December 31st, 2010
Senior Recovery Program is now offering a professional workshop series for area professionals. The workshops will start in January with the objective of sharing important information about chemical dependency among older adults, and CEUs are available.
To learn more, please visit the workshop website at: http://www.seniorrecoverymn.org/Workshops.html
December 29th, 2010
ACET has just published its latest newsletter! ACET’s biannual newsletter features company news, research and evaluation activities, and an article written by a member of the ACET team. In addition to being environmentally-friendly, there are many advantages to distributing our newsletter electronically, including the ability to reach a larger audience by providing recipients with a convenient way to share our newsletter with colleagues. Furthermore, we can measure the utility and use of each issue – something we evaluators love to do!
To view the current and past issues of the newsletter, please click here: http://www.acetinc.com/Newsletters/Newsletters.htm
If you’re interested in subscribing to our newsletter, please contact our Office Manager, Cassie Clark, for more information.
December 23rd, 2010
We recently found a couple of grant announcements that you may be interested in reviewing:
Kessler Foundation’s Signature Employment Grant Program is looking to provide funds to organizations that have innovative solutions to address employment issues for individuals with disabilities. Projects should be collaborative, serve a large geographic area, and have multiple funding partners and stakeholders. Click here to review the entire announcement: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/rfp_item.jhtml?id=317400004
The Bush Foundation’s Bush Fellowship Program is providing funds to organizations that plan to work on addressing community issues. Anyone in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the 23 Native nations in that same geographical area can apply to receive funds; the Bush Foundation does not expect recipients to take a leave of absence from their current position. Click here to review the entire announcement: http://foundationcenter.org/pnd/rfp/rfp_item.jhtml?id=317400002
December 14th, 2010
Recently, I detailed the issues with describing evaluation and the work we do here at ACET (http://www.acetinc.com/blog/2010/11/22/part-1-%E2%80%9Cso%E2%80%A6what-is-evaluation%E2%80%9D-dealing-with-blank-stares). As I mentioned, often we are asked to include a basic definition for evaluation and to elaborate on what an evaluation looks like.
If you search online for a basic definition of program evaluation, you would likely find something akin to the Wikipedia classification, which states, “a systematic method for collecting, analyzing, and using information to answer questions about projects, policies and programs, particularly about their effectiveness and efficiency.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Program_evaluation.
You may also be interested in reviewing the recent expanded definition of program evaluation developed by The joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation recently (The Program Evaluation Standards, 3rd Ed., 2010). To learn more about the evolution of evaluation definitions, I suggest reading Utilization-Focused Evaluation by Michael Patton, one of the pioneers of evaluation (check out pages 38-39 for his review).
We at ACET have used the following definition for program evaluation: “the process of systematically collecting and analyzing data and using the results to answer questions about a program in order to improve the program’s effectiveness and/or efficiency.” We fully believe that an evaluation should be systematic (objective and specific), results-oriented (just as in education, constructive criticism can be used for good), and should be used to improve the program (we want the program to have optimal results and funding in the future).
If you have additional questions or comments on the variations of program evaluation definitions, I would love to hear from you!
December 6th, 2010
The Graduate Record Examination (GRE), owned and implemented by the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is the most commonly used standardized test when applying to graduate school. Made up of sections for quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and writing, the test covers a variety of questions meant to show an individual’s knowledge on specific subjects in preparation for graduate school.
ETS has revised the GRE General Test to better capture student readiness for graduate level course work. The revised GRE also resulted in changes in the scoring system. Originally, an individual score would fall between 200 and 800 points in 10-point increments; however, starting in November of 2011, scores will fall between 130 and 170 in 1-point increments. The adjusted score scale allows reviewers to compare candidates more simply; 1-point increments may more accurately represent how far apart candidates are on the score scale. The new score scale should also allow for a better distribution of scores and more aptly show candidate abilities. Percentile scores, which have always reflected where an individual tested in comparison with other test takers over the previous three years, will remain on the scorecard.
To learn more about the score scale revisions, check out this video from ETS: