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Evaluating Urban Extension Programs: WSU’s Metropolitan Center for Applied Research and Extension (Metro Center), and the WCMER

Posted by | June 5, 2018


To establish a robust evaluation framework for the WSU Metro Center, based on qualitative and quantitative data, and determine the feasibility of the methodology to be used for evaluating the WCMER and each member metropolitan Extension program. Both the WSU Metro Center and WCMER’s ultimate impact is to elevate the stature of Extension and LGU’s to metropolitan decision makers.

The cornerstone elements of the evaluation will be:

  1. Quantitative data:  Extension programs currently collect numerous quantitative data across all their programs, whether they occur in metropolitan areas or not.  The goal of this element is to determine what metrics would be unique to Extension activities in metropolitan areas that can be or are already being collected.
  2. Qualitative Data: Qualitative data will be collected on two levels for separate purposes:
    1. State-level: Through Key Informant Interviews, data will be collected related to the target goal of understanding the impact of Extension within member states.  Key informants would be identified by WCMER Advisory Board members for their metropolitan communities. To be piloted at WSU.
    2. WCMER level: Through surveys and / or interviews, WCMER member institutions will evaluate the effectiveness and benefit of the WCMER and its activities.



Evaluation methodology for the WCMER:

  • 13 semi-structured, key-informant interviews were conducted with WCMER advisory board members and state Extension directors from member institutions.
  • Analysis of the social network structure of the WCMER advisory board members.
  • Review of WCMER meeting notes, reports, and presentations.

Evaluation methodology for impact of WSU Metro Center:

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review to determine what, if any, quantitative metrics are being used to evaluate activities similar to those performed by WCMER Extension programs in metropolitan communities.

Reports, Publications, and Presentations

  • Publication of results are pending for evaluation of WCMER model
  • Metrics and protocol are being finalized for evaluation of WSU Metro Center projects as pilot for use in other states.