ACETis very excited to share a study we recently completed for the Minnesota Department of Education. This study first developed a criterion for gauging the capacity and effectiveness of Minnesota Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) in preparing early childhood educators and care providers, then applied that criterion by examining Minnesota 2- and 4-year IHE early childhood programs serving nearly 3,000 students. ACET convened a 10-member advisory council, reviewed literature and available data, and conducted interviews with IHE staff to answer 2 questions:
1. What is the capacity of IHE to prepare early childhood educators and care providers?
2. What systems are in place at each IHE to ensure their effectiveness?
A report brief (opens PDF) was developed in June highlighting the key findings. If you are interested in viewing the more detailed results, the technical report and other background information can be found at www.acetinc.com/ECPP/AG.htm.
We are very excited about this release and hope you find the data informative. If you have any comments or questions about the brief, please share!
The Early Childhood Personnel Preparation (ECPP) project is a statewide study assessing the capacity and effectiveness of Minnesota’s 2- and 4-year institutes of higher education to prepare early childhood educators and care providers. Minnesota is one of the first states to seek to define effectiveness of early childhood higher education programs and to identify gaps in data that is currently collected. In addition, data collected throughout the ECPP project will inform further investigation of the capacity and effectiveness of Minnesota’s institutes of higher education and will likely be a model for other states. ACET is managing the ECPP project in collaboration with multiple state agencies (Minnesota’s Departments of Education, Human Services, and Health) and ten advisory group members.
In the Opinion section of today’s (12/23/11) Star Tribune, Joe Nathan of the Center for School Change at Macalester College described the positive impact of the LEAD for Charters project on student achievement: www.startribune.com/opinion/letters/136111683.html. LEAD for Charters is funded by the Cargill Foundation and consists of a collaboration between the Center for School Change, LarsonAllen, and eight area charter schools (LEAD has also added three new schools for the 2011-2012 school year). LEAD focuses support for schools in the areas of academic achievement, organizational management, family involvement, and financial performance. ACET has been the principal evaluator of the project since its inception.
Congratulations to all involved in achieving the project’s goals!
Running has always been one of my favorite activities. Whether it’s a quick mile or two with the dog or a longer trot around a Minnesota trail, I often find myself running outdoors in the non-snow months, and on the treadmill (or “hamster wheel” as I call it) during the icy months.
I can think of no better motivation to run than an upcoming race. This year, both myself and fellow ACET employee Dan, will be running in the Bolder Dash. The Bolder Dash is an annual event operated by Bolder Options, a non-profit mentoring organization that matches at-risk youth with community mentors to run or bike together, as well as helping them to work on academic goals.
The event offers both a 5k (3.1 mile) and a 10k (6.2 mile) race; ambitious runners can participate in both races if they wish. Registration for the race is only $25 ($40 if you would like to run both) and all proceeds benefit Bolder Options so they can continue offering mentoring services to Minnesota youth.
“The final results for the 2011 Science Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA) and Minnesota Test of Academic Skills (MTAS) are now available to district staff in Educator Portal on the Test Results Download tab. Science results will be available for the public in a dynamic format later in September, when mathematics and reading results are released.
Results for the Reading and Mathematics MCA, MCA-Modified, and MTAS will be available publicly on September 14.”
I know I’ll be happy to get my hands on the results and get to work!
One of our clients, Bolder Options, is a one-on-one youth mentoring program. Bolder Options recently participated in a pilot program called Quality Mentoring Assessment Path (QMAP), which was rolled out by the Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota (MPM) in 2010. Bolder Options successfully completed a mentoring action plan and achieved a score of 100% – one of only three programs in the state to score so highly! As a result, Bolder Options was named Expert Partner by the association.
Congratulations to the whole team at Bolder Options!
Kirsten and I had a great time at the 2010 American Evaluation Association (AEA) conference last week in San Antonio, Texas! We attended over a dozen sessions that provided valuable tips for our profession. We were also excited to co-present two sessions that highlighted a couple of our clients: the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE) and The Wayside House, Inc.
Kathy Hill from OHE discussed the process used to develop a cost-analysis framework for their GEAR UP program while I reviewed the initial findings of this program on academic outcomes (see Multipaper session 763). Heather Scholz from Wayside House co-presented with Kirsten on the lessons learned implementing mixed-methods and multiple measures in a quality human services evaluation (see Multipaper session 798).
Our winter e-newsletter will feature key takeaways from each session, so stay tuned for that! To subscribe to the e-newsletter, please email our Office Manager, Cassie, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recently, my husband and I attended the Annual Training for Life dinner for Bolder Options, an activity-based one-on-one youth mentoring organization based in Minnesota. Bolder Options works to build self-esteem and promote healthy behaviors in youth through running and biking, academic goal setting, and volunteerism. The video shown below highlights the key components of Bolder Options, which include empowering youth to focus on the positives in life. In the video, Dr. Peter Benson, CEO of Search Institute, names Bolder Options as “one of the best in America” in helping youth to achieve their goals. ACET has been contracted to evaluate the program and document successes since 2005.
This video from the National Medical Report describes Bolder Options in detail and was played at the Annual Training for Life dinner this year:
Recently, I attended the Combined Discretionary Grantee Meeting in Washington D.C. with The Wayside House, Inc., a chemical health organization dedicated to providing treatment for chemical abuse exclusively to women. They received a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children & Families Children’s Bureau, to create a residential family treatment program. The program, Incarnation Family Connections (IFC), is a family treatment program with housing options. IFC enables parents and their children to live in a safe environment for a period of not less than six months. IFC provides onsite substance abuse treatment services and children’s early intervention services that are designed to provide comprehensive treatment that supports the whole family unit. ACET was contracted to evaluate the IFC program, implement a quasi-experimental design to measure impact, and contribute to cross-site evaluation efforts.
This video, which describes Wayside House and its programs in detail, was played for a national audience at the Grantee Meeting: