The Rucks Group 2020 Fall Newsletter

This fall feels simultaneously family and unfamiliar.

If you are like us at The Rucks Group, you are busy finalizing annual reports and working on new grant proposals. All quite normal for this time of year. But this fall, we are doing this while working remotely alongside our family members who are working remotely and our children who are remotely going to school. Even though we have been in this space for months, it still feels just a little bit different.

While we cannot do much about the unfamiliar context we are operating in, we can support the otherwise familiar tasks. Given the breadth of funding opportunities, in this newsletter, we are featuring resources that are relevant to the development of innovations.

As always, if we can be a resource in any way, do not hesitate to reach out to us at

Webinar on Grant Proposal Evaluation Plans:

This past July, The Rucks Group offered a three-part webinar series to provide a formula for writing an evaluation plan for a grant proposal. Here’s what participants shared about the series:

“I appreciated how the process of creating the evaluation was broken down into steps and how the logic model was explained as being a pictorial representation of the theory of change.”

“[The webinar] was well organized and a good introduction with very usable pointers.”

To review the webinars, visit our newly launched resources page. The page will be continually updated, so we encourage you to frequently visit it. 

Broadening Participation in STEM:

The National Science Foundation Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES) recently released a research brief highlighting evidence-based strategies to broaden participation in STEM. This document serves as a reference guide for project teams striving to increase the participation of students from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

Webinar on NSF ATE Grant Proposal Evaluation Plans:

EvaluATE, the evaluation resource center for the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (NSF ATE) community, recently hosted a webinar on evaluation plans for NSF ATE proposals. In this webinar, EvaluATE shares “some of the biggest mistakes made in evaluation plans for ATE proposals and how to fix them.”

Join Us for Our Next Coffee Break Webinar

Webinar - Developmental Evaluation: What is it? How do you do it? Facilitated by Lana Rucks.

Thursday, September 10; 2:00pET – 2:30pET

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 promulgating a developmental or adaptive evaluation approach 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.

Focusing on Student Success

Student success is directly or indirectly central to educators’ work and related grant projects. As such, we invite you to read a recently published EDUCAUSE blog, Student Success in a Changing World. In this highly informative article, authors Steven Mauro and Terry Mills present a model for driving student success that applies to our current remote learning environment. Dr. Mills is a previous guest blogger with The Rucks Group.

Highlighted Blog Posts:

Student Success Part I: Are we clear about what this means? by guest blogger Dr. Terry Mills
Student Success Part II: How is it defined and what promotes it?
Obtaining Credible Evidence of “Long” Long-Term Outcomes