With pleasure I introduce the Program Evaluation Series, an occasional publication of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), which has its home in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD) at the University of Minnesota. Owing to the lengthy history of its evaluation training programs (extending back to the late 1960s when the field originated), the University of Minnesota has a strong reputation for evaluation, both nationally and internationally. For over two decades, MESI has sponsored exceptional professional development on program evaluation* and provided graduate students hands-on opportunities to hone their skills on evaluation projects in a variety of organizations. This new endeavor, the Program Evaluation Series, seeks to broaden the number of people who can benefit from MESI activities by providing high quality, up-to-date, and affordable materials on critical developments in the field.
Why now? There are three reasons we are launching the e-book series at
As the field of evaluation continues to grow around the world, it increasingly relies on on-line electronic materials to keep people current. The benefit of a series of e-books is clear since these books can be downloaded and re-produced for only the cost of the printing or formally printed for a nominal fee.
The practice of program evaluation is a growing activity internationally, and the number of novice evaluators and people conducting evaluations who do not consider themselves professional evaluators is expanding. Knowing that only a small number of colleagues nationally and globally are able to attend trainings in person, this series of e-books will enable MESI to provide useful materials to a broader array of individuals engaged in the field.
An e-book series provides a vehicle for dispersing innovative evaluation content stemming both from academic settings like universities and, equally important, from the world of practice, including the multiple communities in which evaluators ply their trade. Practicing evaluators, many of whom write weekly or monthly blogs, routinely develop materials that they would like to share widely. The Program Evaluation Series provides a mechanism for such dissemination.
We hope you find this publication of value to your evaluation practice and sincerely invite your feedback (firstname.lastname@example.org) and suggestions for additional volumes.
Joan DeJaeghere, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented her new book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods, a publication resulting from the MasterCard Foundation project on youth livelihoods, to several audiences in South Africa. She presented at an author meets critic session at the Human Development and Capability Approach annual conference in Cape Town. She then presented to a group of graduate students at Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth, a group affiliated with the Chair for Youth Unemployment, Employability and Empowerment. Finally, she presented her work to graduate students at the Institute for Social Development at the University of Western Cape. The issue of entrepreneurship education that Joan critically takes up in the book is of great interest to scholars, practitioners and policymakers in South Africa because the government is engaging in many entrepreneurship initiatives to address unemployment and poverty.
“What remains to be seen is how the marketplace will respond in hiring University of the People graduates,” he said. He also wonders how a school could survive without paying instructors (Reshef says they receive honoraria of $3 an hour.) “I was surprised that they could find that many volunteers to actually teach,” said Weerts.
Congratulations to the Institute on Community Integration and David Johnson, Director, for receiving a $10M grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. This five-year cooperative agreement aims to establish the National Technical Assistance Center on Inclusive Practices and Policies. Sheryl Lazarus, Principal Investigator and Kristi Liu, Co-Principal Investigator.
Gary Peter, lecturer in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), has written a collection of short fiction, Oranges, which has been named the winner of the 2016 Many Voices Project Competition in Prose sponsored by New Rivers Press. The national competition promotes the work of new and emerging writers, with one prize given each year in prose and one in poetry. The prize includes a $1,000 honorarium as well as publication of his manuscript in fall 2018.
Cohen and Kaiper are both Ph.D. candidates studying comparative and international development education. Cohen’s dissertation research, funded by a Fulbright Fellowship, employs ethnographic methods to examine the ways in which educational programs foster inclusive environments for Syrian refugees and country nationals in Jordan. Kaiper’s dissertation surrounds the English language learning of South African domestic workers drawing from both a postcolonial and poststructural framework.
Joan DeJaeghere, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), recently presented on her new book to faculty and graduate students of Agricultural Economics and Business Studies at Sokoine University of Agriculture in Morogoro, Tanzania. Morogoro is one of the sites for the study discussed in her book, Educating Entrepreneurial Citizens: Neoliberalism and Youth Livelihoods in Tanzania (Routledge). Her presentation and the book ask the question of how global discourses related to entrepreneurship education that aim to reduce youth unemployment and poverty get adapted and reshaped in local social and economic contexts of Tanzania. It examines how entrepreneurship education is reshaping the purpose of education for citizenship – that of engaging in work that allows youth to supposedly get out of poverty. But such entrepreneurship education doesn’t necessarily ensure these youth get out of poverty; however, additional education/training for marginalized youth can change the social relations that exclude them because they haven’t completed their education or worked in the formal labor market. We found in this study that it gives marginalized youth additional credentials to be “skilled people” and allows them to contribute, even minimally, to the economic wellbeing of the community. The book is based on research in partnership with the MasterCard Foundation’s Learn, Earn and Save Initiative, for which Joan serves as PI.
