Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

James Levinson


The Institute for Global Education and Service Learning (IGESL) is a national nonprofit organization that creates service learning programs. The IGESL was the recipient of a Learn and Serve America (LSA) grant funding the Youth Organized for Disaster Action (YODA) program during 2006-2009.

In order to increase the effectiveness of the YODA program, the IGESL used an evaluation to measure the achievement of program goals. Pre- and post-test data collected during 2008-2009 were analyzed to provide evidence that YODA program activities are capable of developing student resiliency skills, increasing academic and civic engagement, and developing K-12 Standards for Quality Practice (K-12 SQP) implementation expertise for project team members.

Personal reflection and annual progress report data further informed the evaluation findings and contextualized individual program sites. However, these data provided information conflicting with the evaluation measurement of project team member expertise in implementing the K-12 SQP. Interviews with three project sites were conducted as part of a program constraint assessment. Project site directors identified financial sustainability, student involvement, and teacher/district support of service learning as the major constraints to the effectiveness of the YODA program. Suggestions for overcoming each of these limitations are provided.

The IGESL program staff will gain the most meaningful and useful information by using the evaluation, project progress reports, and interview transcripts together to generate a holistic picture and determine the effectiveness of current programs. This information can also be used to inform future program and training design.


Community-Based Learning | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research