George C. Tremblay (PhD)Professor and Director of Research
Department of Clinical Psychology
What is Program Evaluation?
Research that helps service agencies make strategic decisions. We invite program administrators and service providers to consider questions such as:
- At a conceptual level, and in the language of relevant professional literature, what is it that your agency aspires to do? This conversation may include developing a graphic program model, sometimes called a “logic model”.
- Who are your stakeholders: who cares about what you do (or, who do you WANT to care—clients, funders, community supporters, administrators in your own institution)?
- What might be some (potentially) observable or measurable indicators that your agency is accomplishing what you aspire to?
- Of the indicators you identified, which ones would your stakeholders find most compelling, and how difficult would it be for us to gather qualitative or quantitative data about them? In other words, which investment of your program evaluation resources would yield the biggest “bang for the buck?”
Where do I do it?
Program Evaluation and Educational Research (PEER) Associates, Inc., a consulting group that I helped to establish in 2003.
The Center for Research on Psychological Practice (CROPP), directed by my Antioch colleague Jim Fauth.
Antioch New England Institute (ANEI), a community service arm of Antioch University, where I direct the Program Evaluation Team.
How might students get involved?
Communicate with me via FirstClass. Collaborating with students is central to my identity as a teacher, and students have played important (and paid) roles in all of my program evaluation work. My student partners have thus far come, in about equal measure, from Antioch’s Departments of Clinical Psychology, and Environmental Studies. Current and former student members of my team include (in chronological order):
Mayday Levine (Clinical Psychology)
Steven (Rob) Beranek (Environmental Education)
Matthew Lafond (Environmental Education)
Linda Lee (Clinical Psychology)
Megan Phillips (Clinical Psychology)
Sarah Harpster (Environmental Advocacy and Organizing)
Lisa Watts (Environmental Education)
Catherine (Catey) Iacuzzi (Clinical Psychology)
Elizabeth (Liza) Lowe (Environmental Education)
Web resources for program evaluation
Carter McNamara’s Basic Guide to Program Evaluation
The National Science Foundation’s User-Friendly Handbook for Program Evaluation
Univ of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension’s guide to using logic models
David Fetterman’s Empowerment Evaluation blog
The Evaluation Exchange, from the Harvard Family Research Project