The ISU WESEP IGERT program is a five year, interdisciplinary program designed to train PhD students through industry internships, international experiences, research, and coursework.
WESEP IGERT Evaluation
RISE staff, the internal evaluator, work with Len Pietrafesa, an external evaluator, to conduct the evaluation for the WESEP IGERT program. The evaluation is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. 1069283.
Data collection for the program involves an annual survey, focus group, and individual interviews with students in the program; an annual survey and individual interviews with faculty associated with the program; and individual interviews with university administrators. The internal and external evaluation teams collaborate to conduct analysis and prepare reporting for the program.
The evaluation plan is meant to be flexible and responsive to changes in project direction and undergoes a continuous review throughout the year to address emerging needs, ensuring the evaluation is aligned with program objectives. Evaluation deliverables include an annual evaluation report and survey instruments.
Program evaluations have found that faculty involved with the WESEP IGERT program tend to rate WESEP IGERT graduate students more highly than graduate students not associated with the WESEP IGERT program in a variety of areas, including: their ability to communicate with people outside of their field, their ability to work in teams of researchers from more than one discipline, their preparedness to work outside of academia, their ability to collaborate with international scientists, and their ability to communicate research findings to the general public. In addition, faculty report that the program improves the quality of faculty research and alters the research scope of involved faculty, and improves faculty mentoring of students. Overall, students report being satisfied with their experiences in the program and have high expectations for the impact of the program on their future careers.
2014 WESEP IGERT Annual Report