Sun Associates partners with current and potential U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History (TAH) projects in the capacity of External Program Evaluator. We bring a strong background in program evaluation combined with expertise (both academic and classroom-based) in U.S. History to our TAH evaluation and project development work. Most importantly, we are not simply evaluators, but we are historians and history teachers. This combination of skills and knowledge has proven to be a significant asset to the TAH projects with which we currently work.
As Evaluator, Sun Associates undertakes responsibility for monitoring and assessing our projects’ progress toward meeting their program goals. We accomplish this work through a process that centers around a rigorous formative program evaluation methodology. Our work starts with facilitating the creation of a project logic map as well as a set of unique benchmarks and performance indicators. This necessary groundwork is intended to help our TAH projects clarify their goals. This clarity then affords project with the ability to understand the relationship between various project components and the ultimate/desired outcome of improving students’ knowledge of traditional American History.
Our TAH evaluation work is intensive and involves a considerable amount of formative, on-going, contact with the project and its participants throughout the project year. We do not believe that it is possible to effectively evaluate a project – much less provide truly useful formative guidance – without actually being present to gather data at professional development activities, project oversight meetings, and in the classrooms of participating teachers. We base much of our evaluation on actually observing the implementation of participant knowledge. Our teacher/evaluators are teachers of American History. We know what good history teaching and learning looks like. We base our evaluation in large part on that knowledge.
The results of a Sun Associates TAH evaluation have pay-off even before the first annual report is filed. We work with projects from the proposal-development stage to clarify goals, align activities to goals, and to develop a customized and methodologically sound evaluation process that will support the project throughout its three years of work. Once a project is funded, we actively participate as a partner to guide the development and implementation of the project’s program of work. While we are always independent in our opinions and views, we are never isolated from the project. We believe that evaluation is an active and engaged aspect an effective TAH project, and we work to make that belief a reality.
To date, Sun Associates has served as External Evaluator for 14 different TAH projects (our currenly operating projects are shown in bold)
In support of these projects, Sun Associates provided assistance in creating the original proposal and has subsequently conducted ongoing and formative evaluation of project work/outcomes.
Download a presentation from the 2008 New England Regional TAH meeting, discussing the four functions of program evaluation within a TAH project initative.
Download a presentation explaining our approach to designing TAH project evalautions and project logic maps
For more information as to how Sun Associates can assist you in developing your TAH proposal, please email us or phone 978-251-1600 extension 204.
Information on this site that has been produced by Sun Associates is Copyright 1997 - 2012 Sun Associates and is available for individual, one-time, use by educators. Duplication is prohibited without permission. All other material is the property of its authors and Sun Associates makes no warranty for its use or accuracy.Last updated, December 11, 2012