Statement of Purpose
Our study is a sub-contracted project; we will evaluate the activities of the Center described above. The goals of our evaluation activity and the methods we will use are described below.
Goals of the Study
Our primary goal is to gauge whether the specific goals of the proposal are being met. Using evaluation methods, we will ascertain the degree to which the Center staff is doing what they said they would do, as well as the overarching goal of campus-wide transformation has been increased.
We will employ qualitative research methods. We have built an evaluation schema so that formative and summative evaluation activities take place.
We will track every individual who is involved in the Irvine-funded initiative and compare their progress with their USC peers. We will collect semester grades of all Fellows, track the number of presentations that the Fellows make at conferences and the success they have had at publishing articles and chapters. We have the retention rate of all graduate students and graduate students of color at USC, and we will compare our success rate with those numbers. We will also track individuals to see whether they become faculty.
We will conduct student evaluations to gauge their satisfaction with the efforts that have been employed. We will interview faculty of color and graduate students of color (Fellows) who participate in the Irvine-funded project to assess the health of the relationship. Since visibility campus-wide will be important we also will hold focus groups to gauge external perceptions of the Center from non-participants at USC, and we will interview students across campus to gauge their overall satisfaction.
Summative data may prove insufficient to effect change while funding is in progress. We will collect semester grades of all Fellows; if there is a problem, we will notify the Center Directors and the mentor so that they might intervene. We will track the number of presentations that the Fellows make at conferences and the success they have had at publishing articles and chapters. We will also conduct yearly interviews of all Fellows and faculty mentors to evaluate their impressions of the projects, and we will participate in Center-related activities in order to collect ethnographic data about the degree to which there is active participation.