Sunday, July 27, 2008

Texas Pioneer Foundation

A great big thank you to our newest foundation supporter, the Texas Pioneer Foundation. This organization supports access to higher education in Texas and is providing us with funding to ensure that HIPPY Home Instructors successfully access higher education resources. The funds will be used to allow us to:

1. Develop a mentorship program to provide individualized support to our members, using volunteers from the community and alumni from our program.

2. Establish partnerships with community colleges near our programs so our members can successfully transition into college. This is an effort to replicate and expand a successful partnership established at Richland College in Dallas, and Western College in Snyder.

3. Secure additional financial aid for members / alumni.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Meet the Evaluator

Ursula Johnson, Texas HIPPY Evaluator
University of North Texas, Center for Parent Education

Evaluation was Texas HIPPY’s first connection to the University of North Texas. Dr. Arminta Jacobson, professor at UNT and Director of the Center for Parent Education, has spear-headed our evaluation efforts since 1996. Graduate assistants have played an important role in evaluation from the start. Their interests and expertise have allowed us to work smarter over the years, streamline our systems, improve instruments, benchmark our results and increase the scope and reliability of our evaluations. HIPPY has been the focus of two doctoral dissertations and two masters theses and countless student papers. This year we have had the luxury of building in a transition between one graduate student and the next, and are happy to welcome Ursula Johnson in place of Amber Brown. Ursula brings with her a wealth of experience of coordinating research projects, assessing children from birth to adolescence, and evaluating programs through the Texas State Center for Early Childhood Development at University of Texas- Houston Health Science Center. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Educational Research with a minor in public policy to help bridge the gap between good research and its application into the education field. Ursula will be helping us further improve our evaluation efforts by finding new avenues to standardize our research and make it more accessible and data driven to hopefully increase funding and publication of our hard work.