Ohio Mathematics and Science Partnership and Improving Teacher Quality Evaluation

The Voinovich School is (or has been) the local evaluator on several ODE-funded Mathematics and Science Partnership and Ohio Board of Regents-funded Improving Teacher Quality local evaluations. These evaluations examine the implementation and outcomes of intensive professional development programs for science and mathematics teachers. The Voinovich School has served as the local evaluator for projects based in the Gallia County Schools, Wellston City Schools, Jackson City Schools, Gallipolis City Schools, and Vinton County Local Schools. The School is beginning an evaluation of another ITQ teacher professional development project for Meigs Local Schools and Symmes Valley Local Schools.

Ohio Benefit Bank

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks, with funding from the Columbus Foundation, commissioned the Voinovich School to conduct a statewide study on the impact of The Ohio Benefit Bank. The purpose of this study was to assess how The Benefit Bank’s online service influenced client decisions to apply for certain benefits, and how those benefits impact clients. The Voinovich School used a three-phase longitudinal telephone survey of Ohio Benefit Bank clients.

Link to the report

Project LAUNCH (Ongoing)

Project LAUNCH is a collaborative effort between Ohio University, the Ohio Department of Health, IPAC, local agencies, and state departments that serve young children. The goal of Ohio’s Project LAUNCH is to create a shared vision for young child wellness that builds a solid foundation for sustaining effective, integrated services and systems to support and promote the health and wellness of young children and their families. The Voinovich School serves as the evaluator for this project.

Trimble Health Center

Building on the work of Promise Neighborhoods in the Trimble area, the Voinovich School, working with the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine and the College of Health Science and Professions, has assisted in the development of a school health clinic to serve Trimble school district staff and students. This is an important safety net resource in a critical medical shortage area. 

Exploring the Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health in Rural Counties

Working in partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and the Athens, Hocking, Vinton ADAMHs Board, The Voinovich School is developing a learning community and an evaluation framework to capture the successes and challenges of four local integration efforts. Plans to expand this initiative to other counties in Southeast Ohio are underway. 

Sustaining IPAC: Improving Health Outcomes for Children in Appalachia Ohio

We are working with Integrating Professionals for Appalachian Children (IPAC) through a three-year federal grant from the Rural Health Network Development Program. We will be conducting focus groups with the public to understand how participants understand trauma. This knowledge will inform the design and development of communication tools for the care team services for children with trauma/foster histories. 

Ohio Primary Care Workforce Strategic Plan: Helping Ohio meet its health care workforce needs for the future

The Voinovich School in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health facilitated a statewide strategic planning session and a series of regional planning forums to identify strategies for meeting the increased demand for primary care providers in Ohio. The Voinovich School also assisted ODH in preparing the draft Ohio Primary Care Workforce Plan.

Link to the report

Trinity Hospital Twin City Program: Diabetes Care Quality Evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to determine whether Trinity’s integrated strategy of chronic care management, advanced electronic health records application and community outreach has improved health outcomes of patients aged 18 and older with diabetes. Work on this evaluation is currently underway.

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides funding for state-level personal responsibility education programs with the aims of reducing rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS) among youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is administering the PREP throughout the state in nine regions via agencies at the local level and the Voinovich School is leading an evaluation of this statewide initiative.  

HIV Care Services Jail Needs Assessment (2009)

The Ohio Department of Health, HIV Care Service Section, contracted with the Voinovich School to conduct a study of HIV care in Ohio’s Full Service Jails. Through surveys and on-site structured interviews with jail administrators and health professionals, the Voinovich School identified current HIV care practices in a variety of jail types (urban and rural jails, managed care and non-managed care jails, and county/municipal jails and regional jails) and provided recommendations for best practices.

Link to full report

BooKS in Classroom Evaluation

The BooKS in Classroom aims to enhance and broaden science and engineering education of graduate fellows, especially under-represented groups, at Ohio University and improve their communication skills through the proposed activities. The Voinovich School is evaluating the project annually, which involves collecting data from the graduate fellows and the participating teachers, observe the fellows teach in the classrooms, conduct a group interview of the fellows and assess the presentation skills of the fellows.

