Theory-based evaluation of a comprehensive Latino education initiative: an interactive evaluation approach

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Community-Institutional Relations, Consumer Participation, Cultural Characteristics, Educational Status, Family, Focus Groups, Hispanic Americans, Logic, Models -- Educational, Organizational Case Studies, Program Evaluation, Social Change, Social Values -- ethnology, United States


Latino student access to higher education has received significant national attention in recent years. This article describes a theory-based evaluation approach used with ENLACE of Hillsborough, a 5-year project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation for the purpose of increasing Latino student graduation from high school and college. Theory-based evaluation guided planning, implementation as well as evaluation through the process of developing consensus on the Latino population of focus, adoption of culturally appropriate principles and values to guide the project, and identification of strategies to reach, engage, and impact outcomes for Latino students and their families. The approach included interactive development of logic models that focused the scope of interventions and guided evaluation designs for addressing three stages of the initiative. Challenges and opportunities created by the approach are discussed, as well as ways in which the initiative impacted Latino students and collaborating educational institutions.

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