The Research and Curriculum Unit (RCU) at Mississippi State University provides comprehensive program evaluation services, from proposal development to outcome assessment. Each evaluation plan is tailored and carefully aligned to the project’s objectives and guiding research questions. Our approach is collaborative in order to provide relevant, actionable feedback that meets your needs. The RCU team has extensive experience designing and conducting research and evaluations in a variety of settings, including PreK-12, higher education, education policy, non-profits, and federally-funded programs.

In adherence to the standards for evaluators set forth by the American Evaluation Association (see below), RCU researchers regularly engage in professional development and education relevant to evaluative research, qualitative and quantitative methods, and project planning and management. We strongly believe that high-quality evaluation services yield critical information for the whole of the project period. More specifically, a good evaluation plan can reveal weaknesses in the initial project design. Well-planned evaluative processes offer principal investigators and researchers recommendations for process changes that will improve the day-to-day implementation of the work. Finally, a high-quality evaluation identifies benefits and successes of the completed project that may have been overlooked and presents the results in a way that is clear, professionally formatted, and useful to stakeholders.

Evaluators and researchers at RCU hold to the following principles, established by the American Evaluation Association:

  1. Systematic Inquiry: Evaluators conduct systematic, data-based inquiries.
  2. Competence: Evaluators provide competent performance to stakeholders.
  3. Integrity/Honesty: Evaluators display honesty and integrity in their own behavior, and attempt to ensure the honesty and integrity of the entire evaluation process.
  4. Respect for People: Evaluators respect the security, dignity and self-worth of respondents, program participants, clients, and other evaluation stakeholders.
  5. Responsibilities for General and Public Welfare: Evaluators articulate and take into account the diversity of general and public interests and values that may be related to the evaluation.”

Recent Reports


Betsey Smith
Director, Research and Curriculum Unit