The Rucks Group 2020 Spring Newsletter

By now you have heard, discussed, and thought dozens of times how the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to abandon familiar rhythms of life. The Rucks Group team is doing the same.

We have been asking ourselves what resources can we provide to help the adjustment as it relates to the slice of life that we work in of research and evaluation.  As such, we’re highlighting a variety of resources and information on upcoming events that you may find useful as we all are slowly finding the beats to new rhythms.

Join Our Next Coffee Break Webinar

webinar - now what?
Thursday, April 30, 2020; 2:00pET – 2:30pET

You’ve won the grant and now you’re needing to do a program evaluation. There are two general mindsets towards this work: “proving” to demonstrate to funders what you’ve done or “improving” which addresses the proving by focusing the program evaluation on using the information from the program evaluation for project improvement. This complimentary webinar will provide insights into how to realize the true value of evaluation through the lens of continuous improvement and particularly given the COVID-19 pandemic. Time will be allotted to answer your unique questions. 

Funding Opportunities for Your Innovative Ideas


There are several funding opportunities that you can pursue to identify funding for your innovative ideas. One such program is the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program places an emphasis on the education of technicians within two-year institutions. Proposals are due by October 1, 2020.

In writing your grant, make sure to review the most recent solicitation for the appropriate program track. A focus area of note is the Adaptation and Implementation program track which is “designed to increase the pace of innovation diffusion and encourages the use of innovative materials and practices of demonstrated course and programs.” 

Also, the NSF DUE (Division of Undergraduate Education) is particularly interested in how the COVID-19 is impacting undergraduate education. This is quite fitting considering how many schools had to rapidly transition to completing courses online.

Finally, note that NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grants are now due on April 22, 2020 (and change from the original March 25, 2020 date).

If you want resources to help develop your ideas, check out these websites:

ATECentral logo

Supporting Advanced Technological Education
EvaluATE logo

The evaluate resource hub for the NSF ATE community
Mentor Connect Logo
NSF ATE leadership development and outreach initiative

Browse our most popular blog posts below:

Partnership Rubric: A tool for measuring industry relationships
The Partnership Rubric was designed as a tool to quantify the involvement of outside partners in a given project or center by measuring the changes in the number of and level of involvement of those partnerships in targeted areas. 

Student Success: Are we clear about what this means? 
In this two-part blog on student success, we are first sharing this article in which guest blogger Dr. Terry Mills provides his perspective. In the second blog on this topic, Dr. Lana Rucks will provide a perspective of a researcher and program evaluator on this key issue.

Paying Students to Attend Tutoring Produces Interesting Findings 
Students who received the stipend for attending tutoring sessions had the lowest failure rates and earned the highest percentage of As.