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Program Evaluation

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Proposal Layout Guide


Develop and improve, on the basis of assessment, a program evaluation proposal with the following sections. (These items will not be completed in exactly the order listed because some central decisions control how all parts integrate. As changes occur, sections must be adjusted accordingly.  The instructors recommend use of the outline in Figure 15.1 (Royse, Thyer & Padgett, 2010, p. 388) and Box 15.1 (Royse, Thyer & Padgett, 2010, p. 374).  All of Chapter 15 should be considered when completing the final paper/report for this course.) Please write all sections in future tense except the hypothetical agency description (present tense) and the literature review (present or past depending on the type of citation).  In all writing for Bellevue University, APA formatting is expected (Currently, 6th Edition).


  1. Executive Summary: An overview of the entire report, focused on a broad introduction of the topic and evaluation outcomes and recommendations.  (20 Points)
  2. Introduction section:
    • Description of the problem or issue to be explored. This is a high level introduction of the topic.  (Specifics about your program evaluation question will follow in the third element of the Introduction Section.)  Be specific and describe evidence indicating that program processes or outcomes may be below standards or that there is room for improvement.  This may include concern that regulatory requirements are not being met, funding sources may question program viability, other questions that concern stakeholders (including the clients). (15 points)
    • Program description and background. This puts the issue being explored into context. Succinctly describe the agency in terms of any of the following that are relevant—and add others if needed. This may start as “bullets” but is to written in about 3 well-organized and focused paragraphs in the final version. (35 points)
      1. Main mission, 2-3 highlights in the history of the organization
      2. Top three service goals or strategies related to carrying out the mission
  • Information about the theoretical foundation of the model of care,

i.e., What makes change happen in the program?

  1. Top two qualities or skills needed by the director and by the main direct service staff
  2. Description of case or work loads of main service staff
  3. Estimated budget and sources of finances (keep this global and very brief)
  • Top 2-3 results of a recent “needs analysis” (this usually will be hypothetical for purposes of this course) of what service needs there are in the community that the agency can address
  • Top 2 results of a previous program evaluation or accreditation report, i.e., What are areas needing improvement within the agency?
  1. Two indicators of the skills and attitudes of the board of directors
  2. Two indicators of the skills and attitudes of other significant stakeholders
  3. Two indicators of community awareness of the agency and of degree of acceptance of its services as essential
  • Two examples of media coverage of the agency and its work

 Purpose of the evaluation and rationale for it. This section brings the problem together with your program.  State the “focus” or hypothesis of the program evaluation proposal. The focus should be about an issue or problem with a main element or process in the agency’s model of care that is of concern at this point in time. For example, a focus might be on whether all the skills needed in a parenting program have been learned adequately to make it likely that better child outcomes will result in the future. Although future outcomes are mentioned, the real focus is an intermediate concern about whether the education program is being delivered properly, i.e., with “fidelity” (see chapter 14 in the text). In other words, it is likely that your program evaluation is a component part of a larger chain of research.  Describe/review the appropriate type of program evaluations, e.g., needs assessment, formative, process, quality assurance/monitoring, and summative/outcomes. (20 points)

  1. Literature Review section: Identify and summarize (in about one page) relevant knowledge contained in at least three substantive articles about the issues and methods proposed in this program evaluation proposal. Respond to the items for Literature Review in Figure 15.1. (20 points)
  2. Method section: In general, follow the pattern suggested for Methodology in Box 15.1. Method section: Investigation of the focus requires operational description of how data will be gathered to “test” the hypothesis. Describe the participants, the design (see the text for the main types of research designs used in evaluation research), measures, data collection processes (include informed consent form in the appendix), and a description of data analysis technique(s), e.g., time series graphs, t-test. (35 points)
  3. Results section: Describe the expected results from the data analysis. This should be a short paragraph providing a hypothetical trend expectation from the main data collected. (5 points)
  4. Discussion/Recommendations section: Hypothesize the top 2-3 direct practice ways the expected results could be put to practical use. This may include making changes related to the focus of the program evaluation research, may suggest further study to clarify or overcome limitations, etc. (15 points)
  5. References section: APA format required; APA style will be graded. (15 points)
  6. Appendix: List items in a table of contents on the first page after the Reference section; then put each of the following—you can add or delete as relevant—on a separate page (20 points):
    • An original consent form (can adapt an existing model) that informs potential participants of the purpose, types of responses and methods needed, how their personal information will be handled—keep HIPAA in mind, and how the results will be disseminated and used
    • An original or adapted scale or survey with a logical, clear design and wording
    • Data collection plan
    • Data collection forms or tables (use mock data to test whether the forms will be suitable but do NOT present these mock data in the Results sections).
    • Data summary tables (use some mock data to test—do NOT present in the Results section)
    • Description of proposed meetings to communicate with various types of stakeholders—indicate a few agenda items needed for presenting and getting approval of your proposal.
    • Other relevant documents, e.g., brochures, bibliography (as opposed to the cited items that are in the Reference section)


You are expected to improve the proposal based on assessment feedback received on your rough draft; rough draft should include all elements.  Always consider communication, critical thinking, composition, APA manuscript style, and internal consistency; use the rubric, APA checklist, grammar checker and other tools as part of your assessments—be systematic in the process.



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