Residential environmental educatiton program evaluation practices and needs
The study examined the current program evaluation practices of residential environmental education centers (REEC) and the needs of the center program directors and other center stakeholders in regard to program evaluations. Presently, a lack of quality systematic evaluation has been noted in the area of environmental education. This is problematic given that evaluation is critical to the design of quality education experiences. This mixed methods case study involved a survey of 114 residential environmental education center directors across the United States, and a case study of a residential environmental center in the Southeast United States. The survey provided information regarding the program evaluation practices and needs of the center directors. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as part of a case study of a single residential center in the Southeast United States. Interviews of various stakeholders of the residential center provided a deeper contextualized understanding of their perspectives of program evaluation. Analysis of survey data and narrative insights from the case study of "Camp Davis" revealed that residential centers evaluate programs using a variety of methods, but lack effective methods of evaluating important center goals. This study portrays the multi-dimensional needs REECs would like to address in their processes of evaluation, and expressed need for assistance to improve their evaluation practices.