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About the Evaluation Center

Welcome to the Evaluation Center at the University of Kentucky College of Education. The Evaluation Center operates as an independent evaluation resource for the college, university, and state. Despite its independent status, the Evaluation Center draws on the expertise of faculty in the College of Education regarding quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methodologies.

The Evaluation Center’s mission is to provide collaborative mixed-methods evaluation services which gather solid data, improve data utilization, increase knowledge, enhance decision-making, and strengthen policy development for education and human service organizations.

The Evaluation Center incorporates a multi-disciplinary advisory panel to guide its practices. The Center follows the International Rainbow Framework and techniques for evaluation plan development and implementation, as well as the American Evaluation Associations’ ethical guidelines for evaluation services, which include systematic inquiry, competence, integrity, honesty, respect for people, and responsibility for general and public welfare.

What We Do

Since the Fall 2014, the Evaluation Center has consulted, designed proposals, and provided hands-on evaluation services for over 40 projects spanning a variety of education and human service organizations. All 120 Kentucky counties were reached by at least one of the Center’s evaluation projects, with many counties impacted by several projects either directly or indirectly.

The Evaluation Center established its framework for services following utilization-focused methodology. This means the evaluation team lets the intended use of the evaluation, as stated by the contracting agency, guide decisions on how to conduct the evaluation.

While some evaluation services use prescriptive methods, requiring each evaluation to follow the same format, the Evaluation Center works collaboratively with the research team to develop an evaluation design that is specific to an agency or group’s individual needs. We focus on making information useful for the organization and sponsor with the intention of increasing knowledge and supporting improvement of general practices at both formative and summative points in the evaluation.

Our projects have met the What Works Clearinghouse 1) Regression Discontinuity Design Standards without Reservation and 2) Group Design Standards without Reservation designations. What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is managed by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education, and all WWC projects undergo the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance’s rigorous peer review process to ensure the highest quality of evidence is produced and disseminated. The Center’s evaluation plans have attained the highest possible WWC review ratings.