Information for Students
The Evaluation Lab serves the dual purpose of training students and providing high quality program evaluation services to community organizations in New Mexico. The idea is to harness the rigorous analytical and quantitative skills of academia to serve the public good. Students accepted into the program enroll in a two-semester Evaluation Lab course sequence that emphasizes collaborative and culturally competent problem-solving, robust data analysis, and creative ways of communicating technical information, applied to a community organization’s evaluation project. Student teams partner with non-profit community organizations to develop and implement evaluation plans. Research scientists from BBER, CEPR, ISR, and RWJFC serve as team mentors. The class works together to develop new data collection instruments and data analysis tools that will help organizations build capacity in program evaluation.
By relying on expertise across campus and in the community who conduct workshops and lectures, students are exposed to many different data collection and analysis approaches. This year our guest speakers have provided perspectives on community-based participatory research (Dr. Nina Wallerstein, UNM Public Health), racial equity (Dr. Nancy Lopez, UNM Sociology), evidence-based criteria (Dr. Rebecca Kilburn, RAND Corporation), qualitative research methods (Dr. Claudia Isaac, UNM Community and Regional Planning) and mapping social ecologies (Tom Scharmen, NM Department of Health and the NM Community Data Collaborative).