A critical part of the continuous improvement model, evaluation, is often the most overlooked part of the process. The steps described on this page are an attempt to organize and guide the process of evaluation using a process designed by Heartland AEA's assessment consultants. Be aware that program evaluation requires a significant investment of time and energy. It may require more than 100 hours of an evaluator's time, plus the same amount of hours for school staff gathering information. Plan a six-month to a year time window to complete an evaluation.
Heartland AEA's assessment consultants can assist with evaluation work, but not without access to data and the information and input that can only be provided with those familiar with the program. Also, remember that the best time to begin the program evaluation process is while designing the program. Evaluations planned after the fact are never as effective as those started at the beginning of the project.
To the best of your ability, fill out the initial data collection form. This form will provide the basis for the initial planning work for the program evaluation process. You may need to wait to complete or refine some parts of the form working with the assessment consultant.
To access assessment services, contact your regional director who will then make a referral to one of Heartland AEA's assessment consultants.
■ Initial Data Collection Form (Word Doc)