WCMER and Metro Center Evaluation Internship

Objective

To establish a robust evaluation plan for the WSU Metro Center, based on qualitative and
quantitative data, which can also incorporate evaluating the WCMER and each member
metropolitan Extension program. Both the WSU Metro Center and WCMER’s ultimate impact is to
elevate the stature of Extension and LGU’s to metropolitan decision makers.

About the Center’s

WSU Metro Center: The WSU Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension
was established in Jan, 2016. It is one of 3 subject-matter centers housed within WSU Extension’s Community and Economic Development Unit. It is located in on the campus of WSU Everett with offices also in WSU Seattle, but has a statewide mandate. The Metro Center puts ‘the people’s university’ to work for Washington’s cities, bringing world class expertise to help inform data driven decisions and implement change that works. Utilizing applied research, the Metro Center’s work is outcome driven and solution oriented, geared toward developing practical knowledge and place-based solutions to alleviate modern world problems. It operates on a project basis; developing unique teams to address specific issues requested by funding partners.

WCMER: The Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research
was established in 2015 and is a membership organization comprised of 7 Land-Grant University Extension programs and hosted by the WSU Metro Center. This regional Center will a) increase the internal capacity of Western Extension programs to address metropolitan issues and b) elevate the stature and value of Cooperative Extension to external metropolitan audiences. Its primary activities are conduction applied research and professional development for member institutions. The Center has an advisory board comprised of platinum member institutions.

Plan

The plan is to establish an evaluation framework that, through quantitative and qualitative approaches, will create a robust evaluation of the WSU Metro Center, WCMER, and its member states’ metropolitan Extension programs. The cornerstone elements of the evaluation will be:

  • Quantitative data: Extension programs currently collect numerous quantitative data across
    all their programs, whether they occur in metropolitan areas or not. The goal of this element
    is to determine what metrics would be unique to Extension activities in metropolitan areas
    that can be or are already being collected.
  • Qualitative Data: Qualitative data will be collected on two levels for separate purposes:
    • State-level: Through Key Informant Interviews, data will be collected related to the target goal of understanding the impact of Extension within member states. Key informants would be identified by WCMER Advisory Board members for their metropolitan communities.
    • WCMER level: Through surveys and / or interviews, WCMER member institutions will evaluate the effectiveness and benefit of the WCMER and its activities.

WCMER Intern Opportunity

Under the direction and supervision of WSU Extension Evaluation Specialist, Rebecca Sero, the
intern will:

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review to determine what, if any, quantitative metrics are being used to evaluate activities similar to those performed by WCMER Extension programs in metropolitan communities. WCMER has compiled a literature database that may be used as a starting point with any new records being added to. This database is in EndNote and the intern would be provided with a copy of the program to use during the duration of the internship.
  • Assist in the development of both sets of qualitative data assessments
  • Execute the qualitative assessments
  • Assist in qualitative data analysis and report development.

Timeline

The plan is to fully design and implement the evaluation plan during FY2017, specifically:

  • Conduct the comprehensive literature review and formulate draft qualitative metrics for presentation at the National Urban Extension Conference, May 9-11, 2017.
    • May include presenting and receiving draft feedback from the WCMER Advisory Board members prior to the conference.
  • Design and collect the Key Informant Data (summer 2017):
    • May: Assist with tool design
    • June: Conduct phone interviews
    • July & Aug: Analyze data
    • Sept: Write summary reports for WSU Metro Center, WCMER, and member states.

Compensation

The WCMER Evaluation Intern will receive a stipend of $5,000 for their work along with the opportunity to co-author scholarly publications from this work. At this time we do not have funding to support travel to the National Urban Extension Conference.

To Apply

To apply, submit the following materials with the subject line “Evaluation Internship Application” to r.sero@wsu.edu

  • Cover Letter that describes your interest in this position and any relevant experience
  • Resume, including three professional references and their contact information
  • Statement of Intent/Goals (i.e. what do you want out of this internship, and how will this experience advance your career goals?)
  • Writing sample

For more information, contact Evaluation Specialist, Rebecca Sero at r.sero@wsu.edu

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