Belmont Elementary Counseling Program

Bellaire Local School District received a U.S. Department of Education Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant in August 2013. The grant provides funds to local educational agencies to enable schools to develop promising and innovative approaches for initiating or expanding counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Four Ohio school districts are served by the grant, and work on the year three evaluation report is beginning with the new academic year.

E-Check Customer Satisfaction Survey

Since 2000, the Voinovich School has conducted an annual satisfaction survey for the Ohio E-Check vehicle emissions testing program. Ohio EPA requires vehicles registered in 7 northern counties to undergo emissions testing as a condition of registration and this survey asks motorists about their experiences with the testing process. Funded by Envirotest Systems Corporation.

Link to the report

Evaluation of the Trinity Hospital Twin City Comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Project

Trinity Hospital Twin City received a three year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide diabetes prevention education and support to rural Tuscarawas County residents who are at risk for or were recently diagnosed with diabetes.  The Fit for Life promising practice model will be adapted to cater to those with diabetes.  Work on this three-year evaluation project is underway and will include significance testing on behavior, health and lifestyle indicators as well as longitudinal analysis of participant progress.  

NEARS Evaluation

The nursing program at Ohio University’s College of Health Science and Professions received a grant through the US Department of Labor to reach unemployed and underemployed individuals and provide them with support to complete a degree or credential in nursing. The Voinovich School is evaluating this important initiative. 

Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize

In collaboration with the Athens Health Department, Live Healthy Appalachia, Ohio Health and the Athens Health Coalition, the Voinovich School is working on an application for the Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Prize for Athens County. The first essay submitted this summer made it to the second round and we are now in the process of broadening that collaboration and preparing additional materials for submission. 

Critical Access Hospital Needs Assessments and Strategic Planning (2012)

In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and University of Toledo Area Health Education Center (AHEC) , the Voinovich School designed and conducted regional strategic planning sessions with Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) across Ohio to assist them in meeting the IRS 990 community health needs assessment requirement. Included in the process was the provision of data addressing health indicators, a summary of proud moments from CAHs, and individual hospital economic impact analyses for each of Ohio’s 34 critical access hospitals and for all hospitals combined.

Link to the report

Student Growth Measures: Policy and Practice Study

Student achievement growth is a significant component of Ohio’s new educator evaluation system, comprising 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance evaluation. The SGM: Policy and Practice study, led by the Voinovich School in partnership with researchers from Wright State University and the Ohio State University, is a multi-year project focused on understanding 1) how well the various SGM components fit together and if they do not, how their fit may be improved; and 2) how well the 50 percent SGM element compares with the remaining 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation that is graded on state-specified performance rubrics and standards.

Click here to view the executive summary.

Strengthening Ohio’s Safety Net (2011)

The Voinovich School supported HealthPath Foundation by facilitating roundtable sessions where experts and stakeholders discussed strategies for strengthening primary care in rural and underserved areas of Ohio. Subsequently the School facilitated sessions of the Foundation’s Research Advisory group and conducted research on select health professional pipeline and community-based training programs for primary care providers.

Link to the report

Engaging and Inspiring Students: Rural High School STEM Initiative

Jointly funded by the NEA Foundation and the AT&T Foundation, the purpose of this project is to increase teachers’ knowledge of science and experiential learning techniques and to enhance student engagement and interest in STEM-related coursework and careers. Over the past three years, The Voinovich School’s Ohio Appalachian Educators Institute (OAEI) has partnered with science and math teachers from six local high schools to provide intensive professional development workshops, develop new curriculum correlated with the Ohio Academic Content Standards, and coordinate interactive science experiences for students, including field research opportunities, technology contests, and visits to working science laboratories. Voinovich School professional staff members have also worked with the funders to document the program and its impact on students through the compilation of statistics, case studies and video footage.

Assistance with Public Health Accreditation

Local health departments are required to apply for accreditation to the Public Health Accreditation Board by 2020.  The Voinovich School is working with a number of Southeast Ohio counties, assisting them with community health needs assessments, community health improvement plans and strategic plans so that they can meet the prerequisite requirements for accreditation. The Voinovich School is providing technical assistance, facilitation services, consultation, data analysis and technical writing to assist in the process.   

