As an educational institution, the Voinovich School’s efforts focus on improving educational outcomes, attainment and career opportunities for students enrolled in kindergarten through college across the state, but particularly in rural Ohio communities. The Voinovich School conducts research and evaluations to inform educators’ decision-making, program redesign and policy decisions. Examples of our work in this area include:
- Educator Supply and Demand Study
The Ohio Department of Education contracted with the Voinovich School to conduct a study to determine whether the state has an adequate supply of teachers and to make policy and practice recommendations for ensuring an adequate, high-quality educator workforce moving forward. This study combines secondary data with interviews and surveys from diverse public school districts, public and private education degree programs, and professional associations representing educators and schools from throughout Ohio.
- Kids on Campus (KoC) Evaluation
KoC is a multi-site afterschool enrichment program for children in grades K-12, with a focus on those who face socioeconomic and/or academic challenges. Areas of enrichment include reading and math proficiency, youth development, homework help, art and science activities, supplemental nutrition, and family engagement. For over ten years, the Voinovich School has worked with this program to conduct an annual evaluation and offer suggestions for further improvement in implementation and management. These evaluations include data gathered from interviews, program documentation, surveys, and pre- and post-assessments.
- Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network (OAC PLN) Evaluation
The OAC PLN Straight A project seeks to accelerate student achievement by increasing access to effective, advanced instruction for students in grades 6-12 in the blended learning and dual enrollment system. As part of this five-year Ohio Department of Education initiative, the Voinovich School is conducting an evaluation that includes analysis of student achievement data, teacher and administrator surveys, structured interviews, focus groups, site visits, observations of Collaborative meetings, and document reviews. This will assist administrators to objectively asses the program’s impact on student learning and identify areas in need of additional improvement.
As part of our educational mission, the Voinovich School engages MPA students and Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholars to work closely with faculty and staff on these projects. Experiences vary, but opportunities include conducting and analyzing surveys, focus groups, and interviews; learning to use specialized statistical software; assisting with community workshop facilitation; and developing public reports, presentations and infographics.