Process Monitoring and Evaluation Systems for a New York City After-School Program

Client: Opening Act
Faculty: Ana Oliveira, Dennis Smith
Team: Nicole Escarra, Darren Latanick, Grace Lowe, Guadalupe Ortiz, Marianne Vernetson, Elizabeth Walczak
Year: 2012
Opening Act is a free, year-long, after-school theater program that provides students attending New York’s most under-served public schools with weekly theater instruction from an experienced teaching artist. After eleven years of operation, Opening Act is at a critical stage in its development as a service organization. Opening Act is currently developing a long-term strategic plan that includes expanding the number of schools it serves, diversifying funding streams, and improving programming. The Capstone team subsequently developed and standardized the organization’s data collection and evaluation systems. The team designed and administered student surveys, attendance systems, and progress evaluations. To inform these efforts, the Capstone team conducted site visits and interviewed staff, teaching artists, students, and peer organizations. In a final report, the Capstone team provided Opening Act with recommendations as to how the new tools and protocols can be used to demonstrate the impact of the afterschool program to potential funders.