An Analysis of the Mental and Behavioral Health Needs of School-Age Children in the Eastern Local School District Meigs County, Ohio (2009)

Funded by the US Department of Education, the Voinovich School conducted a multi-perspective needs assessment which included group interviews and surveys to collect thoughts and feelings about mental health issues within the school district. This needs assessment investigated awareness of mental health issues within the school district and the general perception of availability, accessibility and appropriateness of available mental/behavioral health services were assessed.

Ohio Resident Educator Assessment Evaluation

The Voinovich School is collaborating with researchers from Miami University and the University of Cincinnati on a multi-year statewide evaluation of Ohio’s Resident Educator Program (OREP). This study is assessing particular aspects of OREP implementation including: (a) fidelity and compliance, (b) quality and effectiveness, (c) influence and impact, and (d) scale-up and sustainability. The results of this study will shape practice at the state, local (LEA), and individual (Resident Educator, Resident Educator mentor, and LEA administrator) levels.

The Ohio Education Research Center (OERC)

The OERC is a collaborative partnership where researchers from six universities (Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Ohio University, Case Western Reserve University, Wright State University) and four organizations (Battelle Memorial Institute, Battelle for Kids, Community Research Partners, and the Strategic Research Group) come together as a permanent education research center for the state of Ohio. Funded by a $3.8M award from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the OERC carries out a P-20 education research agenda in collaboration with ODE and the Ohio Board of Regents. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs was invited to represent Ohio University and is actively involved in three major projects:

  1. Case Study: “Collaborating on Economic Success in Appalachia" High School-Higher Education Alignment Project

    This case study focuses on the gap between Appalachia Ohio and the rest of the state in producing, retaining, or attracting sufficient numbers of college graduates. While the educational attainment gap has begun to narrow, the region has made relatively few inroads in terms of narrowing the education/skills gap and garnering the ability to compete successfully in the global economy. The region's college-going, college retention, and college completion rates remain lower than any other region of the state. This case study is an in- depth examination of the processes and initial outcomes of the "Collaborating on Economic Success in Appalachia" project--one of the 14 regional high school-higher education alignment consortia awarded funding by the ODE. The primary focus is to address whether or not the collaborative is successful in addressing the five targeted areas of need: 1) increasing academic engagement of high school students, 2) improving math, reading, and science skills of high school students, 3) increasing social competencies and empowering students and their families, 4) decreasing non-academic barriers impacting student success, and 5) increasing college completion rates. Additionally, five participating districts will be selected as exemplar districts for more in-depth analysis that will enable a rich, vivid description of implementation and initial outcomes. This additional study will address the challenges the project faced and provide baseline and initial implementation year metrics related to high school course selection, high school teacher credentialing for dual enrollment, and the need for remedial coursework in college.

  2. Student Growth Measures: Policy and Practice Study

    Student achievement growth is a significant component of Ohio’s new educator evaluation system, comprising 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance evaluation. Given the range of subjects and grades taught by Ohio’s teachers and the lack of statewide standardized tests for every subject and grade, student growth will be measured via a diverse set of assessments — Ohio Achievement Assessments, approved vendor assessments, student learning objectives, and other local education agency (LEA) measures. The SGM: Policy and Practice study, led by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in partnership with researchers from Wright State University and the Ohio State University, is a multi-year project focused on understanding 1) how well the various SGM components fit together and if they do not, how their fit may be improved; and 2) how well the 50 percent SGM element compares with the remaining 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation that is graded on state-specified performance rubrics and standards.

  3. Student Growth Measures: Mini-Grants Study

    Currently ODE does not test all grades and all subject matters in LEAs. To improve school accountability and effectiveness, the Mini-Grant project is studying implementation of extended testing (i.e., testing via approved vendor assessments in grades outside the 3-8 reading and mathematics grade/subject bands covered by the Ohio Achievement Assessments) in a small group of LEAs. The evaluation will include the following areas of inquiry: 1) Implementation: The project will critically examine the ongoing implementation of extended testing to identify successes and areas in need of improvement. This includes looking at the major implementation challenges, and best practices; identifying the “buy-in” of both the teachers and administrators; as well as discovering the factors that may increase the quality of participation. 2) Roster Verification: The use of roster verification for the extended Value-Added reporting will be analyzed for challenges and recommendations for improvement. 3) Educator Evaluation Systems: The evaluation will investigate the use of the extended testing data from the LEAs to inform the new state teacher and principal evaluation systems. 4) Best Practices and Lessons Learned: The evaluation will determine best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations for the state and LEAs moving forward with integrating measures of student growth.

