Program Evaluation - Initial Planning

North Dakota State University (NDSU) FORWARD began as a self-initiated group of NDSU faculty, staff, and administrators interested in submitting a NSF ADVANCE grant proposal.

Statement of Work for University of North Texas (UNT)

Preliminary Activities. NDSU investigators, in concert with the Advisory Board, planned and organized logistics and materials for the kickoff event held in Fargo, ND.  During this time, PLAN partner institutions, via Advocate Coordinators, released calls for women advisory group members and male advocates.   Women advisory members provided feedback to the male Advocates as well as helped them understand women’s perception of climate.  UNT established a committee (Women’s Advisory Group) consisting of women faculty from STEM disciplines, inclusive of appropriate engineering representation. The timeline was November of 2015.

PLAN Kickoff, Fargo, North Dakota. The PLAN Kickoff, was held at NDSU, and coincided with the NDSU Advance FORWARD yearly kickoff event. Grant funds covered travel expenses for the advocate coordinator and one dean/provost from each partner institution (2x5 = 10 individuals), each advisory board member (4 individuals), and the project evaluator (1 individual). Invitations were extended to other key stakeholders and interested parties. All NDSU investigators and advocate trainers were mandated to attend.

The PLAN kickoff included workshops, panel discussions, seminars, and trainings.As a first order of business, the NDSU evaluation team conducted pre-training interviews and surveys of the advocate coordinators of each partner institution.They also provided partner advocate coordinators with initial survey instruments that could be used.The NDSU advocate training team provided Ally training for the partner advocate coordinators and administrators.This training helps ensure all partners begin with a common core of knowledge and skills, and introduces participants to key elements of Ally training. The Ally training is structured to help men understand basic aspects of male privilege and being an ally and to equip them with skills that will help them enhance their department climate and support their female colleagues (Anicha et. al., 2014).

Following training, the group discussed possible adaptations and improvements of Ally training materials. Training materials and resources, such as Advocates & Allies recommended reading lists, were shared electronically and in hard-copy with all participants.Third, the NDSU administration team met with administrators from partner institutions to discuss support mechanisms for each institution’s Advocates & Allies program. The session was followed by a panel session (Advisory Group) for all PLAN participants regarding the successes and challenges of implementing Advocates & Allies programs.

Finally, the NDSU advocate training team conducted a workshop for partner advocate coordinators on facilitation of advocate groups, with a focus on the development of advocate group mission statements, meeting organization and structure, and prioritized group action items. The timeline was September of 2015.