MISSION

KC-AERC works with community organizations to address complex and vital educational questions. Our approach emphasizes real world evaluation, developing sustainable partnerships with clients to translate data into actionable next steps.

Projects

Parental School Choice Study

With support from the Kauffman Foundation, KC-AERC researchers, in partnership with Hazley and Associates, are studying the processes by which parents in Kansas City, Missouri acquire information and make choices about their children’s education given the array of school choices within the Kansas City Public School System boundaries.

GEAR UP Evaluations

KC-AERC is helping evaluate the effectiveness of GEAR UP programs across the state of Kansas in order to help maximize the programs’ potential to successfully usher their students from junior high to college.

KC HealthTracks Evaluation

KC-AERC is studying how the activities of the KC HealthTracks program are impacting student knowledge and interest college degrees and careers in health sciences.

KARIN CHANG, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

“ Kansas City is at a critical junction in its development.  As we prepare our workforce for a new economy, we need to carefully examine our current educational practices. Working together to understand what’s working and where there are opportunities to develop and test new strategies is fundamental to KC-AERC’s work.”

SERVICES WE PROVIDE

Research and Evaluation Planning

KC-AERC researchers and evaluators are well-versed in evaluation methods and techniques, with particular emphasis and knowledge in utilization-focused evaluation practices. Team members use an interdisciplinary approach to strategically engage stakeholders. The team works closely with stakeholders to understand their diverse information needs. Evaluation planning activities include the development of questions, logic models, critical indicators, and methodical frameworks.

Instrument Selection and Design

We have extensive experience identifying and developing valid and reliable tools to measure program implementation, outcomes, and impact. KC-AERC works directly with stakeholders to understand their measurement needs and to select the most appropriate tools for applied use. KC-AERC has developed more than 30 tools for local, state, and national agencies.

Data Analysis and Reporting

Our interdisciplinary team has advanced training in quantitative and qualitative methods and analytical techniques, including predictive modeling, factor analysis, social network analysis, hierarchical linear modeling, and linked coding techniques. KC-AERC translates research findings into actionable recommendations using dynamic data visualizations and evaluation reports. Evaluation Team members work closely with clients to ensure that their data analysis meets the diverse information needs of their clients and their clients’ stakeholders, and to ensure their analysis is presented in a clear and timely fashion.

Penetration Testing

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Performance Management

Performance measurement is an accountability system designed to help programs improve their outcomes. Optimal performance measurement involves establishing specific goals and objectives and monitoring progress toward those goals throughout the life of the program. The Evaluation Team has worked with several federally funded programs to develop research-based, locally driven performance benchmarks. The team has also developed real-time monitoring systems and dashboards to facilitate easy review and tracking of performance data.

Dissemination of Research

We know that getting your results out there and used is important. We tailor messages for specific audiences, media stories, conferences, and other presentations. The Evaluation team is experienced in extracting the main messages or key implications derived from research results and communicating them to targeted groups of decision-makers and other stakeholders in a way that encourages those individuals to factor the research implications into their work.

Grant Writing

We are highly experienced in completing application processes for funding provided by government agencies, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. We partner with our clients to make sure we have a clear understanding of the grant requirements so that we can effectively assist in the proposal process.