Demonstrating Getting Ahead results to community stakeholders is essential if your initiative is to attract and retain both funding and community support for graduates transitioning from poverty.
Click on the links below to learn about a resource for collecting data regarding the effectiveness of Getting Ahead, and to find out about how leading-edge Getting Ahead sites are measuring outcomes of Getting Ahead programs.
Getting Ahead Program Evaluation Results
- Poverty and the Controversial Work of Nonprofits (Michael Jindra and Ines W. Jindra) This article by two research scholars at the University of Notre Dame explores the difference between ‘relational’ approaches to poverty vs. the ‘structural’ approaches. Yes, there is a divide here too. Bridges and Getting Ahead are mentioned as one model that addresses poverty both ways.
- Connecting Poverty, Culture, and Cognition: The Bridges Out of Poverty Process (Ines W. Jindra and Michael Jindra)
- Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World: Program Evaluation Results (Elizabeth A. Wahler)
- Las Artes Getting Ahead One Year Report (Tucson, Arizona)
Resources for Collecting Data
- A description of a complete evaluation package for Getting Ahead at very reasonable costs.
- Collecting data on individual change. Boulder County, CO Getting Ahead self-assessment. Boulder County uses Getting Ahead in five sites. The pre- and post- self-assessments are for immediate feedback. Boulder County will use a different instrument for long term results.
- Collecting data on institutional change. See pages 13 and 14 of the Technical Manual for an example of how to document changes made by institutions. This Technical Manual includes a Fidelity Scale, Outcome Indicators and accompanying Content Validity, and instructions on how to use each instrument. The Outcome Indicator Scales are consistent with the Self Assessment of Resources in Module 8 of Getting Ahead.
- Collecting data on community change. Getting Ahead groups analyze the community using this assessment tool. Ask them to share the results of their assessment with you. Found in Module 8 of Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.
Research from Getting Ahead Sites
The findings from this program evaluation of Getting Ahead suggest that the program, when conducted according to the model designed by Phil DeVol, is facilitating positive changes in poverty-related knowledge, perceived stress, mental health and well-being, social support, self-efficacy, hope, and goal-directed behavior and planning. Statistically significant changes between beginning and ending Getting Ahead were observed on standardized measures for each of these constructs in a large, diverse, national sample of Getting Ahead investigators.
- East Reservoir, Australia: A Stage One report from the Getting Ahead Project in East Reservoir includes information from an evaluation tool called the Outcomes Star, written evaluations by the investigators, and more.
- Maryborough, Australia: Matt Broad from Maryborough Australia provided this evaluation of the first GA workgroup. Read this 43 page report for ideas on how to measure GA outcomes. A GA grad says, “In other courses I have felt really worked up and anxious…it felt as though other people in the room were taking my air and I found it hard to breath. I don’t feel like that with this. I feel relaxed.”
- Menominee Nation, WI. An evaluation of six Getting Ahead groups conducted in the Fall 2006 through Spring 2009. Conducted by Donna Hora-Schwobe, University of Wisconsin, Extension Agent
- Northeastern Colorado. Daniel Brisson, Ph.D., submitted this report in July 2011 to Rural Solutions, sponsoring organization for Getting Ahead workshops in northeastern Colorado. Also click here for Jacalyn Reynolds’ chapter in the book From Vision to Action in which she expands on the development of the Northeastern Colorado Getting Ahead program.
- St. Joseph County, IN. A student at the University of Notre Dame Interviewed ten Spanish-speaking Getting Ahead graduates. Ilse Zenteno’s paper, “St. Joseph County Bridges Out of Poverty: Enriching Agency,” focuses on how the Bridges initiative “…has been able to empower people in poverty to see themselves as true active agents of change in overcoming their marginalized situations,” noting, “…every single woman, after having graduated from the class, radiated with self-confidence and joy.”
To learn more about starting a Getting Ahead initiative, click on Launching Getting Ahead. To view more resources for investigators, graduates, allies, facilitators, trainers, sponsors, funders, grant writers, planners – anyone working with Getting ahead initiatives – click on the following:
If you’d like a proven program to help individuals overcome poverty, call us to tailor a program for your institution’s needs, (800) 424-9484 or send us an e-mail request.