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ERIC Number: ED511130
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Aug-3
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 3
Evaluating Capacity Building in Education: The North Central Comprehensive Center
Beesley, Andrea D.; Shebby, Susan
Online Submission, Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Denver, CO, Apr 30-May 4, 2010)
The purpose of this paper is to inform evaluators of a method of evaluating capacity building in educational programs. One definition of capacity building is helping an organization increase its ability to fulfill its mission (Wing, 2004). Evaluators of capacity-building efforts therefore must focus on evidence that the program has helped to build the capacity of the organization it serves, which can include evidence of increased knowledge and changes in practice. Here this evaluation method is presented in the context of an evaluation of one of the U.S. Department of Education Comprehensive Centers. The mission of the Comprehensive Centers is to provide technical assistance that builds the capacity of state education agencies to help districts and schools meet their student achievement goals and No Child Left Behind requirements. Evaluators created a logic model to organize the evaluation around a capacity building continuum, and then used surveys, focus groups, interviews, and artifact analysis to document capacity. This report presents findings from Comprehensive Center Year 4 for the state of Nebraska, and includes results from 351 participant surveys along with focus groups and interviews. Evaluation findings showed that participants not only reported that activities were useful, relevant, and of high quality--but that they perceived themselves as more knowledgeable and had begun to apply their knowledge towards improving services for their constituents. Evaluating capacity building allows evaluators to go beyond documenting project activities and outcomes to focus on cognitive and affective changes in participants and on behavior such as changes to services in schools and districts. Appended are: (1) Indicators of Capacity Building; (2) Activity Report; (3) Nebraska Project 3: Poverty Plan Participant Interview Questions; (4) Nebraska Project: English Language Learner Leadership Institute Focus Group Questions; and (5) NCCC [North Central Comprehensive Center] Participant Evaluation Form. (Contains 1 footnote, 2 figures, and 3 tables.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Iowa; Minnesota; Nebraska; North Dakota; South Dakota
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001