University of Vermont

Resources and Expertise to Support People and Communities

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Evaluation Projects

The Center for Rural Studies (CRS) at the University of Vermont has provided successful program evaluation services for social service delivery programs for the past thirty years. Most recently, over the past ten years, CRS has provided process and outcome focused evaluation services for social service and government agencies in the areas of microenterprise development, education and literacy, teen leadership, restorative justice for youth, and domestic violence services. Many of these programs were designed to foster self-sufficiency in low-income populations. View/Download a more complete list of current/past evaluation projects (PDF).

Evaluation Approach

CRS staff work closely with clients to understand their evaluation needs and develop an evaluation plan and tools to meet these unique needs. As projects evolve over time, our evaluation approach and methodology is periodically revisited to ensure that any changes are adequately addressed.

The evaluation plans, instruments and measures that we develop are grounded in relevant literature and theory within each subject area to ensure high quality work that meets the client's needs and informs the larger research and knowledge base for practitioners, researchers, students and the general public. CRS provides process and outcome focused evaluation services.

Process Evaluation- Examines the process or implementation of a project to inform "best practices" for ongoing program improvement, mid-course corrections and lessons learned for project replicability.

Outcome Evaluation- Outcome evaluation seeks to demonstrate the impact of the program on the service-user, such as clients, participants, students, etc..

Methods and Deliverables

  • We use qualitative and quantitative measures to carry out methodologies including surveys (mail, telephone, and web-based), focus groups, interviews, observation, archival and record review, and data management.
  • Staff have expertise in quantitative and qualitative data analyses using programs such as SPSS (PASW), AMOS, Limdep, LISREL, and Microsoft Excel and Access .
  • Project deliverables typically include interim and annual reports, briefs, executive summaries and cumulative reports for longer-term projects.
  • Presentations of key findings are often made to audiences such as stakeholders, boards and committees, government agencies, state and federal policy makers, and invited and refereed conferences.
  • Findings are also published on our website, in popular media, and peer-reviewed journals.

Current Project Areas

CRS has provided evaluation services for nonprofit organizations and their project partners in the following areas:

  • Micro Business Development and Access to Capital
  • Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention
  • Local Foods, Agriculture, Health, Nutrition and Farm-to-School
  • K-12 Education, Technology and Literacy

Questions

If you have questions about CRS evaluation services, contact Erin Roche.

Last modified July 10 2013 11:25 AM

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