AEC is Working with MOUSE! The ongoing evaluation of innovative youth development/technology programming

In other exciting AEC news!

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with MOUSE, an innovative youth development organization that empowers underserved students to provide technology support and leadership in their schools, supporting their academic and career success.

MOUSE offers youth a variety of innovative programming, both in school and during out-of-school time. Two such program are: MOUSE Squad, which operates in schools and other educational sites in more than 269 locations in the USA and MOUSE Corps, currently operating in New York City. The MOUSE Squad program trains and supports youth in managing leading-edge technical support help desks in their schools, improving the ability to use technology to enhance education, while also providing powerful, hands-on 21st century learning experience for youth. MOUSE Corps is a unique career readiness program for high school students, providing professional internships, mentoring, and skill building workshops, while also encouraging youth to identify and solve – using technology – pressing community problems.

AEC began its relationship with MOUSE in 2011. We conducted a formative and summative evaluation of the MOUSE Squad program and a formative review of the MOUSE Corps program. Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, we successfully launched two end-of year- surveys (one for youth and one for adults), carried out site visits and spoke with youth participants and coordinators, and followed MOUSE Corps members to numerous workshops and training events. We also used video voice as a unique way to collaborate with youth participants, initially seeking their help to develop evaluations questions, and then having youth conduct and film their interviews with one another.

For the current year’s evaluation, we will continue to use and to further develop the methods and strategies that were most successful during our first evaluation with MOUSE. As with many AEC projects, we kicked-off the evaluation with key conversations with stakeholders to get a better sense of the organization’s “Burning Questions” – what they felt worked and what didn’t work programmatically and organizationally, what decisions they need to make and what information they require to support their decision-making, and what they would like to know about MOUSE and its programs. We strive to make all of our evaluations highly participatory and collaborative; to that end, we exploit resources, approaches, and technologies that allow use to remain connected with MOUSE and its evaluation needs. For 2011-2012, we will continue to evaluate the outcomes of the MOUSE Squad program, to ask critical questions of MOUSE Corps unique approach in order to further refine and grow the program, and provide ongoing organizational support to ensure the usefulness of the evaluations findings in MOUSE planning and development activities.

Check-in again soon as we’ll be sure to post on our many fun and exciting adventures with MOUSE!

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