"How can you tell if your programs are effective? What kind of evaluation tools does Open Roads use?" These are excellent questions, my friends.
Today I'm going to tell you all about a fantastic group Open Roads has been working with over the past few years and one of the evaluation tools we use to determine program quality.
The Kalamazoo Youth Development Network (also called KYDNet for short) supports organizations like ours that serve youth.
KYDNet hosts monthly network meetings to connect us with partners, provides learning resources, visits and evaluates our programs in action, and provides follow-up support and improvement planning tools. We are truly grateful to have this FREE support system in place. We started working with them in early 2014 and have continued to improve our overall program quality with their support. Below we are going to show you two sets of data. These are two sets of scores (one from 2015 and one from 2017) of the Youth Program Quality Assessment.
As you can see, our levels of Interaction and Engagement have greatly improved over the last two years. Those changes came from detailed planning and feedback sessions with our Youth Advisory Board and staff team. Here we have a summary of ways we increased levels of interaction and engagement for student participants:
For example, because of YPQA and KYDNet support, journaling is now an regular part of the learning process for students. It helps them process social skills they learned that day, practice self-awareness and other important Social Emotional Learning skills, and it helps our Instructors get to know our students and their needs on a more personal level.
Thank you for taking some time to learn a little bit about how we evaluate our program quality. We have multiple ways we evaluate each of our programs, and YPQA is just one of them. If you have any specific questions or comments, please leave them below!
Posts Provided By:
Willo Radgens, Executive Director - In Coordination with: Open Roads staff and board members, youth and parents, and dedicated program partners