On June 20 and 21, roughly 500 of Minnesota’s education leaders, researchers, policy makers, and nonprofit organizations gathered at Educational Equity in Action II. This was the second convening hosted by the University of Minnesota. Its focus: improving educational equity by “Working across schools and communities to enhance social emotional learning.”
Dr. Martin Brokenleg, Co-author of the book Reclaiming Youth at Risk: Our Hope for the Future and co-developer of the Circle of Courage model,explained that trauma from oppression, like that experienced by the American Indian community, can span generations.
“Our culture is plagued by intergenerational trauma,” said Brokenleg, whose mother’s family was among those imprisoned at Fort Snelling. He cited the incredibly high suicide rate among Native people, especially in the 18-30 age group, and among people in Ireland and Scotland after generations of oppression by the British, whose methods not coincidentally were adopted by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs. “We’ve had a normal human reaction to an abnormal history.”
Brokenleg described his Circle of Courage model which supports character building or “teaching the heart” through generosity, belonging, independence, and mastery. Brokenleg finished his talk with practical strategies from Circle of Courage attendees could take back to their schools and communities to help young people—especially those suffering from intergenerational trauma—learn and grow.
Dr. Michael Rodriguez, professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota, Jim and Carmen Campbell Leadership Chair in Education and Human Development, and co-director of the Educational Equity Resource Center and the covening, led a plenary discussion on the results of the Minnesota Student Survey (MSS).
Rodriguez explained, although at a high-level the MSS tells a positive story about the developmental skills and supports of Minnesota youth, a closer look at the data demonstrates the reality of the inequities some students experience in Minnesota’s education system. This is particularly apparent for students identifying as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB); students who skip school; students who receive disciplinary action in school; and students who have experienced trauma.
“Ninety-nine percent of our youth say their goal is to graduate from high school—and 65 to 85 percent across demographic groups also want to go to college,” said Rodriguez. “That’s a lot higher than our state’s high school graduation goal for them, which is now about 90 percent by 2020!”
He emphasized that students’ own goals are higher than those we’ve set as a state.
Following the plenary, students in Rodriguez’s Minnesota Youth Development Research Group (MYDRG) led detailed discussions on the MSS results for some of these groups, including: American Indian students, Hmong students, students in special education, LGB students, and students experiencing trauma.
Throughout the convening, participants selected from 28 smaller group breakout sessions on social-emotional learning led by University of Minnesota researchers, youth engagement groups, school districts, the Minneapolis Department of Education, and more. Several sessions included youth as presenters and/or focused on youth participatory action research projects.
Small group discussions
Before the final keynote, attendees participated in a process called TRIZ. They met in small groups—dividing themselves up based on the different developmental skills and supports students need to be successful (identified in Rodriguez’s work). Participants started with the unusual task of listing actions communities might take to destroy the skill being discussed in youth. Then, they shared opportunities they had to remove some of these destructive activities and developed action plans for their schools, communities, and organizations.
Dr. Muhammad Khalifa, associate professor in Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, closed out the convening by challenging the group to practice culturally responsive school leadership (CRSL). He asked that school leaders promote schooling that addresses the specific cultural and learning needs of students by focusing on the perspectives of parents, students, and community members.
“Change in schools can be promoted and fostered by ‘leaders,’ but culturally responsive school leadership is practiced by all stakeholders,” said Khalifa. “Community-based based knowledge informs good leadership practice.”
In this statement, Khalifa connected his keynote to Rodriguez’ and Brokenleg’s work. Each of the speakers stressed the importance of listening to all members of our community to improve educational equity.
Khalifa ended his talk by sharing strategies to help attendees to achieve CRSL in their own schools, organizations, and communities.
“I’m particularly interested in student outcomes as they relate to community engagement, service learning and building civic identity. I want to understand how students experience service learning and community engagement and how their educations are shaped by their work in communities. This will help us improve the programs and experiences we provide. We’re finding that the environment we create for service learning really matters in how the students and communities are affected. An extremely positive – or negative – experience can have a lifelong impact on students’ sense of engagement.”
CEHD alumni John Haugo and David Metzen received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award (OAA) on June 19 at an evening reception at Eastcliff. They were recognized for their significant contributions to Minnesota’s educational system and given their awards by President Eric Kaler. The OAA is the University of Minnesota’s highest award for graduates.
