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SERVE > Core Competencies > Evaluating Programs and Policies



Evaluating Programs and Policies

The SERVE Evaluation and Quality Control Unit has established a solid reputation in providing evaluation services and technical assistance to school districts, state education agencies, and community organizations. The Unit supports evaluation activities of the major grants and contracts for the SERVE Center and provides contracted evaluation services to state and local education agencies in the region. In addition to other staff working as evaluators in specific program areas and initiatives, such as the SouthEast Initiatives Regional Technology in Education Consortium (SEIR*TEC) and the Southeast Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education @ SERVE, there is a core of professional evaluators assigned to the Evaluation and Quality Control Unit. These evaluators have a variety of educational backgrounds and evaluation/research expertise that complement and enhance the evaluation and research activities of the SERVE Center.


The Evaluation and Quality Control Unit holds the primary responsibility for conducting internal evaluation activities at SERVE. Evaluation staff members work with other program area staff to improve the rigor of research and evaluation studies through a variety of activities. These activities include developing research and evaluation designs for products and services, collecting data, and generating reports that inform product and/or program improvements. In addition, staff members collect indicator data as part of collaborative work with all the Regional Educational Laboratories, maintain an internal database of events and clients, support the development of quarterly and annual reports, and provide training and technical assistance to program staff.

SERVE professionals have a wide range of evaluation and research experience (i.e., data analysis techniques, instrumentation/assessment development, and research methodology) upon which staff can draw, including the Program Evaluation Standards, faculty from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and the SERVE Affiliated Group of Evaluators and Researchers (SAGER).

Evaluation at SERVE is guided by the Program Evaluation Standards, Second Edition, (The Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation, 1994) and the Guiding Principles for Evaluators (American Evaluation Association). The Unit promotes utilization-focused evaluation and is skilled in a variety of evaluation methods. Utilizing the strengths of the SERVE evaluation and research staff, both quantitative and qualitative methodologies are incorporated into the research and evaluation activities of the SERVE Center.

Along with the rest of the SERVE community, Evaluation and Quality Control Unit staff members actively collaborate with faculty from University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) and other colleges and universities in the region. Furthermore, an Evaluation and Quality Control Unit staff member serves on the UNCG Institutional Review Board (IRB), the governing board for the protection of human participants in research activities as well as the SERVE Quality Assurance Review Board (QARB) established to develop quality assurance processes to guide all Center work. Annually, SERVE contracts with Western Michigan University (WMU) to conduct a metaevaluation of the internal and external evaluation efforts; SERVE evaluators then incorporate constructive feedback into the evaluation designs of future work and use this feedback from the metaevaluation process as a needs assessment for staff development.

The SERVE Affiliated Group of Evaluators and Researchers (SAGER) was established in partnership with all program and administrative areas of the organization to support the educational missions and goals of SERVE. With the increased emphasis on evaluation rigor and claims of effectiveness, SAGER has become an effective forum for peer review that raises awareness of evaluation and research issues and promotes discussion among SERVE evaluation and research staff. Collectively, SAGER members have a wealth of knowledge in terms of research methods, evaluation designs, research design, data collection and analysis, and emerging technology. Sharing experiences and ideas through SAGER continues to be an invaluable source of professional development.

For more information about SERVE evaluation, contact:

  • Pamela B. Finney, Ed.D., Unit Coordinator, 336-315-7415
  • Kathleen Mooney, M.A., Evaluation Specialist, 336-315-7401
  • Melissa Williams, M.A., Assistant Evaluation Specialist, 336-315-7419
  • De Fuller, Administrative Assistant, 336-315-7416