Jeantyl Norze has joined University of Nevada, Reno Extension in Clark County as the coordinator for program evaluation.
Currently, Norze is evaluating the impact that COVID-19 is having on several Extension programs, including Nevada 4-H Youth Development and children, youth and families programming. Since most of Extension’s programs were forced to transition to an online environment, he has been actively monitoring and helping program coordinators meet their goals during this transition. Norze hopes analysis tools can monitor the impact the pandemic is having on program participants, and he’s ensuring instructors are trained to implement online coursework.
As evaluation coordinator, Norze’s role is to increase Extension’s evaluation outcomes by providing technical assistance and training to faculty and staff as needed. Before joining Extension, he taught program development and program evaluation at Louisiana State University for two years. Last March, he offered a presentation on program development and evaluation at a new faculty orientation.
Norze is making sure that the evaluation tools used to assess the outcomes and impacts of Extension programs are valid and reliable. He works with faculty members and staff to develop or adapt evaluation techniques, including surveys, interviews and focus groups. In addition, he assists program leaders in developing logic models that guide the implementation and evaluation of their programs. One of the benefits of a logic model is its ability to summarize the relationships between the overall program process and program outcomes and impacts. He assists program leaders in strengthening their evaluation designs to gather credible evidence that demonstrates the contribution of each program.
As an example, Norze is tracking how many 4-H youth graduate from high school. Using the data he’s gathered, he aims to develop action plans to increase graduation rates and career readiness, and to make sure programs are on track to accomplish goals.
“One of the reasons I was so excited to work with Extension was so I could make an impact on the lives on Nevadans,” he said. “My peers are supportive and are open to new ideas, and I’ve loved working with program leaders who are willing to accept help and make change in order to strengthen program curriculum.”
Norze obtained his doctorate at Louisiana State University, where he studied agricultural and Extension education. While there, he completed research for developing a staff training model to increase program quality in youth development. He’s been able to apply this experience to his current position with Extension, creating models to implement and monitor goals in a variety of programs.
Norze aims to continue developing action plans to make sure programs stay on track and offer the best possible education. While several programs are transitioning to alternative activities to accommodate pandemic cautions, he hopes to help ensure significant impacts.