John Haugo was an innovative tech entrepreneur before it was cool. After working as a teacher for many years, Haugo went on to earn an M.A. (’64) and Ph.D. (’68) from CEHD. He had a specialty in information systems and, after finishing his doctorate, led the implementation of computer networks across Minnesota State University campuses.
He was later appointed to a governor’s task force to study the potential use of computers in education, which led to his position as executive director of the Minnesota Educational Computing Consortium, or MECC. Early on, Haugo realized the educational potential of personal desktop computers and the importance of teaching students how to use them. Because of his efforts at MECC, all public schools in Minnesota had Apple computers with instructional software, and teachers were trained how to incorporate them into their lesson plans. Haugo eventually moved on to launch his entrepreneurial career and founded several software companies focused on health care delivery and resource management. One of his colleagues said, “John could have used his entrepreneurial skills in any type of business, but he wanted to improve the world.”
David Metzen went from being a U of M hockey standout to having an exemplary career in the field of public education. Metzen has a B.S. (’64), M.A. (’70) and Ed.D. (’73) from CEHD. He started his career as a teacher in his hometown of South Saint Paul, soon advancing to the position of principal and later superintendent. A parent from that time shared, “On the first day of school, Dave took our daughter by the hand and walked her to her classroom, all the while telling her how great school was going to be. She not only believed him then, she is now a 9th grade English teacher in the Minneapolis public schools.” As a lifelong resident and passionate supporter of his community, Metzen realized the importance of strong public schools as a civic point of pride. To ensure the ongoing health of the district, he established one of the first school foundations in Minnesota, the South Saint Paul Educational Foundation.
The University of Minnesota was influenced by Metzen’s thoughtful leadership as a Board of Regents member for 12 years, including two years as chair. He wanted to ensure that college education remained affordable for all students. During his time as a regent, the board oversaw the reorganization of General College and the College of Human Ecology, bringing together several programs under the umbrella of the new College of Education and Human Development. After his regents term ended, Metzen continued his leadership for college affordability as Minnesota’s Commissioner of Higher Education.
In their acceptance remarks, both Haugo and Metzen acknowledged the importance of the University of Minnesota to their lives and to the state. We are proud to have such distinguished alumni affiliated with CEHD!
Roozbeh Shirazi, assistant professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), spoke on Reconfiguring Representations of The Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as part of a special panel at Columbia University. His presentation explored the politics of representation in the classroom at a time of heightened political tensions between the US and Iran. It featured ethnographic research he carried out in the Twin Cities that addressed pedagogical challenges and possibilities in how English teachers approach the graphic novel Persepolis with students. The panel was sponsored by Teachers College, the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, and the Department of Social Studies Education at Teachers College.
“Social Capital and Sense of Belonging: Exploring Assigned Academic Advising as a Retention Tool for Rural Students”
The purpose of this study is to explore how rural students experience assigned academic advising as a tool to develop social capital and sense of belonging in an urban college environment and the ways these experiences influence retention.
Rashné Jehangir, associate professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), gave the keynote address for Inaugural First Generation Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) held May 4-5. Jehangir’s talk was on Purposeful Pioneers: First Generation College Students in Higher Education.
This award recognizes exceptional service to the University, its schools, colleges, departments, and service units by an active or retired faculty or staff member. Recipients of this award have gone well beyond their regular duties and have demonstrated an unusual commitment to the University community.
Miksch’s contributions to the college and University have been extraordinary through her work and consultation on legal issues, academic freedom, student admissions, and fostering diversity and inclusion in graduate education.
She will be honored at a reception at Eastcliff on June 15, and the Board of Regents will recognize her at their meeting on May 12. See all of this year’s winners.
“As for program design, companies should build programs based on what leaders will learn that will help the company, says Sanghamitra Chaudhuri, a University of Minnesota lecturer in organizational policy and leadership development who has been studying reverse mentoring since 2012.”
Frances Vavrus, professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development (OLPD), participated in the National Conference on Teacher Training in Tanzania during the first week of April and gave a talk entitled The Local Picture: Contextual Considerations for Teacher Training in Tanzania. The conference was attended by representatives of the Tanzanian Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology, the World Bank, Save the Children, Peace Corps, and a number of Tanzanian universities and non-governmental organizations. Dr. Vavrus has been involved in teacher professional development in Tanzania since 2006 as a facilitator and researcher studying the changing educational policy landscape in the country as it affects teachers’ lives.