Harvard's Graduate School of Education invited Crossroads’ evaluation expert, Jamaal Barnes, to present a guest lecture on innovative practices utilized in the creation of Crossroads' recently launched ten-year evaluation plan.
Jamaal's lecture, "Crossroads for Kids: An Innovative Approach to Positive Youth Development," introduced students in the class to the work Crossroads does with Greater Boston’s at-risk youth, and gave them an overview of our program design, implementation, and evaluation practices, emphasizing the continuity of the program structure and 10 year outcome monitoring.
In an enlightening Q&A session, Jamaal discussed things like how Crossroads considers family involvement in the evaluation process, and how flexible we are with our program requirements. The HGSE students walked away with a deeper understanding of how programs can be evaluated from the ground up- program participants are the most valuable source of feedback!
The course Jamaal visited, “Risk and Resilience in Social Contexts from Birth to Young Adulthood: Strategies of Prevention and Intervention,” taught by Professor Stephanie M. Jones, takes place over 2 semesters. In the first semester of the course students learn about in-depth theories of program development and evaluation; the second takes a closer look at best practices. As an HGSE alum himself, Jamaal's designed his lecture to deliver a look at how his own work has gone from a theory into practice, and how he developed Crossroads' General Theory of Change logic model (below).
The work Jamaal does at Crossroads for Kids is integral to the strength and constant evolution of our curriculum, and we are delighted that he was able to share his experience and insights with the students of HGSE.
Diagram: Crossroads' General Theory of Change