LMA to Conduct Compliance Monitoring for University of Arizona Foundation

LeCroy & Milligan Associates is pleased to announce a new working collaboration with the University of Arizona Foundation. Under the auspices of the Haury Trust fund, Dr. John Kao of the EdgeMakers Institute based out of San Francisco will be implementing “Innovate Arizona,” an initiative to develop capacity for innovative learning within the Southern Arizona region by establishing local definitions of employability criteria tied to innovative entrepreneurship. Reminiscent of the federally funded School-to-Work Partnerships back in the early 1990s, Innovate Arizona will work to bring together key regional stakeholders including employers, educators and representatives from NGOs, buttressed with involvement from the University of Arizona to provide training and professional development for instructors that will integrate the EdgeMakers innovation curricula into local and regional education programs and institutions. The intent is to create a cadre (and eventually a community) of educators that implement classroom activities, curricula and practices at the high school level that focus on relevant, modern-day 21st century ways of learning.

Innovate Arizona will recruit 1000 students in Southern Arizona to participate in the EdgeMakers curricula, described as a “practice-based and purpose-driven learning system for innovation and entrepreneurship.” The experience is intended to increase engagement and motivation on the part of teenagers to finish high school, seek two to four years of a college experience and work towards enhancing their employability in the 21st century.

A locally-specific approach is an essential feature of the program. Staff will work to support faculty in developing courses focused on topics such as community resilience and local entrepreneurship. Definitions of local employability standards will be established and aligned with the EdgeMakers curricula and offered by local institutions.

For the beginning phase, LeCroy & Milligan has been assisting the Project Coordinator in better defining program implementation by asking the tough questions and providing a review of potential measurable indicators for program success. In areas where proposed activities are stated in general terms, LeCroy & Milligan is there to drill down on the specifics and support deliberation of program implementation that produces unambiguous, measurable outcomes, e.g., what types of data need to be collected? Do templates, data collection forms and/or surveys need to be developed to obtain feedback from program participants? Will participant satisfaction levels be specified from these activities as measurable indicators before implementation? When a proposition is made by program staff to “record, analyze and share results,” LeCroy & Milligan, in its efforts to rigorously monitor compliance of program implementation, wants to know if analyzing involves qualitative or quantitative analysis – including descriptive statistics or pre/post assessments. Are there stated measurable indicators for the results of the analysis before the fact? When will the course outlines, training materials, pedagogical criteria and certification regimes be ready for use in implementing the professional development program? These are the types of questions submitted by LeCroy & Milligan to program staff as they develop their implementation plan.

The types of monitoring responsibilities will include ensuring that staff and their implementation of program activities will comply with donor guidelines, protocols and contractual agreements – as well as agreed upon expectations of results, as defined in part by LeCroy & Milligan’s review of potential measurable indicators for success. Financial monitoring will account for costs by tying specific funding to particular activities by categories of expenditure established before the start of implementation, and will be conducted in conjunction with process monitoring with a particular focus on the progress of activities, how they are delivered, the efficiency in time and resources and meeting time-tables. This will all be tracked and organized by methods of data collection to inspect and validate procedures allowing for systematic review and establish periodic measures of progress – including Fidelity of Implementation checklists, document reviews and key informant interviews.

For more information about the EdgeMakers Institute, check out their website. https://edgemakers.com/about-us/

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