Evaluation of the NJ School Improvement Grant (SIG) Program
The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) retained CREEHS to conduct an evaluation study of the implementation and outcomes of the NJ SIG program. For three years, through a grant from the US Department of Education (USDOE), the NJDOE provided funding to 20 schools across the state to implement the transformation or turnaround school reform model. The study assessed the implementation and fidelity to these models using mixed methods to collect data about the program including surveys, site visits, interviews, focus groups, document review, and student achievement data. The study examined impacts of these school reform efforts on student achievement using multilevel modeling analyses. The CREEHS team made recommendations about critical success factors that emerged from the evaluation. A copy of the final evaluation report can be found here.
Evaluation of Eat. Play. Live... Better
Partners for Health, a community foundation, has contracted with CREEHS to provide evaluation services to the Eat. Play. Live...Better initiative since 2011. This coalition of local partner organizations coordinates efforts to encourage and enable community residents to live healthier lifestyles. Over a period of four years, the CREEHS team has worked with the initiative to 1) document the process of building the Eat. Play. Live...Better initiative, 2) measure baseline community awareness, behaviors, and values, 3) build a guiding program theory, 4) assess the structure and function of the initiative’s partnership, and 5) develop a shared measurement system for all coalition members to use. The ongoing relationship ensures that the evaluation services are responsive and in alignment with the initiative’s continuing efforts.
Evaluation of the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR)
In 2009, the USDOE awarded a five-year Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) grant to Montclair State University to design and implement the Newark-Montclair Urban Teacher Residency (NMUTR) in partnership with the Newark Public Schools (NPS). The overall aim of the program is to develop and support effective urban educators to teach in NPS through a rigorous model teaching residency program. The CREEHS team collaborated with NMUTR staff to design a mixed methods evaluation study, capturing data to meet programmatic and federal reporting requirements as well as inform decisions about the program’s design and implementation. Data were collected from a wide range of participants through surveys, focus groups, interviews, site visits, observations, review of program data and documentation, as well as other extant data. Interim and annual reports were provided to program staff and stakeholders. MSU recently received an additional five-year TQP award to build upon this work and develop additional highly qualified early childhood and middle school urban educators.
Evaluation of the ShapingNJ Healthy Community Grant Project
The New Jersey Department of Health (NJDoH), Partners for Health and the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids contracted with CREEHS to evaluate the 2014 ShapingNJ Healthy Community Grant Program. The initiative brought together multiple funders and awarded grants to more than 30 not-for-profit and local health agencies in predominantly high-risk communities. Grantees implemented strategies to make healthy eating and active living accessible for community members. The evaluation documented grantee accomplishments, as well as assessed its implementation and outcomes. Evaluation activities included surveys and interviews with representatives from grantee organizations, review and documentation of social media activity (e.g., blogs, Facebook, Twitter), and observations of project events. The CREEHS team developed a series of summary reports, including a technical report and visual summary of the key findings and recommendations for program improvement.
Community Needs Assessment for Great Falls, Paterson
CREEHS is currently assisting the New Jersey Community Development Corporation (NJCDC) in conducting a needs assessment for the Great Falls area of Paterson, NJ. This work includes: 1) developing a research plan for the project, addressing a number of standard indicators; 2) developing data collection instruments based on the research plan; 3) collecting extant data and supporting additional primary data collection; 4) analyzing and summarizing all data collected; and 5) providing multiple reporting outcomes for varied audiences and uses. This community needs assessment will provide valuable information to guide ongoing development and delivery of services to stakeholders in the community. It also will provide the agency with baseline data required for future funding opportunities.
Evaluation Planning for Lifelong Montclair
CREEHS provided evaluation planning services to Lifelong Montclair, Montclair’s Aging in Place initiative, funded by Partners for Health. Lifelong Montclair seeks to build on existing community assets to help older adults stay in Montclair throughout their lives, and promote a healthy and happy community for aging. The CREEHS team worked collaboratively with project staff to build evaluation capacity by developing a program logic model, identifying evidence-based indicators to measure key program outcomes, and drafting preliminary survey and interview instruments to collect data. The efforts culminated in a comprehensive evaluation plan tailored to the initiative and laid the foundation for future evaluations.