To evaluate the program Breaking Barriers: African American Women in Science effectively, it is necessary to concentrate on quantitative data and qualitative sources of information to conclude on the need for the program and its social impact and effectiveness.
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Program Evaluation: Data Sources
The public program Breaking Barriers: African American Women in Science is developed by the Science Makers and History Makers in order to support the contribution of African American females in science and to stimulate the African American women’s active participation in social activities and developing their careers (Breaking Barriers, 2012).
To evaluate the program effectively, it is necessary to concentrate on such quantitative data as the statistical information on the number of African American female scientists in the United States and the changes in the annual rates to conclude on the tendencies in the sphere. It is also important to focus on such qualitative sources of information as the interviews with the program’s participants and target audience in order to conclude on the program’s social influence.
The program evaluation design related to the Breaking Barriers project includes such stages as the focus on the need for the program which consists of the process to identify the program’s participants, potential users, and target population; the process of collecting the data to assess the needs; the analysis of the data; the conclusion about the need.
The other stages of the evaluation process are the focus on the program’s design, implementation, administration, impact, and costs. Thus, to assess the needs, it is necessary to collect that data on the program, and the most effective methods are the research for such quantitative data as numerical and statistical data, use of surveys, censuses, and records (Langbein, 2012, p. 117). The qualitative data are collected with the help of interviews and questionnaires.
To collect the effective data on the Breaking Barriers program, it is necessary to distinguish between the quality and accuracy of data sources. Thus, quality of the sources is associated with their credibility. For instance, the data on the number of African American female scientists in the United States provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census can be discussed as quality, and the information provided by the incredible newspaper sources is not quality.
Accuracy is associated with the correctness of the provided information (Rossi, 2003, p. 120). Thus, the numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of the Census are accurate, and the numbers found in surveys can be non-accurate, depending on the features of the sample and used research methods. Accurate data sources provide the exact numerical and textual information.
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The evaluation of the Breaking Barriers program depends on collecting the data and using both quantitative and qualitative research techniques. The use of quantitative techniques is important to support the evaluation with accurate statistical and numerical data on the number of the Breaking Barriers program’s participants, on the situation in the society, actual changes in the sphere of science in relation to African American females (Breaking Barriers, 2012).
The qualitative research techniques such as interviews and questionnaires are important to provide the information on the target audience’s ideas, beliefs, outcomes, and visions (Rossi, 2003, p. 120-132). To evaluate the need for the program, it is necessary to analyze the information of the users and target population’s visions of the social issue and the program’s impact.
Such quantitative sources of information and data as surveys, censuses, and reports are critical to evaluate the program because they provide the accurate data on the social issue and social tendencies. The variety of qualitative sources such as interview reports and answers to the questions is critical to evaluate the program from the perspective of need and effectiveness.
Breaking Barriers: African American Women in Science. (2012). Web.
Langbein, L. I. (2012). Public program evaluation: A statistical guide. USA: M.E. Sharpe.
Rossi, P. (2003). Assessing the need for a program. In P. Rossi (Ed.), Evaluation: A systematic approach (pp. 103-132). USA: SAGE Publications, Inc.