This approach seeks a probabilistic relationship between the outcome of a dependent binary variable and various independent variables.
Throughout the analysis, it will be important to control several key variables during the analysis. These will include such factors as socioeconomic status, undergraduate preparation, first generation college status, and employment status.
PROJECT EVALUATION CHART
See Appendices for project evaluation chart