The objectives of the Program Assessment component are to conduct both formative and summative evaluations to assess (1) program implementation and progress (formative), (2) impact of the program on the participating faculty, graduate students, undergraduates, the University, and the field (formative and summative), and (3) the long-term impact of the program on i) training models to enhance diversity and research in neuroscience with an emphasis on NINDS mission-related activities and ii) careers, placements, and accomplishments of the participants. These longer-term outcomes will require tracking information beyond the formal end date for the proposed SNRP program. We will use a mixed-methods approach to assessment that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative data (Westat, 2010). We have designed a cost-effective, comprehensive, and not overly burdensome approach to assessment. The SNRP has engaged Dr. Richard McGee as a consultant to head the assessment of the program. A portion of the effort requested for a SNRP staff person in the Administrative Core will be allocated to assist and support Dr. McGee and be responsible for collection of objective data from students, faculty and program leadership. Dr. McGee will work with the SNRP leadership, SNRP staff, the UCC administration, and the PAC on the design of assessment instruments, implementation of the assessment protocols, data collection, and data management He will independently conduct confidential interviews and/or focus groups with students and faculty, analyze the assessment data, and prepare annual reports for the SNRP leadership that will be made part of annual Progress Reports to the PAC and NINDS. Dr. McGee will present his findings annually at the PAC meetings. He will meet at least twice a year with SNRP leadership during years 1-3 of the program (one meeting in conjunction with the PAC meeting) and, if needed, more frequently by teleconference. Assuming the program continues for an additional two years, he will continue heading the assessment component.
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