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Capstone Projects

As part of the requirements for the concentration in Program Evaluation, students will complete a Capstone Project for presentation. The Capstone Project involves the application of the evaluation skills gained throughout the program coursework by conducting an actual evaluation project in the field. Students will identify an outside constituent by the Fall of their second year with whom they can complete a feasible project, and will then enroll in GREV 603 - Capstone I and GREV 650 - Capstone II over the course of two consecutive semesters. Students will be required to present their capstone project to a committee that is comprised of the Program Director, a member of the Program Evaluation faculty, and a third member from the student's chosen field who is familiar with the student's evaluation work.

2016 Capstone Projects

Amos Capstone    "Individual and Community Benefits of Hip-Hop Education"

Amos Levy

Description: This evaluation investigated the long term impacts of, Arts Greenhouse, a free hip-hop based arts education program for teenagers which takes place at Carnegie Mellon University. Prior to this study, long term impacts for this program had never been empirically evaluated. Data gathered through surveys and interviews supported the validity of the program's intended impacts, with some exceptions. Health related impacts where not found to be very relevant to program participants. Additionally, interviews revealed impacts that are not currently reflected in Arts Greenhouse's impact goals. These missing impacts included music technology skills, and the importance of Carnegie Mellon as an inspiring setting for program activities. This report concludes by proposing a revised set of program impacts, along with suggestions for future evaluations.

Scott Capstone     "Efficacy of the Bear Trax Student Success Program"

Scott A. Hauert, J.D.

Description: Using binary logistic regression, this evaluation sought to examine whether a person's completion of their two-year degree within 150% of on-time could be correctly predicted from knowledge of the student's gender, age group, years since graduating high school, attendance at a college orientation session, placement into developmental math, English, or reading, and successful completion of BearTrax, a mandatory college readiness and skills course for all new-to-college students who place into at least one developmental area. The data suggests that only successful completion of BearTrax and placement testing into developmental reading had significant contribution effects. Because of the significant contribution provided by knowledge of the student's placement into developmental reading, the report recommends revising the BearTrax selection process to include only the score on the reading placement test. Further, consideration should be given to requiring BearTrax for all students that test into developmental reading, regardless of their prior college experience. Further research is needed to determine if the student's performance in the developmental reading course into which they placed has a significant correlation with on-time completion; if so, further study is needed to determine whether it contributes anything to the prediction of on-time completion beyond knowledge of merely placing into the course.

2015 Capstone Projects


Allison Smith
"Hospitals: Evaluation of the Nursing Education Program at West Virginia University Hospitals"

Kasey Dickenson
"Evaluation Report of the August Wilson Education Project: Youth Playwriting Workshop and the 11th Play Competition"

Description: The August Wilson Education Project (AWEP) and WQED developed the Youth Playwriting Workshop (YPW) and the 11th Play Competition (PC) to reach Pittsburgh area high school students. The YPW encouraged students to learn about voice, place, monologue, and other playwriting elements as they explored the life and works of August Wilson, while the PC invited them to share their 21st Century story in the form of a one-act play. WQED sought to evaluate the overall experience and satisfaction of participants in order to sustain and improve future iterations of the program. One 17-item survey was designed in consultation with the manager of the AWEP and lead teaching artist. The survey was slightly revised twice before implementation to increase clarity and validity. The data analysis showed very high levels of satisfaction with both the program content and with the teaching artists. Low sample size was an evaluation limitation. This was, in part, due to the personal classroom setting the YPW provided to students. Session attendance was affected by numerous factors, the most prominent of which included poor weather conditions. It was recommended that future iterations of this program be held in the fall and/or spring for optimal participation and retention rates.

Abdullah Alghamdi

Abdullah Alghamdi
"Evaluation of Generational Poverty, Job Readiness Program"

Somya Alghamdi

Somya Alghamdi
"Evaluation Report of the Workshops of 6th Annual Dr. Barbara A. Sizemore Summer Conference and Award Ceremony"
Amy Kahn
"‘I Measure Every Grief I Meet': Designing a Program Evaluation Protocol for Context-Specific Grief Therapy in the Red Bird Center"

Caroline Reina

Caroline Reina
"An Evaluation of Concussion Management Protocols at a Small Liberal Arts College Based on the NCAA Concussion Guidelines"