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Evaluation of Educational and Social Programs: Models

Program evaluation is the systematic determination of a program’s value (merit or quality, worth, or significance). It is a form of disciplined inquiry that involves careful design of a study to take into account program objectives and outcomes as well as issues of greatest concern to stakeholders, rigorous procedures to gather credible evidence of program value, and transparent, justifiable processes for linking evidence to evaluative conclusions. This entry discusses several approaches to program evaluation: results-based approaches, social value approaches, process-oriented approaches, stakeholder-oriented approaches, and program-theory approaches.

An educational or social program is an organized collection of activities and processes aimed at achieving particular objectives, for example, an early childhood intervention program implemented statewide providing a range of educational, medical, and social services to enhance young children’s ...

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