In general, there’s a wide range of purposes for which evaluations are conducted. But in the very practical context of an NSF ATE project, evaluations typically serve three main purposes.


  • The first is continuous improvement, or what we call formative evaluation. Here the evaluation’s focus is on the project’s implementation and the evaluator looks for ways in which the project could be improved as it is unfolding.

  • The second is summative evaluation. This is when the evaluation reaches conclusions about the quality and impact of a project’s achievements.

  • The third purpose is accountability. This is to demonstrate that you’ve used your grant money appropriately. In other words, did the project deliver on what was promised?


Evaluation can take many forms, from elaborate to quite simple, but the goal is the same, to provide evidence of the impact of your work. An evaluation expert knows how to design your evaluation and how to gather the appropriate data to determine the impacts. In many situations, it is important to have an external evaluator who is seen as knowledgeable, objective, and unbiased.


Outcomes Consulting Services will collaborate with you on the development and implementation of the evaluation process for your NSF ATE project. Evaluation is not separate from, or added to, a project, but rather is part of the project from the very beginning. Outcomes Consulting Services will guide, advise, review, provide recommendations and assist with the process. Outcomes Consulting Services will also provide interim and annual reports suitable for filing with the NSF Fastlane reporting site. The evaluation process typically used by Outcomes Consulting Services is based on the process outlined in “The 2010 User Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation”.

  • Project manager for CVCC NSF ATE grant

  • Outside evaluator for Mountain Empire Community College ATE grant

  • Outside evaluator for Ranken Technical College ATE grant and STEP grant

  • National Visiting Committee for Thomas Nelson Community College ATE grant

  • External Evaluator for Health Professions Opportunity Grant (HPOG 2.0) for Department of Health and Human Services (Goodwill Industries of the Valley)

  • New River Valley Workforce Investment Board

  • Pittsburgh Technical College - ISME ATE Project

  • SUNY Erie Community College - INVest ATE Project

  • Normandale Community College - DELIVER ATE Project

  • Portland Community College - NSF S-STEM Grant


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