Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Sec. 7: Evaluations and Audits

7.0 Evaluations

The Title III program must be concerned with two primary types of project evaluation --internal and external. Both types are required and essential to the success of any project.

A qualified outside specialist conducts the external evaluation; however, project personnel need to know how to prepare for an appropriate external evaluation and insure that the institution receives a competent and thorough job from the external evaluator.

First, it is necessary to examine one of the most difficult tasks of Title III institutions 'Äì the creation and implementation of comprehensive and valid systems for project evaluation. Thus, attention must be given to both the concept of evaluation and proven approaches to developing a quality evaluation system.

Evaluation may be defined in numerous ways. The literature is replete with evaluation definitions, models, systems, and procedures. For purposes of this text, three definitions have been extracted merely to focus upon the major basic parameters. These definitions are as follows:

" . . . The determination of the extent to which the desired objectives have been
attained or the amount of movement that has been made in the desired direction."
(Boyle and Johns, 1970)

" . . . The making of judgments about the value, for some purpose, of ideas,
works solutions, methods, materials, etc. It involves the use of criteria as well as
standards for appraising the extent to which particulars are accurate, economical,
or satisfying. The judgments may be either quantitative or qualitative, and the
criteria may be either those determined by the student or those which are given to
him." (Benjamin Bloom, Taxonomy of Educational Objectives)

"A systematic, method, and conscious effort to clarify the goals, objectives, and
purposes of a program or activity; to assess, through rational and valid processes,
the extent to which such ends are being satisfied; and to apply the finds of such
efforts toward the continued improvement of the phenomenon under
consideration." (J. Young, "Evaluation and Its Relation to the Programming
Process", 1976)

Regardless of how one elects to define evaluation, it should be understood that evaluation (both internal and external) serves several very useful purposes in addition to simply satisfying funding requirements. Program operators should be familiar with all these purposes and try to maximize their evaluation effort by having it serve multiple uses. Some of the purposes served by evaluation include:

1. To supply indices of progress
2. To provide a basis for decision-making
3. To increase motivation and morale of those concerned with the program, curriculum, or activity being evaluated
4. To provide feedback to program participants
5. To assist in setting, refining, clarifying, or revising goals and objectives
6. To provide input into the planning process
7. To contribute to more efficient utilization of resources
8. To provide for a clearer identification of the target population(s) for a program
9. To test the theoretical basis of a program or activity
10. To assess the overall outputs and impacts of a completed program or activity in relation to previously stated goals, objectives, or mission
11. To facilitate the formulation of hypotheses or other bases for further study.

7.1 Internal evaluations

This will be conducted through a process of using the Mid-Year Report and a random selection of activities for a site visit and document review conducted by the Title III Coordinator.

7.2 External evaluation

This will be conducted on an annual basis and administered by and outside consultant. The consultant will conduct a document review to ascertain the progress that has been achieved. This will best be reveal through the accomplishment of measurable goals. Individual meetings will beheld with each Activity Director to dialogue about the progress of the activity goals and to provide feedback on any challenges that are currently being faced.

7.3 Audits

  1. Internal audits are coordinated by the Title III Staff Accountant and conducted by the Internal Auditor in the Office of Fiscal Services. Internal audits will be conducted at random and can be conducted comprehensive over the HBCU and HBGI programs or on individual activities. Activity Directors will be notified in advance so that they can prepare requested materials. 
  2. External Audits are coordinated by the Title III Staff Accountant and conducted by a pre-determined Professional Accounting Firm. External audits are program comprehensive and are usually conducted in alternating years. However, they can occur at anytime. All Activity Directors will be notified in advance of an audit.

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