Education Evaluations

Active Projects


NxtGEN Teacher Quality Partnership

(2014 – On-going)

The University of Colorado Denver, Denver Public Schools, and 24 high-need rural schools districts have entered into a partnership to prepare the next generation of teachers. This project, funded by the Department of Education, allows the partners to recruit local diverse students and provide them with customized pathways and support during their teacher preparation and to continue support to new teachers so they can serve in the highest need urban and rural school settings. The project has a clear focus on improving academic achievement and diversifying the teacher workforce.

These questions guide the evaluation of NxtGEN:

  • What is the evidence that the NxtGEN model promotes the recruitment, preparation, and retention of diverse teacher candidates? How do the various program components contribute to the recruitment, preparation and retention of effective teachers?
  • What is the evidence the NxtGEN programs effectively promote academic and career persistence? How do retention rates among program graduates compare to those of state and district teachers?
  • What is the evidence that programs provide customized services and support for licensure, induction, and ongoing professional development in rural districts?
  • What is the effectiveness of online learning in preparing teacher candidates in rural communities?
  • Are participants more effective in raising student test scores than other Colorado public school teachers with the same level of experience but trained through other routes?
  • What is the evidence that the induction model is responsive to individual teachers’ professional growth and social emotional needs? For first and second year teachers, is this model associated with increased effectiveness and persistence?
  • What is the evidence that the partnership with the Learning Assistants program enhances the recruitment, preparation, and retention of STEM teacher candidates? What is the evidence that LAs thrive academically in the program?
  • How does the NxtGEN model increase the capacity of faculty and partner educators to implement national and state-level standards-based reforms?

Evaluation methods include: needs assessments, interviews/focus groups, surveys, GIS mapping, rubrics to assess the quality of partnerships, and the review of records including recruitment, graduation, teacher evaluations and assessments, teacher retention, and student achievement data.

Office of Early Childhood – Evaluation of Colorado’s Early Childhood Councils & Organizational Capacity

(2019 – 2020)

In 2007, the state of Colorado established a network of Early Childhood Councils (ECCs) to serve as hub to support accessible and high-quality early childhood services in their communities (HB 07-1062).  The state requires an evaluation of the councils every three years guided by five questions:

  1. How are ECCs functioning?
  2. What are ECC outcomes (including outcomes of the waiver process)?
  3. What is the status of ECC funding?
  4. What are ECC challenges?
  5. How well does the state support ECCs?

The triennial evaluation of the ECCs includes interviews with ECC staff and members across the state, surveys of early childhood service providers, and a review of the strategic plans and evaluation reports.  In addition, evaluators will assess the organizational capacity of three complementary agencies: ECCs, Family Resource Centers, and Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies to determine the effectiveness of the current system to provide integrated and comprehensive early childhood services.


Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)

(2007 – On-going)

The Center for International Business Education and Research seeks to increase the competency of students and faculty in international business at UCD and throughout the western region.

The evaluation of CIBER assesses the impact on the professional practice of faculty participants, the affect on curriculum, and the satisfaction of participants with programs.  Evaluation methods utilized for the CIBER evaluation include: Expert review of curriculum, surveys, grant report review, interviews, and observations.

CIBER is a grant award program through the U. S. Department of Education.

Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands (ESIL)

(2018 – 2019)

The University of Colorado Denver (CU-Denver) has been awarded a National Science Foundation grant to develop and implement a certificate program to prepare tribal liaisons to improve the environmental stewardship of Indigenous lands (ESIL). This pilot phase will include the development of a network of partners using the collective impact initiative principles.

The Evaluation Center is assessing how the partner network is developing and working by gathering feedback through key informant interviews, observations, and artifact review. We use a specifically tailored rubric for the ESIL project to assess the functioning of the network, as well as, story-telling to facilitate qualitative data collection.

The evaluation examines the extent to which

  • Partners have a common agenda;
  • Backbone infrastructure, facilitates the planned work; and
  • Mutually reinforcing activities are implemented

Further, we are assessing ways in which partners are using shared measurements and continuous communication supports progress. Performance indicators will be established to better understand ESIL participants’ motivation, satisfaction with certificate program components, and anticipated career trajectory; and what we can learn from existing data related to the ESIL certificate program.

We use participatory methods with program leaders at all phases of the evaluation to ensure all voices are heard and that the evaluation aligns with best practices in cultural responsiveness during data collection and analysis.

National Resource HUB for STEM Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions

(2018 – On-going)

The National Science Foundation awarded only one Resource Hub for STEM Education at Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) for the entire country. The five-year grant funds an HSI Resource Hub at New Mexico State University, in collaboration with Dona Ana Community College and California State University-Northridge. The HSI Resource Hub aims to reach HSIs across the nation to build partnerships that will support STEM education, increase STEM research and education capacity at HSIs, and encourage implementation of cutting-edge training in STEM education.

The Evaluation Center is assessing the work of the HSI Resource Hub in:

  1. Prioritizing race equity and cultural competence
  2. Developing and sustaining network that includes community colleges, 4-year colleges, and other partner institutions
  3. Building the capacity of HSIs to secure funding for STEM education and research through the grantsmanship program
  4. Developing and delivering training and technical assistance that meets the needs of the HSIs
  5. Disseminating resources throughout the network

Evaluation Methods include: organizational network analysis, geographic mapping, key informant interviews, surveys, and document review.

