The general purpose of Center evaluation is to gather, analyze, and disseminate information that can be used (a) internally to make decisions about Center programs and services, and (b) externally to provide relevant data about the effectiveness of Center programs. Center evaluation is a dynamic, multidimensional process that includes quantitative keeping track of the number of student participants, student products, audiovisual documentation, questionnaires, and interviews.


The most important criteria applied to Center evaluation is usefulness. To be useful, data must be reliable and valid. It must be relevant to the intended audiences and translate into effective decision making. The evaluation must be broad enough to include the varied Center programs and services as well as processes involving student assessment and parent support. Finally, it must be efficient and timely.


Center evaluation will be ethically conducted using candor, confidentiality, and scientific caution. Candor requires openness and accuracy in gathering, analyzing, and reporting data. Confidentiality assures that individual students and staff may freely express their opinions and feelings without fear of disclosure or retribution. All conclusions from Center evaluation will be interpreted with caution.



There are four major components of Center evaluation:

1) formative evaluation of Center activities which focus on improving programs and services (process evaluation)

2) cumulative impact data on the students who participate in Center activities (outcome evaluation)

3) cumulative impact on families (outcome evaluation)

4) impact on other stakeholders such as the community, local and federal legislatures, the Department of Education, and gifted education nationally


Center evaluation includes information from the following groups:


Students & Their Families

Community Organizations

Program Teachers

Peer Counselors


Center Staff


Parent Volunteers Program

Teaching Assistants


To provide process and outcome or product evaluation data a variety of techniques and instruments are used. They include the following:


Program Documents

Identification Documents



Debriefing Sessions


Video Tapes

Standardized Instruments


News Articles

Student Products (including performances)



Center evaluation is supported by a flexible, easily accessible student database. In addition, Center files contain records and store support materials such as program documents and details not easily placed in a computer generated database.


Individual Student Data

The student database aides the ability to assess the impact of program participation upon individual students across programs and Center activities. It will also enable the Center to select students for case studies.