June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Community Engagement Division
Background (including partnership development) and motivation for project: An affiliate of a national non-profit engages volunteers, including students from a local 28,000 student body university, and provides free home repairs and modifications to low-income homeowners. Their focus is on preserving affordable homeownership and revitalizing neighborhoods. The population of homeowners are those most at risk for remaining in their homes and includes but is not limited to senior citizens, the disabled, families with children, and veterans.
Project design and execution: While the affiliate conducts surveys and collects other data, the current success and failure indicators are at best gross estimates. With the financial support from a foundation, the affiliate has retained a College of Engineering and Technology faculty member and an undergraduate student and public service fellow, to deploy a means, based on science, for articulating the affiliate’s outputs, outcomes, and impact. While the affiliate administers several programs, they selected their safety-in-the-home list of priorities for deployment. The project involves producing a data collection interface, which it is anticipated will make the compilation of data less arduous. The project will also make use of associated proxy measures in lieu of data elements that are not present or are infeasible or too inconvenient to collect.
Lessons learned through successes or failures: Like most non-profits, the affiliate knows that properly done the collection and analysis of data can yield new knowledge, which can be used to improve and increase the services it delivers. The affiliate also knows it has a responsibility to its community engagement stakeholders and that the sustainability of their affiliate depends on effectively assessing their efforts and sharing the results.
Conclusions and next steps: Removing barriers to data compilation will help facilitate analysis. The availability of science-based proxies will help the affiliate share its outputs, outcomes, and impact. Key will be applying the lessons learned to other affiliate programs and sharing the results with other affiliates, non-profits, and their community engagement partners. It is anticipated that other non-profits and their community engagement partners will benefit from the results of this initiative.
Chin, R. A., & DiMeglio, A. (2017, June), Engagement in Practice: Engaging a Non-Profit to Facilitate Effective Assessment Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28231
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