The Rucks Group 2020 Summer Newsletter

Many higher education professionals are taking a moment to exhale after a whirlwind experience caused by a most unusual spring semester while also trying to digest an ever-evolving and tumultuous world.

We recently were involved in a conversation with a funder who asked the project team that we are working with, “Given everything around us, does this elevate the importance of program evaluation?” We found this question to be encouraging and motivating.

Program evaluation may seem like a relatively unimportant topic compared to what is swirling around us. Still, through the systematic frame that program evaluation offers, it helps to produce insights for what to do next. At The Rucks Group, our “next” is focusing on identifying solutions to address issues from the perspective of our core competencies. We hope that the resources offered in this newsletter will help you as you determine your “next.”

Join Our Next Coffee Break Webinar

Wednesdays, July 1, 15, and 29; 2:00pET – 2:30pET

In our increasingly measurement-driven culture, gathering evidence of the difference that an initiative makes is important. Gathering credible evidence of outcomes is imperative within grant-funded work. 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. Webinar participants will come away with an understanding of the evaluation plan elements to scale them for large and small grant proposals.

Example of Columbus State Community College Pivoting to a Virtual Career Fair

We are all deeply aware of the need to “pivot” in these ever-evolving times. Determining the best strategy for how to change directions appropriately can be challenging. We learned about this excellent example of pivoting from an in-person career fair to a virtual one through our work with Columbus State Community College. With their permission, we share this resource, including the language used for disseminating, with our audience.

Additional Resources

HI-TEC 2020 Transformed: The High-Impact Technology Exchange (HI-TEC) Conference is going virtual this year. Look for our session handouts on Using Social Network Analysis to Evaluate the Development of Professional Connectivity with Michael FitzGerald, Ph.D., as the lead presenter in collaboration with Emma Leeburg of EvaluATE. Registration will open soon and is complimentary for the first 350 registrants.

ATE Community Support Webinar: On Wednesday, June 10 at 1:00pET the American Association of Community Colleges, Mentor-Connect, and ATE Central, are sponsoring a webinar intended “to address commonly asked grant management questions.” This webinar is certain to provide lots of great information on to manage current and future NSF ATE grants.

Urban Institute RFPs and RFIs: WorkRise, which is hosted by the Urban Institute, is a research-to-action network forced on jobs, workers, and mobility. WorkRise is seeking request for proposals (RFPs) and request for information (RFIs) to identify research projects in need and funding and “promising, scalable practices” in need of additional support and/or research and evaluation. Responses are due by 11:59pmET, June 29, 2020. 

Highlighted blog posts:

5 Data-Informed Tips for Transitioning from Remote Learning to Online Learning
Reporting Help: Calculating Nearest Person Month
Using Logic Models to Navigate Projects
The Rucks Group 2020 Spring Newsletter