Consulting With Barry Sweeny:

Design of Part of a Program

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1. Why Should You Use Barry's Help in Planning A Needs assessment?
2. What's the basic process for development of an evaluation process for your program?
3. The Table of Contents from a "Program Evaluation Final Report" Barry Has Done
4. Improvement of Existing Mentor Trainings: An example of Barry's consulting on part of a program
5. What are Barry's Fees and expenses?
6. Testimonies of Barry's clients for this kind of work
7. See a list of Barry's clients
8. How do we get started?


 
1. Why Use Barry's Help in Planning Need Assessment?

Needs assessment means literally what the title suggests, an assessment of needs. However, don't let this simplistic understanding fool you. An effective process of needs assessment is definately not as simple nor as easy as it may seem. If it were easy, every program would use this strategy consistently. You know that is not the case!

There are many tricks to designing and conducting an effective needs assessment that will result in conclusions and recommendations that actually can help you improve your program and its results. Learning those tricks has been a passion of Barry's since 1987.

Simply put, you should use Barry's expertise to guide your needs assessment planning for FOUR reasons:

1. NEED ASSESSMENT IS HARD TO DO WELL WITHOUT EXPERT HELP

An effective need assessment process is complex and challenging, yet credible, diagnostic results are critical to effective program planning and improvement. If the process is not well designed and carefully executed, the results can actually mislead program planners, prevent you from making your program more effective, prevent you from achieving your goals, and waste valuable time and money. Doing an effective assessment is so important to program success that Barry suggests it NOT be done at all UNLESS you can be sure that it will be well done. That's why you may want to consider using Barry's help in planning and conducting your need assessment process.


2. PARTICIPANT PERSPECTIVES ARE CRITICAL, BUT CAN ALSO BE FLAWED

Traditionally, need assessments focus on the perceived needs of a program's participants. Even though such data are always important, that is only one of several important perspectives on what may be needed. In fact, staff and program development that are planned using only participant perception of needs data will almost always be ineffective. This is true for two reasons:


3. THERE ARE OTHER PERSPECTIVES ON PARTICIPANT NEEDS TO CONSIDER


4. THERE ARE OTHER KINDS OF NEEDS TO CONSIDER

Given these realities, designing an effective needs assessment process will not be simple, so you may choose to use Barry Sweeny's guidance to ensure that YOUR process is effective and that the data collected are credible, targeted, and useful.


 
2. What's the Basic Process for Development of an Evaluation Process?

An effective program evaluation process is very complex. For it to be useful, concise, and lead to real improvements in the end, it must be a very carefully constructed and executed process. It is not simple nor easy because what we are trying to assess (teaching) and what we are trying to accomplish (improvement of teaching) are complex, situational, professional behaviors.

The basic steps which Barry Sweeny uses to design and implement an effective program evaluation process are provided elsewhere on this web site as a PART of a "Program Development & Improvement Planner". Write down the following program evaluation steps from that "Program Planner" so you can go directly to those steps when you get to that page.

Of course, if you have little experience in program evaluation, these basic steps will not provide all the detail necessary to actually do each step effectively. To do each step well requires considerable expertise and knowledge which is gained from extensive experience as a program evaluator.

AFTER you have read some of the testimonies below by folks who have worked with Barry on similar projects, then you should click here to go to and complete the "Program Development & Improvement Planner" OR , skip use of the Program Planner and click here to just directly contact Barry Sweeny.


4. Another example of Barry's consulting on part of a program:
- Improvement of Existing Mentor Trainings

"The Tucson Unified School District, Tucson, Arizona, has 7 mentoring programs, which have been unrelated efforts with a wide variation in effectiveness and results. We brought Barry Sweeny to our district twice for a total of three days to audit and critique our programs, consult with our professional development and content area mentoring leaders about best practices, and to guide our development of a framework for coordinating the training efforts of all the various mentoring programs in our district.

Thanks to Barry's expertise and ability to match research and models with our desired outcomes, I feel that we now have leadership consensus and an excellent, coherent framework upon which we can build an exemplary mentor/mentee professional development program. I especially appreciated Barry's approach as a consultant who supported our district's unique needs and goals, unlike some "experts" who bring a "canned" approach and who try to make a district model fit into their established model. Barry's insight into our needs and his flexibility made a powerful difference in our being able to accomplish so much in a short period of time.

Should our budget situation improve, I would continue using Barry's expertise during our on-going development of the T.U.S.D. Mentoring Program. We appreciate the very valuable contributions he made and his help in getting us off to such a successful start."

- Rosanna Gallagher, Director, Professional Development, TUSD


 
5. Some Testimonies of Barry's Clients for This Kind of Work

NEEDS ASSESSMENT

* TxBESS Induction Program at Region XI Education Service Center in Fort Worth, Texas - A two year contract totalling over 130 days of work, including consulting in program development, program evaluation & training for mentors, and university & ESC staff, mentoring of mentors and program leaders.

"Barry was instrumental in helping us avoid many problems and (he) made our first year an immediate success. He was a critical aid to me in so many ways, including development of needs assessments, and the year-end reports and proposals for funding of the next phase of the three year state pilot. The second year we expanded his responsibilites even further to include development and conduct of our external program evaluation. You should see the excellent process he used and ask him to see a copy of the final product he produced! (We) were very pleased with Barry's work and support." - Ms. Zoe Windley, TxBESS Program Coordinator, ESC Region XI, Fort Worth, Texas.


* South Cook Intermediate Service Center, Chicago Heights, IL. Consulting in needs assessment , development of a Regional Induction Program to service small districts, and trainings for new teachers, mentors & induction program leaders.

