Cobblestone Applied Research & Evaluation, Inc. was contracted by City University of New York Lehman College to evaluate the development and implementation of the Sophomore year Initiative (SYI) program (http://www.cobblestoneeval.com/).
Evaluation of the SYI program has occurred since the first day of program operations, October 1, 2012 and continues currently. The external evaluation for the first half of the first program year is primarily formative in focus, which centers on monitoring program implementation, assessing early outcomes, and determining any changes for improvement in Year 2. This evaluation was designed to answer six main questions.
What is the project impact on at-risk students’ likelihood of graduation?
What is the project impact on students’ short term and long term persistence/retention?
What is the impact of the Early Warning Referral System (EWS) on student GPA?
What is the impact of the EWS on faculty early assessment practices?
How does the project impact First-Time Full-Time Freshmen (FTFTF) and transfer students?
- How do the attained outcomes compare when disaggregated by race/ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status or disability status for students?
The evaluation of the SYI program was conducted to assess the current implementation of the program and provide some comparison of outcomes through a mixed methods longitudinal evaluation design that includes both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and analysis. Baseline data established in Year 1 will be used for comparisons across semesters and years, and to document project progress. The evaluation includes an analysis of internal program records to assess how program participation affects student academic success. The evaluation also monitors and tracks output data on Early Warning System (EWS) implementation, use of EWS and academic advising services, and the number of departments hosting career/major fairs and workshops and the number of these events held.