Program Evaluation

Billions of public and private dollars are invested in workforce, education, and training programs each year. And policymakers, workers, job seekers, and employers want assurance that those investments have a positive impact.

The Heldrich Center is committed to designing and implementing evaluations of workforce, education, and training programs that are grounded in an understanding of the program or initiative being evaluated. The Center employs an interdisciplinary evaluation team with faculty and professional staff trained in economics, organizational psychology, political science, and public policy.

Center researchers use multiple methods to evaluate programs and policies. To conduct process evaluations of how well programs are being implemented and how program implementation might be improved, the Center uses surveys, focus groups, structured interviews, and participant observation. In conducting outcomes evaluations, Center researchers analyze data using appropriate statistical methods as well as quasi-experimental research designs. The method the Center follows depends on the nature of the program being evaluated, the stage in its development, and the goals it aims to achieve. Findings from the Heldrich Center’s program evaluations and recommendations for program improvements are shared with clients via presentations, memos, and reports.

Example of Heldrich Center program evaluations include:

  • Evaluations of projects operating across the United States seeking to lower the high unemployment and underemployment rates of individuals with disabilities using job-driven practices and strategies.
  • An evaluation of a pilot program to identify promising Personalized Student Learning Plan formats, curricula, resources, and implementation and assessment practices.
  • Evaluations of the implementation of training programs at three county colleges in New Jersey under Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.
  • Evaluation of the State of New Jersey’s American Jobs Center system.

Experts:

Laurie HarringtonMaria Heidkamp, Kathy Krepcio, William Mabe, Alex Ruder