"We initially asked Mr. Sweeny to guide us in creating a regional induction program that would position our center as a model for our state. Barry accomplished exactly that! We started our program from scratch, but with Barry's guidance for data collection and program design, we quicky created and implemented what we needed to address our clients' needs. Barry also helped to build the capacity of the staff I assigned to the project and they were able to assume the full responsibility for leading the program before the end of the first year." - Diane, Director of the SC ISC.


* AT&T, Network Software Division (now Lucent Technologies), a 3 month full time contract, needs assessment, program research & design. "Barry was a very quick learner and was up to speed right away with our culture and expectations. His work ethic was outstanding and his contributions were considerable. We got exactly what we needed." - Kathy Keifer, Senior Consultant, Training & Development Department, A.T. & T., Lisle, Illinois


PROGRAM EVALUATION

Goals 2000 Grant Program Evaluation - Barry was hired as the external evaluator for a complex staff development literacy improvement program. He designed and conducted two, year-long program evaluations.
 
* After Year One - "Barry, the evaluation looks great! Marge and I, and Beth, our literacy consultant & trainer are impressed and pleased with the work you have done on the evaluation design. We finally have the relevant data we need to help us with improving our impact and our planning for next year. Thanks so much!"
 
* After Year two - "Barry, I just got your Goals 2000 program evaluation report. Thank you! It looks good. As always, I am very pleased with the quality of the product you sent me and I enjoyed our association on this project. I wish the funding was available to continue this project and that we could use you again as the evaluator. - Program Coordinator, Adrianne Roggenbuck, Professional Development Alliance, Joliet Illinois, June 2001

 
* TxBESS Induction Program at Region XI Education Service Center in Fort Worth, Texas - A two year contract totalling over 130 days of work, including consulting in program development, program evaluation & training for mentors, and university & ESC staff, mentoring of mentors and program leaders. (See the comments by Zoe Windley two items below for details.)

 
DEVELOPMENT OF A NEW PROGRAM COMPONENT
 
"Barry's ability to organize & plan is superior. He handles both the details & the 'big picture'. The consistency of his star performances make him so valuable ."
- Lois Andrews, Dir. of Staff Development, District 200, Wheaton, IL

GRANT WRITING -

* TxBESS Induction Programs at 3 Education Service Centers in Austin/Region XIII, Corpus Christi/Region II, and Fort Worth, Texas/Region XI. Barry consulted with these three ESCs in needs assessment, program development, and program evaluation, at Austin and Corpus Christi for six months, and at Fort Worth for two years.

"When our ESC was awarded one of eleven of the TxBESS Pilot Grants, we immediately decided not to hire additional staff persons who would need over a year to become expert in mentoring and induction. Further, I was not a mentoring expert and I needed BIG help right away! I discovered Barry Sweeny, had several email and phone conversations with him, interviewed him face-ro-face at a nearby conference, and hired him on the spot. Barry worked for us as a trainer and consultant, and as MY personal mentor, spending over 130 days in our region over two years. His expertise and professional manner made the experience both highly productive and a personal joy.

Barry was instrumental in helping us avoid many problems and detours and in making our first year an immediate success. He was a critical aid to me in so many ways, including development of needs assessments, the year-end reports and proposals for funding of the next phase of the three year state pilot. The second year we expanded his responsibilites even further to include development and conduct of our external program evaluation. You should see the excellent process he used and ask him to see a copy of the final product he produced! Even though we paid him quite a bit of money, we always got back much greater value than what we had bought! Our staff and the participants in our program from the schools were very pleased with Barry's work and support. Hiring Barry was one of my smartest decisions and I continually recommend him to other educators I meet." - Ms. Zoe Windley, TxBESS Program Coordinator, ESC Region XI, Fort Worth, Texas.


* Goals 2000 Peer Coaching & Mentoring Grant Proposal - "As a doctoral candidate, I became excited about the potential of a peer mentoring and coaching program for my school. However, despite my overwhelming research on the effects of such a program, our administrators were not able to support my requests for such a program. I sought Barry's guidance as a peer coaching and mentoring expert and was surprised to learn of his expertise in grant writing too. As a high school classroom teacher, I had never written a grant and I was not hopeful it would lead to the funding we needed. Thankfully, Barry was both experienced and hopeful! He worked with me to develop my program and funding proposal so they were linked to our school's improvement plan, and he helped me plan and write my grant. I can't tell you how proud I was of the final proposal and how excited I was when I won an award for two years of $43,000!

After the award, Barry helped me to set up the program, he provided our initial and follow up trainings, and he mentored ME so that I could become a more effective leader for the program. He also helped me to strategize about who to involve teachers at other schools and how to expand the program district-wide. We owe so much of our success to Barry. - Sharon, Coaching & Mentoring Coordinator & Foreign Language Teacher, St. Charles HS, IL


"Barry recently worked with us to develop the most difficult part of our recent FY 2000 Illinois Secretary of State Literacy Volunteers Grant. His part of the grant was the program goals, outcomes, activities, and evaluation components. We were so pleased with his work and the quality of his writing because these parts are the core of the proposal, around which we had to build all the rest of the project, and his work made our parts go so well. Also, Barry was prompt in meeting our short time line for completion and was a pleasure to work with. We certainly feel we got our money worth and more, and will definately be using Barry again on other projects". - Ms. Pamela Meadows, Director of Education Services, World Relief DuPage.


 
6. How Do We Get Started?

1. BEFORE CALLING BARRY:

OR . . .

2. SEND the completed "Program Development & Improvement Planner" to Barry OR...

3. SUGGEST which of the three approaches listed under "Who sets the agenda?" that you feel should be used.

4. At this point Barry will ask some questions of you. Answering these will better define the agenda and Barry's role.

5. Negotiate the contract.

6. Follow the specifics in the contract which define your responsibilities for preparation for the process or event.

Click here for information about how to CONTACT Barry Sweeny.


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