Appalachian Housing Initiative (2013)

In 2010, the Ohio CDC Association received funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Ohio Development Services Agency for a study to identify reasons for the lack of affordable housing in the Appalachian region. As part of a multi-pronged research effort, the Voinovich School conducted three web surveys, five focus groups, and twelve interviews to create recommendations for increasing the availability of quality affordable housing in Appalachian Ohio.

Link to the report

Strengthening Communities to Prevent Diabetes in Rural Appalachia’s Vulnerable Populations

Working with eleven community coalitions across four states with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this initiative sought to decrease diabetes complications through the promotion of active living and healthy nutrition.  Working collaboratively with community leaders, health professionals and church health teams, local coalitions were engaged in a number of assessment, education and advocacy activities designed to promote good health among people already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and their families. The Voinovich School served as the evaluator on this five-year multistate initiative. 

Grant Making Assistance of Local Wellness Initiatives

Through our long-standing partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, the Voinovich School is providing grant making assistance to their current wellness initiatives across eight Southeast Ohio counties.  We are identifying community assets and promoting innovative approaches to health and wellness. 

Science Professional Development Seed Grant Evaluation

The Science Professional Development (PD) Seed Grant Evaluation was a multi-phase, statewide project evaluating the provision of professional development to science teachers. The first phase involved 10 university-led projects from around the state who were awarded “Seed Grants” to design an effective PD model in partnership with schools, teachers and community organizations. Phase II was the selection of two grants to receive substantial financial awards to implement their model on a larger scale. Phase III was a refinement of the models using feedback from the evaluator. As the project evaluators, the Voinovich School conducted classroom observations using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) which focused on student-centered, constructivist teaching pedagogy. We also completed periodic phone interviews throughout the year, and guided teachers to document an entire unit as a portfolio.

Community Action Agencies: Strengthening Ohio’s Communities

Commissioned by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, the goal of this project was to identify, document, and assess exemplary practices in community economic development initiatives initiated by or in partnership with Ohio’s Community Action Agencies. Through analysis of reporting data and 35 interviews with agency administrators, the Voinovich School developed an Executive Summary, emphasizing innovative strategies by community action agencies, a Technical Report detailing 25 case studies of exemplary programs, and a Community Economic Development Toolkit to help promote exemplary economic development practices in all community action agencies.

Executive Summary

Technical Report

Community Education Development Toolkit

Factors that Influence Breastfeeding Initiation and Persistence in Ohio’s Appalachian Region (2011)

Funded by the Ohio Department of Health, the purpose of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding in Ohio’s Appalachian counties. Through group interviews with 176 women, the study provides recommendations for culturally appropriate approaches to improve breastfeeding initiation and persistence among Appalachian women.

Link to the study

Ohio Mathematics and Science Partnership Evaluation (OMSP) - State-wide

The Voinovich School is collaborating with Miami University’s E&A Center and the University of Cincinnati Evaluation Services Center in the $305,463 cross-site evaluation of the current Ohio Mathematics and Science Partnership program. This evaluation provides a cross-site analysis of the five funded OMSP projects’ implementation and outcomes of teacher professional development to impact students’ mathematics and/or science achievement.

Smoke Free Families

The Voinovich School received a second two-year contract from the Ohio Department of Health to work with six counties in Southeast Ohio to promote an evidence-based intervention for smoking cessation. The goal is to “saturate” these counties with trained providers giving the same message in multiple settings.  During the first two years of the initiative, GVS trained 108 professionals across 36 organizations.  Twenty-two organizations implemented the evidence-based intervention. Ten agencies agreed to collect information about their implementation and their data indicates that 747 people received the intervention and over half of them reported that they smoked.  

Evaluation of the Trinity Hospital Twin City: Fit For Life

The purpose of the Trinity Hospital Twin City Fit for Life Expansion for Replication Project is to provide a multi-agency approach to reduce the number of overweight and obese adults in rural and Appalachian counties of Tuscarawas, Jefferson and Holmes in Ohio. The third year of programming is complete and each evaluation report includes significance testing on behavior, health and lifestyle indicators as well as other comparative analysis on whether the program can be replicated.