Dr. Dan Henry recently announced that the Auburn Center for Evaluation has been awarded the evaluation contract for a $10 million Department of Labor grant. Not only is it a major award for the ACE, but it also represents almost $50,000 in indirect awards to the College over the span of the grant. The total contract amount to the Center is approximately $200,000 over four years. Henry is the director of the Center, which is part of the College of Education.
“The grant is awarded through the Southeastern Transportation Network which consists of four institutions of higher education,” Henry said. “They are Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, Atlanta (GA) Technical College, Central Louisiana Technical Community College in Alexandria, and Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Wesson, Mississippi.”
The multi-state consortium will work to develop Centers of Excellence that prepare workers with skills needed in the 21st century transportation workforce. The centers are focusing on training a variety of transportation-related technicians.
The Center for Evaluation is still in its first year of operation, but has been awarded multiple contracts.
“The Center for Evaluation has several clients and many diverse projects, but we take essentially the same approach no matter what the project is,” Henry said. “We always seek to help our grant recipients understand for whom, and under what conditions, and to what extent a program is working. Typically, in order to do this as effectively as possible, we also help in the preparation of the grant. So we focus on factors that show us a program is working, and we help the client stop doing anything that doesn’t work.”
In the highly competitive world of grants and awards, effective evaluation is more important than ever. Henry said basic program theory of evaluation is to get in on the ground floor and not only provide evaluation services, but also help develop such standards in advance of the grant.
“We feel very good about our first year here, and believe the Center has a bright future.”