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Intro to Effective Program Evaluation

April 16, 2024 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM (EDT)


This training experience is an introduction to how program evaluation can be used to maximize a program’s effectiveness for all stakeholders. For program directors, it will help provide a framework for thinking about and refining their process for collecting data. For frontline staff, it will help build their foundational knowledge of program evaluation so they can play a greater role in evaluation within their organization to maximize program impact. 

This introductory training will also provide a roadmap for those interested in identifying ways to support program staff in creating a stronger foundation for impact measurement. The training will provide a starting point for board members who want to help program staff think about new and potentially cost-effective ways to start collecting data about the organization’s impact. Finally, the training will provide a foundation for grant writers who often struggle to provide evidence of an organization’s impact.

In this session, 

  • Participants will learn how to construct a graphic organizer/logic model to guide program evaluation and data gathering.
  • Participants will use backward mapping to identify strengths and weaknesses in the logic and connection between the program’s terminal goals, long-term goals, short-term goals, activities, and inputs.
  • Participants will identify current data sources that can be used for program evaluation, as well as instruments that need to be created for effective program evaluation.

Facilitated by Heidi Sweetman. 

About the Speaker:

I have been an educational program evaluator for almost 20 years.  My interest in program evaluation began when I was a middle school special education teacher.  While I was a teacher, I spent my summers volunteering with a nonprofit that runs programs to support students and families living in poverty. My experiences teaching and volunteering led me to pursue my Masters in Instruction, a unique, interdisciplinary program that allowed me to focus on understanding the challenges families living in poverty experience, a well as, the factors that facilitate their success. Upon completion of my Masters, I realized that I wanted to learn how to evaluate programs targeted at meeting the needs of students living in poverty and who had experienced trauma.  I began my program evaluation career at the University of Delaware’s Education Research & Development Center (ERDC) during my doctoral studies.  Through my time at the EDRC, I gained countless valuable experiences evaluating a broad range of programs across many disciplines.  Eventually, I started my own company, Sweetman Evaluation Consulting, to focus on my passion, educational programs focused on meeting the needs of students “at risk”.  In addition to running Sweetman Evaluation consulting, for the last 10 years, I have served as the co-director of the non-profit I co-founded, Detroit Love.  My academic and volunteer experience equips me with a unique perspective on program evaluation and the needs of families who live in households under the poverty threshold.  Finally, I also work as an adjunct professor of Educational Research in the graduate school of Wilmington University.  This allows me to teach other teachers and professionals how to use program evaluation to improve programs within their areas of interest and influence.  I am a proud academic nerd who loves learning and helping program leaders use program evaluation to make their programs the best they can be.


Members: $40

Future Members: $80

Contact Information

Name: Jennifer Cooper
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