Evaluation

Projects

Museums, Memory, and Contested Heritage in the Middle East: Perspectives from Jordan and Israel

2016-present
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education

MSU’s Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures has received a Fulbright-Hays award to build connections between Mississippi educators and Middle Eastern culture. A group of MSU faculty and local high school teachers will spend four weeks in Israel and Jordan to visit museums, cultural heritage sites, and universities.

The RCU will conduct an evaluation of the project to measure progress toward its major objectives, which include introducing educators not only to the culture, language, and history of the Middle East, but also to the various ways in which memory is integral to understanding the highly contested relationship between these two countries.

For more information about this project, please contact Dana Seymour at dana.seymour@rcu.msstate.edu.


Algebra Nation Evaluation

2016-present
Funded by Algebra Nation

Algebra Nation is a multimedia mathematics program that is being piloted during the 2016-2017 school year in several high schools in the Mississippi Delta region. The RCU has designed an evaluation model to investigate the strengths and overall effectiveness of Algebra Nation. These findings will inform decisions about adopting the Algebra Nation program in other Mississippi school districts. This research utilizes an experimental design and includes both qualitative and quantitative data analyses. Evaluation activities include gathering teacher and student feedback on attitudes toward the program, observing implementation in classrooms, and examining assessment data to compare student growth in experimental and control schools.

For more information on the Algebra Nation evaluation, please contact Dana Seymour at dana.seymour@rcu.msstate.edu.


Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics: Effective Teaching and Parent Engagement

2016-present
Funded by the William K. Kellogg Foundation

The Mississippi Department of Education has secured a William K. Kellogg Foundation grant to improve the ways that teachers and parents can help students meet the recently developed Mississippi College- and Career-Readiness Standards (MCCRS). In particular, the work includes developing exemplar lesson plans in mathematics and English language arts for teachers to use in their classrooms. A secondary component of the project is a series of parent nights to support parents in helping their students understand important MCCRS concepts. The RCU will serve as the external evaluator for this project. The essential goal of the evaluation plan is twofold: (1) to determine the extent to which and the ways that teachers used exemplar lesson plans in their classrooms, and (2) to determine the extent to which and the ways that parents used material provided to them in the parent night modules. To measure these objectives, the evaluation uses a mixed-methods approach, including survey data, observation, levels of use interviews, and other evidence of project activity. Formative benchmarks are built into the evaluation design to obtain feedback from stakeholders and project participants, so that changes can be made during project implementation that support project goal attainment.

For more information on this evaluation, please contact Dana Seymour at dana.seymour@rcu.msstate.edu.


School-Improvement Process Evaluation

2015-present
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Education

The Office of School Improvement (OSI) at the Mississippi Department of Education piloted a new school improvement process in 2015-2016. The RCU’s external evaluation of the revised process during the pilot year yielded several key recommendations for improving both the process and its results. For the 2016-2017 school year, evaluation work continues, and the OSI has identified new areas of emphasis while continuing to pursue the original goals of the revised process. The RCU will again provide both evaluation of the progress toward those goals and implementation support.

For more information on this evaluation, please contact Dana Seymour at dana.seymour@rcu.msstate.edu.


Teacher Education for Rural Middle Schools

2011-present
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education
Partners included Mississippi State University College of Education, the Mississippi Department of Education, and a consortium of 20 high-need, rural local education agencies.

Teacher Education for Rural Middle Schools (TERMS) is a recruitment and alternate-route degree program for the state of Mississippi and has established the Master of Arts in Teaching—Middle Level Alternate (MAT-M) program. This five-year, multifaceted program developed and expanded alternate routes to Mississippi teacher certification for highly qualified mid-career professionals, recent college graduates who did not major in education, individuals with emergency certification, and highly qualified paraprofessionals. The program focused on recruiting, training, hiring, and retaining these new teachers for critically understaffed positions in high-need middle schools throughout the state. In the evaluation of MAT-M, the RCU compared teacher participants to a control population of new teachers who completed their education through the traditional route and were entering their first year of teaching in Mississippi schools. A baseline of data collected through this study provided a foundation for comparison.

For more information on this evaluation, please contact Kristen Dechert at kristen.dechert@rcu.msstate.edu.


EPSCOR Track II: The Smart MATerials Design, Analysis, and Processing (SMATDAP) Consortium: Building next-generation polymers and the tools to accelerate cost-effective commercial production

2014-2015
Funded by the National Science Foundation
Partners included Jackson State University, Mississippi State University, University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, University of New Orleans, Tulane University, and Xavier University of Louisiana

The Smart MATerials Design, Analysis, and Processing (SMATDAP) consortium leveraged cyberinfrastructure investments in Louisiana and Mississippi; regional intellectual talent in polymer synthesis and process control; and unique, locally developed advanced polymerization monitoring technologies to accelerate development of stimuli-responsive polymers and positively impact the regional economy. As Mississippi’s internal evaluator for this project, the RCU conducted formative evaluation to assess performance and provide feedback for project improvement to ensure continuous progress towards the consortium’s research, diversity, engagement, and sustainability goals. The RCU also provided summative evaluation to determine the degree of success in achieving project goals.


Evaluation of Excellence for All Program Pilot

2013-2014
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Education

Excellence for All was one of six innovative high school models Mississippi piloted in select school districts. The purpose for the evaluation was to determine how pilot schools implemented the program, how funds were allocated, and to whether the program progressed toward the goal of improving the graduation rate and preparing students to be college and career ready when they leave high school.


Mississippi Works Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment Evaluation

2013-2014
Funded by the Mississippi Department of Education

Approved in the 2012 legislative session, SB 2792, known as Mississippi Works Dual Credit/Dual Enrollment (MS Works), created a unique opportunity for recent dropouts and those at risk of dropping out to finish their high school credits at a local community college (dual enrollment) while simultaneously earning community college credit (dual credit). The innovative high school model was designed to serve the small population of students whose needs are not met in a traditional high school, and it aimed to benefit all parties involved: the students, by helping them graduate and matriculate to a postsecondary program; the high school, by decreasing dropout rates; and the community college, by increasing enrollment and matriculation rates. Additionally, the legislation specified that the Mississippi Department of Employment Security would assist program completers in securing a job after graduation, a provision that helped this program meet the needs of students at all levels: secondary, postsecondary, and work placement. The RCU evaluated the initiative to inform the Mississippi Department of Education on implementation and program outcomes at community colleges across the state.


BPC-DP: Defining a Complete Educational Plan to a Computing Degree

2010-2013
Funded by the National Science Foundation
Partners included Mississippi State University’s College of Business and Bagley College of Engineering, East Mississippi Community College, Itawamba Community College, and Jones County Junior College

BPC-DP: Defining a Complete Educational Plan to a Computing Degree was a demonstration project designed to increase the number of students entering and graduating from associate, bachelors, masters, and doctoral programs in computer science, computer engineering, software engineering, and business information systems at four institutions of higher learning in Mississippi, with emphasis on students from underrepresented groups, including racial minorities and women. As evaluator, the RCU used formative and summative evaluation strategies to assess the effectiveness of program activities and the impact of these activities on Mississippi State University and participating community colleges and students.


Recent Reports

Contact Us

Kristen Dechert
Project Manager
662.325.2510
kristen.dechert@rcu.msstate.edu