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CREST Selected Projects

CREST collaborates with their partners in the research and evaluation processes across various divisions of higher education, K-12 education, and human and social services. The list of projects below provides a summary of each of the projects, including the evaluation components:

  • Evaluation of Education Programs
  • Evaluation of STEM Education Programs
  • Evaluation of Professional Development and Training Programs
  • Evaluation of Community Programs

Evaluation of Education Programs

Project: Teacher Incentive Fund (TIF)/Arizona Ready-for-Rigor

Funder: U.S. Department of Education
Timeline: October 2009 – September 2016

Project Description: This project aims to develop and reward teacher and administrator excellence. Utilizing the TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement, the program is to increase student achievement, prepare and retain skilled educators, and foster exemplary school culture in high-need schools across the Arizona State.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation effort focuses on examining (1) the fidelity of the model, (2) the impact on teacher and principal effectiveness, (3) student achievement, (4) the impact on school culture, and (5) retention of effective staff. Data is collected longitudinally to examine trends over time for teacher effectiveness, student achievement, school culture, and the impact of the project on teacher retention rates.

Project: Teacher Quality Partnership NEXT Grant Evaluation

Funder: U.S. Department of Education
Timeline: October 2015 – September 2018

Project Description: The iTeachAZ Model in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College includes reformed coursework, school-university partnerships, yearlong residency, and multiple measures of teacher candidate performance. This embedded model, part of 30 districts throughout the state, has produced over 2,500 teachers since 2011.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation focuses on three main research questions: (1) the impact of the reformed coursework and participation in a year-long residency on graduation rates and certification exam passage rates, (2) the impact of college-level outcomes on our graduates' employment status and teaching effectiveness, and (3) the depth and breadth of program effectiveness.

Project: Pro-Mod (First in the World)

Funder: U.S. Department of Education, FIPSE
Timeline: October 2014 – September 2018

Project Description: The goal of ProMod is to increase higher education access and success for students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The program is based on “move on when ready” and it is expected to significantly shorten time to bachelor's degree attainment. In addition, an Early Start program within the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) involves seniors in coursework, a summer transition program, and a near-peer and parent-to-parent mentoring program to provide co-curricular supports for high schools students and ASU students.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation focuses on examining the (1) implementation of project based learning in the high school classroom, (2) impacts of project based learning at the high school level, and (3) impact on students from the near-peer and parent-to-parent mentoring program. Further, the evaluation examines entry into ASU from high school as well as retention and persistence once at ASU.

Project: Evaluation of the Early Start Program in CLAS

Funder: College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Timeline: August 2015 – February 2016

Project Description: The goal of this evaluation is to examine the impact of an early start program on first year students. Students participate in a two week bridge program, mentoring program, and on-going support groups with faculty.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation examined participants' (1) knowledge gained, (2) skills acquired, (3) engagement in the university community, and (4) overall satisfaction with the program components.

Evaluation of STEM Education Programs

Project: NNCI: Nanotechnology Collaborative Infrastructure Southwest (NCI-SW)

Funder: National Science Foundation, Div of Electrical, Communication, and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
Timeline: September 2015 – August 2020

Project Description: The NCI-SW supports users from six sites performing research at the frontiers of nanoscience and engineering. Its activities include training programs that focus on workforce development and entrepreneurial initiatives for 21st-century manufacturing industries. The goals of the NCI-SW are to build a southwest regional infrastructure for nanotechnology discovery and innovation, to address societal needs through education and entrepreneurship, and to serve as a model site of the NNCI.

Project Evaluation: The CREST evaluation effort includes the examination of (2) public awareness of nanoscience, (2) public appreciation for the potential of nanotechnology to benefit society, (3) knowledge and skills of participants in nanotechnology workshops and/or presentations, and (4) level of impact on the field of nanoscience by participants of the program.

Project: Center for Bio-inspired Bio-mediated Geotechnics (CBBG)

Funder: National Science Foundation, Division of Electrical, Communication, and Cyber Systems (ECCS)
Timeline: August 2015 – July 2020

Project Description: The CBBG ERC will conduct basic research to understand biological processes that act on the ground, including the action of bacteria, plants, and animals. The expected benefits of this research will be less costly construction of civil infrastructure with reduced energy and material use and less environmental degradation. In addition, the Center is committed to educating, preparing and inspiring a new generation of innovative biogeotechnical engineering students who will have the opportunity to train in a multi-discipline, team-based interdisciplinary research setting.

