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K-State Today

April 4, 2018

K-State evaluation and reporting tool recognized nationally

Submitted by Aaron Schroeder


A report recently published by the Bipartisan Policy Center includes a spotlight on the Program Evaluation and Reporting System, or PEARS, a web-based data management system built and maintained by the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation in the College of Education at Kansas State University.

PEARS grew out of a collaboration between Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation and K-State Research and Extension to help nutrition education professionals and Extension administrators manage program data and demonstrate impact. It began as a tool to streamline evaluation efforts of KSRE and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education, or SNAP-Ed, in Kansas and is gaining traction nationally. Twenty states now use PEARS to track SNAP-Ed efforts and three rely on the system to evaluate their statewide cooperative extension programs.

As the system expanded to other states, it also gained national recognition. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center's report, "Leading with Nutrition: Leveraging Federal Programs for Better Health: Recommendations from the BPC SNAP Task Force," PEARS improves efficiency and effectiveness. "With the help of tools like PEARS, SNAP-Ed administrators can spend less time agonizing over data and more time identifying and implementing successful interventions," the report stated.

"Before PEARS, every state had its own data management systems and processes," said Aaron Schroeder, assistant director at Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation. "PEARS is both streamlining and bringing consistency to these efforts. From a taxpayer perspective, any time states collaborate and build and support a single system, that's far more efficient than everyone working independently and using different data sets."

A team of 10 full-time staff and four undergraduate students at the Office of Educational Innovation and Evaluation currently support and continue to enhance the application.

Read a recent KSRE news release to learn more.

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