SPEC releases nine Lumina reports

On October 30, 2015, SPEC released Improving the Yields in Higher Education, a comprehensive report on a five-year state policy and institutional change  effort funded by Lumina Foundation. (Click here for the report and news release.)

Between 2008 and 2013, SPEC worked with an international, multi-disciplinary team of experts in higher education research and policy, in systems thinking in evaluation, and in evaluating inter-organizational collaboratives to evaluate a national initiative of Lumina Foundation aimed at improving higher education productivity in seven states: Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas. SPEC produced nine reports from this work (one about each of the seven states plus two reports offering cross-state syntheses and analyses). Click here to view and download the reports.

SPEC releases EvaluationLive!®  

After more than 30 years as a practicing evaluator, Melanie Hwalek and Mary Williams created a model for how to breathe life, fun and excitement into program evaluation experiences. EvaluationLive!®  is a practice model that helps evaluators go beyond just doing good work to creating excitement, urgency and a hunger for learning during the evaluation experience. This, in turn, maximizes evaluation use and greater value for stakeholders. Click here to view and download information about EvaluationLive!®.  


SPEC receives prestigious Faster Forward Fund grant


In November, 2015, SPEC received a grant from the Faster Forward Fund to test the application of agent based modeling and simulation to program evaluation.  The test case will work with data on postsecondary transfer, persistence and completion available through the cooperation of the Arizona Board of Regents institutions, but the modeling methodology has application to a wide array of social service interventions. The hypothesis is that iterating evaluation data collection and using agent based modeling for the analyses will provide policy makers, program managers and other interested parties with better understanding of how programs operate and what they achieve.  Click here to read more about this work.