Coffee Break Webinar Series: Program Evaluation in Practice: A Case Study of Central State University’s STEM Success Center

Program Evaluation in Practice: A Case Study of Central State University’s STEM Success Center

Join us for our next Coffee Break Webinar on Thursday, February 04, 2021 2:00PM – 2:30PM. EDT.

Evaluation plays a critical role in providing feedback that allows project owners and project teams to make evidence-based decisions about the project and use evaluation findings to persuade decision with an institution.

In our next coffee break series webinar, The Rucks Group is pleased to partner with Central State University’s Dr. Morakinyo Kuti, Project Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s funded STEM Success Center. In this webinar, we will demonstrate how the elements of evaluation coalesced to enhance the implementation of project. Participants will walk away with an enriched understanding of how evaluation through continuous improvement, can enhance in grant-funded work. These concepts include:

  • How to use program evaluation and associated best practices;
  • How program evaluation helps to achieve the goals of a project;
  • And how program evaluation can aid in sustaining and institutionalizing aspects of a project.

About the Presenters:

Dr. Morakinyo A.O. Kuti

Dr. Morakinyo A.O. Kuti, is the Director of Sponsored Programs and Research and also the Director of the Center for Academic Research and Innovation at Central State University (CSU) in Wilberforce, Ohio. He has a demonstrated record of success facilitating positive outcomes for underrepresented students, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Over 1,700 students have been positively impacted through Dr. Kuti’s programs with 300 entering the workforce or graduate studies. He has administered $161 million in public and private funds since 2005. Also, Dr. Kuti has secured over $11 million that have enhanced CSU’s physical infrastructure, enabled faculty research and scholarly activities, and provided students with scholarships and experiential learning opportunities. Dr. Kuti was the recipient of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities 1890 Universities Career Exemplar Awards for distinguished alumni.  He is a member of Pi Alpha Honor Society for Public Affairs and Administration.

Lana Rucks, Ph.D., brings to her work nearly two decades of research and evaluation experience. Her extensive knowledge in the design and implementation of research and program evaluations is based on her leadership of dozens of evaluation initiatives. She has evaluated projects funded by federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

Coffee Break Webinar Series: 5 Best Practices for Hiring the Right Evaluation Partner

Webinar: 5 Best practices for Hiring the Right Evaluation Partner

Join us for our next Coffee Break Webinar on Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM. EDT.

Evaluators play an important role in framing and facilitating the evaluation but Identifying the right evaluation partner can be quite challenging. As such, there are many issues to consider when you attempt to identify an evaluator such as finding anntity that aligns with the philosophical approach of the project team and the projects’ needs, working with someone who is responsive and overall qualified, and the management of the internal procurement policies. Because of these varied factors, there are many opportunities for the process to go awry, leaving you feeling apprehensive about the entire process.

In this coffee break webinar, Dr. Lana Rucks will draw from her near 20 years of experience in program evaluation to provide five best practices and tips that can aid in the process and ultimately lead to a successful working relationship with an evaluator. All grant writers and project personnel are encouraged to attend!

For the most beneficial experience, we strongly encourage you to review the Now What? How to Use Program Evaluation Findings for Project Continuous Improvement and Developmental Evaluation: What is it? How do you do it? webinars where we introduce key concepts appearing in this webinar.

About the Presenter: Lana Rucks, Ph.D., brings to her work nearly two decades of research and evaluation experience. Her extensive knowledge in the design and implementation of research and program evaluations is based on her leadership of dozens of evaluation initiatives. She has evaluated projects funded by federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

Coffee Break Webinar Series: Developmental Evaluation: What is it? How do you do it?

Join us for our next Coffee Break Webinar on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 2:00p.m. – 2:30p.m. EDT.

Developmental evaluations apply evaluation principles to nascent innovations and complex systems. This approach is useful for evaluating new initiatives as evidenced by the Department of Labor’s solicitation for Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grants prescribing a developmental or adaptive evaluation to be incorporated into the grant funded work.

In this webinar, we will introduce the key concepts of developmental evaluation and explain how to use them by walking through a Department of Labor-funded project that used developmental evaluation. Participants will leave the webinar with a better understanding of what developmental evaluation is and how it is applied.

About the Presenter: Lana Rucks, Ph.D., brings to her work nearly two decades of research and evaluation experience. Her extensive knowledge in the design and implementation of research and program evaluations is based on her leadership of dozens of evaluation initiatives. She has evaluated projects funded by federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

Coffee Break Webinar Series: Three-Part Formula for Writing a Grant Proposal Evaluation

In our increasingly measurement-driven culture, gathering evidence of the difference that an initiative makes is important. Gathering credible evidence of outcomes is an imperative within grant-funded work. All too often evaluations of grant-funded initiatives focus on project activities (e.g., outputs) rather than meaningful project impact (e.g., outcomes). Averting this common error is first addressed when writing an evaluation plan for a grant proposal. Whether you need to write an evaluation plan or review one provided for your project, this webinar series will provide a formula for writing a program evaluation plan.  Presented in three-parts, webinar participants will come away with an understanding of the evaluation plan elements to scale them for large and small grant proposals. Time will be allocated to address participants’ specific questions.


Part I: July 1, 2020 2:00p – 2:30p The Foundations: Theory of Change, Logic Models, and  Evaluation Questions The first webinar of the three-part series begins with a brief review of the six key elements that should be included in every evaluation plan. The webinar will then dig into the foundational components of a program evaluation: theory of change, logic models, and evaluation questions.

Part II: July 15, 2020 2:00p – 2:30p The Methods: Evaluation Design and Data Gathering & Analytical Approaches In Part II, building off of the program evaluation foundations, this webinar will focus on the methods of a program evaluation: design, data gathering strategies, and analytical approaches.

Part III:  July 29, 2020 2:00p – 2:30p The Finale: Evaluation Use,  Sharing Findings, and Evaluation Teams In Part III, the final key elements of a program evaluation will be discussed, such as using program evaluation for continuous improvement, reporting to funding agencies, sharing the findings with different audiences, including the necessary personnel involved in the entire process.  Most important, the final segment will pull together all three parts to show participants how to adjust the elements of an evaluation plan to fit the size of the program proposal.

About the Presenter: Lana Rucks, Ph.D., brings to her work nearly two decades of research and evaluation experience. Her extensive knowledge in the design and implementation of research and program evaluations is based on her leadership of dozens of evaluation initiatives. She has evaluated projects funded by federal agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation and non-profit organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.