Project Evaluation: The CREST evaluation focuses on the CBBG education component. The evaluation examines (1) students and teachers' knowledge, (2) skills and attitudes of participants, and (3) engagement levels of participants in the program. In addition, the evaluation will examine inclusion of under-represented groups in STEM fields.

Project: Improving Science Achievement through Content Learning and Collaborative Inquiry

Funder: Dysart Unified School District, US Department of Education
Timeline: July 2014 – July 2015

Project Description: This collaborative project between Dysart Unified School District (DUSD), Estrella Mountain Community College, and Arizona State University (ASU) (external evaluator) was part of a Math and Science Partnership Grant (MSPG). Through professional development, training, and on-going coaching, the goals of the project were to increase the number of teachers who are adequately prepared to teach science by increasing teacher content knowledge and to increase the academic achievement of students taught by the teachers involved in the project.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation utilized a quasi-experimental design examining treatment and comparison groups. The evaluation examined whether there were differences between groups on (1) teachers' preparedness to teach science, (2) the use of scientific practices in science instruction, (3) confidence and efficacy with teaching science, and (4) science achievement of students. In addition, fidelity to the program model was examined.


Evaluation of Professional Development and Training Programs

Project: Mexico Teacher Development Program

Funder: The Secretary of Public Education (SEP)
Timeline: June 2015 – December 2015

Project Description: The overarching goal of this program was to provide Mexican high school teachers with new techniques to incorporate into their existing strategies when teaching their students English as a foreign language (TEFL).

Project Evaluation: The CREST evaluation effort focused on measuring the teaching fellows' perceived (1) knowledge gain, (2) confidence in the ability to apply newly acquired skills within their own contexts, (3) personal/cultural growth, and (4) overall satisfaction with the program. Observational faculty focus groups were utilized to gain faculty and classroom level data that could be used to inform future programs.

Project: Next Generation Leaders (NGL) Teacher Development Program

Funder: Private donation
Timeline: August 2015 – February 2016

Project Description: The goal of the program was to provide a group of Palestinian educators with new strategies and techniques needed to incorporate educational change innovations within their Palestinian schools and communities.

Project Evaluation: The CREST evaluation effort focused on measuring the teaching fellows' perceived (1) knowledge gain, (2) confidence in the ability to implement change innovations within their own Palestinian contexts, (3) personal/cultural growth, and (4) overall satisfaction with the program. In addition, the follow-up evaluation will include surveys and interviews assessing the degree to which the fellows are implementing the change innovations, and communities to observe the extent to which the fellows are using their new skills to impact positive change in the community.

Project: India Support for Teacher Education Program (InSTEP)

Funder: USAID
Timeline: August 2014 – July 2016

Project Description: The goal of the In-STEP program was to help Indian educators overcome challenges in creating a new, modern, public education system. ASU provided educational support for Fellows to create meaningful reform innovations as they become change leaders in their Indian communities.

Project Evaluation: The evaluation plan was designed to capture (1) knowledge of educational practices, (2) skills in applying techniques, (3) attitudes toward collaboration and active learning opportunities, and (4) implementation of equity and inclusion into their reform proposals. The evaluation also followed Fellows after they returned to their home institutions to examine the application of strategies and implementation of their reforms.


Evaluation of Community Programs

Project: Goodwill Face Forward 3 Program

Funder: Department of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
Timeline: July 2015 – July 2018

Project Description: Goodwill's GoodFutures-Face Forward 3 (GF3) program serves approximately 132 youth (14-25 years of age) who have at some point been involved with the juvenile justice system. The GF3 program provides mentoring and other case management services aimed at reducing recidivism and providing the support needed to achieve educational and occupational goals.

Project Evaluation: The CREST evaluation team is providing assistance to assist the Goodwill team to utilize already existing data sources and create surveys to assess whether the support services provided are being utilized to their full capacity by the participants in addition to tracking retention rates and other key outcomes rates and other key outcomes