Past Projects

University of Colorado Denver Center for Faculty Development HIPs


The Evaluation Center conducted a survey of faculty who participated in learning opportunities focused on high impact practices and a review of participants’ course syllabi.

Engaging Schools

(2016- 2018)

Collaboration to develop comprehensive logic models to describe the program’s work to develop positive and equitable school communities.

Englewood Public Schools – STEM Workforce Development

(2017 – 2018)

Development of a comprehensive evaluation plan and instruments to assess the fidelity of implementation of Englewood Schools K-12 STEM education program

Big Green:School Garden Communities

(2017 – 2018)

Study of the impact of student participation in school garden communities, curriculum, and internships in five states.

Girls Athletic Leadership School (GALS)

(2014 – 2018)

Study of the impact of the GALS curriculum and school model on students’ self-efficacy and achievement.

Literacy & Language Development for English Language Learners

(2014 – 2018)

Measurement of the impact of this certificate program at CU Denver.

Buell Early Childhood Leadership Program

(2013 – 2018)

Summative evaluation of the leadership program, specifically looking at the program’s impact on leadership development and increased sphere of influence of participants in the ECE community.

Pueblo Innovation Schools

(2014 – 2016)

Qualitative study at three Pueblo middle schools to assess the impact of the innovation schools model for teachers and students.

ECE Enhanced: Early Literacy and Language Development for Young English Language Learners

(2012 – 2014)

A mixed-methods study of the effectiveness of the courses and the impact on students.

eLearning Communities for Academic Language Learning in Math and Science (eCALLMS)

(2012 – 2014)

Mixed methods evaluation that provided formative information to program leaders.

Denver Public School’s Innovation Schools

(2010 – 2013)

Study of nineteen innovation or autonomous schools in the Denver Public School system to the impact of innovation status on teachers and students.
2012 – 2013 Innovation Schools Report – Full Report
Progress of Innovation Schools in DPS: Year Two of an Evaluation Study – Full Report
2010 – 2011 Innovation Schools Report – Full Report
2010 – 2011 Innovation Schools Report – Executive Summary

Junior Achievement – Igniting the American Spirit

(2010 – 2013)

Summative evaluation looking at student attitudes, content knowledge, and academic progression of students in this Junior Achievement program.

National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education

(2010 – 2012)

Evaluation of the Healthy Weight Initiative that provides guidelines for pre-school educators.

Public Education & Business Coalition (PEBC)

(2005 – 2012)

Various evaluation activities aimed at examining specific program components such as the impact of training on school leadership teams, the importance of internal lab classrooms, and the fidelity of implementation of professional development.

Denver Public Schools Professional Compensation System for Teachers (ProComp)

(2008 – 2011)

A multi-year study of the impact of ProComp on student achievement, recruitment and retention of quality teachers, and implementation of a sustainable compensation system.

Final Report:
Executive Summary: Making a Difference in Education Reform, ProComp External Evaluation Report
Final Report: Making a Difference in Education Reform, ProComp External Evaluation Report

Denver Public Schools Parent Engagement Measurement

(2011 – 2011)

Focus groups with parents concerning the merit of proposed indicators of parent engagement in schools.

Improving Teacher’s 21st Century Assessment Practices (ITCAP)

(2010 – 2010)

Study of the impact of ITCAP professional development training at one Boulder Valley school (Colorado Department of Education).

Scholars for Knowledge in Learning and Leadership Mathematics Science Partnership (SKILL)

(2008 – 2010)

Three year study of the impact of the SKILL summer internship for Denver Public Schools math/science teachers paired with laboratory researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center campus. (Colorado Department of Education)

Boettcher Teachers Program

(2005 – 2012)

Evaluation of teacher preparation program

Culturally Responsive Librarians

(2008 – 2009)

Course evaluation (University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human development)

Aurora Lights


Evaluation of program to support students seeking health careers funded by in the Aurora Public Schools (Health Resources and Services Administration).

Colorado Children’s Campaign – Colorado Small Schools Initiative (CSSI)


Summative evaluation of the Colorado Small School Initiative funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that was implemented by the Colorado Children’s Campaign 2001-2006.

Professional Learning Access in Science & Math through Internet Delivery (PLASMID)

(2008 – 2009)

Study of impact of online professional development for middle school math teachers in rural areas of Colorado. (Colorado Department of Education)

Passage Works


Evaluation of a 9th grade transition to high school program in Denver Public Schools.

Learn & Serve Colorado

(2006 – 2008)

Study of the impact of service learning on student achievement (Colorado Department of Education)

Rocky Mountain Math Science Middle School Project (RM-MSMSP)

(2005 – 2008)

Data collection for evaluation of math and science advanced courses for middle school teachers (National Science Foundation).

Colorado Consortium for Data Driven Decisions (C2D3)

(2007 – 2008)

Study of the impact of C2D3 professional development training on participant’s perceptions, classroom implementation, and the achievement of their students. (Colorado Department of Education).

Wyoming Leadership Academy

(2006 – 2007)

Evaluation of principal professional development (University of Wyoming)

Aurora Public Schools


Data analyses on correlation of physical fitness and academic achievement

Elizabeth Public Schools


Survey of community members concerning school services.

University Center for Atmospheric Research


Evaluation of the Trainer Certification Program for teachers using the Global learning & Observation to Benefit the Environment Program (GLOBE).


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