Ohio Benefit Bank

The Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks, with funding from the Columbus Foundation, commissioned the Voinovich School to conduct a statewide study on the impact of The Ohio Benefit Bank. The purpose of this study was to assess how The Benefit Bank’s online service influenced client decisions to apply for certain benefits, and how those benefits impact clients. The Voinovich School used a three-phase longitudinal telephone survey of Ohio Benefit Bank clients.

Link to the report

Exploring the Integration of Primary Care and Behavioral Health in Rural Counties

Working in partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation of Nelsonville and the Athens, Hocking, Vinton ADAMHs Board, The Voinovich School is developing a learning community and an evaluation framework to capture the successes and challenges of four local integration efforts. Plans to expand this initiative to other counties in Southeast Ohio are underway. 


On behalf of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, the Voinovich School is conducting an evaluation of a tool used to place children in foster care. The tool--called the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths, or CANS--is being piloted in ten counties across the state. Working in conjunction with the Ohio Association of Child Caring Agencies, the Voinovich School is evaluating whether the use of the CANS improves outcomes for children in terms of length of stay in foster care, placement stability while in custody and cost of stay. The Voinovich School is also conducting an assessment of worker satisfaction with the tool. 

Rocky Fork Lake Area Safety and Advancement Project (RFL-ASAP)

Researchers from the Voinovich School and other Ohio University departments worked with RFL-ASAP to provide research and consulting for the Byrne Criminal Justice Federal Planning Grant. Resulting from the efforts, the Board of Highland County Ohio Commissioners has been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance - Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program to develop an evidence-based, data driven, community-oriented plan to improve public safety and spur economic growth in the Rocky Fork Lake region of our Highland County, Ohio. After successfully completing the plan, the community-wide project recently received funding from BJA to begin implementation. Ohio University is proud to continue as the research partners on this important initiative. 

Click here to access the report.

Ohio Mathematics and Science Partnership and Improving Teacher Quality Evaluation

The Voinovich School is (or has been) the local evaluator on several Ohio Department of Education-funded Mathematics and Science Partnership projects and the Ohio Department of Higher Education-funded Improving Teacher Quality project. These evaluations examine the implementation and outcomes of intensive professional development programs for science and mathematics teachers. The Voinovich School has served as the local evaluator for projects based in the Gallia County Schools, Wellston City Schools, Jackson City Schools, Gallipolis City Schools, Meigs County Local Schools, Symmes Valley Local Schools and Vinton County Local Schools

Click here to read the Southeasten Ohio Science Partnership evaluation, and click here to read the Rio Connections report.

Ohio Primary Care Workforce Strategic Plan: Helping Ohio meet its health care workforce needs for the future

The Voinovich School in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health facilitated a statewide strategic planning session and a series of regional planning forums to identify strategies for meeting the increased demand for primary care providers in Ohio. The Voinovich School also assisted ODH in preparing the draft Ohio Primary Care Workforce Plan.

Link to the report

Trinity Hospital Twin City Program: Diabetes Care Quality Evaluation

The purpose of this evaluation is to determine whether Trinity’s integrated strategy of chronic care management, advanced electronic health records application and community outreach has improved health outcomes of patients aged 18 and older with diabetes. Work on this evaluation is currently underway.

The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network

The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative Personalized Learning Network (OAC-PLN) is a consortium of 27 rural school districts who are partnering with Battelle for Kids to increase student achievement.  The goal of the OAC-PLN is to accelerate student achievement by increasing access to advanced learning and effective instruction through a networked 6-12 grade, high quality blended learning and dual enrollment system. Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs serves as the external evaluator of the project. The comprehensive evaluation tracks both implementation and outcomes of this multi-year initiative.

Click here to access the report.

Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides funding for state-level personal responsibility education programs with the aims of reducing rates of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (including HIV/AIDS) among youth in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is administering the PREP throughout the state in nine regions via agencies at the local level and the Voinovich School is leading an evaluation of this statewide initiative.  

Click here to access the January, 2018 report.

Belmont Elementary Counseling Program

Bellaire Local School District received a U.S. Department of Education Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Grant in August 2013. The grant provides funds to local educational agencies to enable schools to develop promising and innovative approaches for initiating or expanding counseling programs in elementary and secondary schools. Four Appalachian Ohio school districts are served by the grant. Work on the year three evaluation report concluded in 2016.

Evaluation of the Trinity Hospital Twin City Comprehensive Diabetes Prevention Project

Trinity Hospital Twin City received a three year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to provide diabetes prevention education and support to rural Tuscarawas County residents who are at risk for or were recently diagnosed with diabetes.  The Fit for Life promising practice model will be adapted to cater to those with diabetes.  Work on this three-year evaluation project is underway and will include significance testing on behavior, health and lifestyle indicators as well as longitudinal analysis of participant progress.  

Critical Access Hospital Needs Assessments and Strategic Planning (2012)

In partnership with the Ohio Department of Health and University of Toledo Area Health Education Center (AHEC) , the Voinovich School designed and conducted regional strategic planning sessions with Critical Access Hospitals (CAH) across Ohio to assist them in meeting the IRS 990 community health needs assessment requirement. Included in the process was the provision of data addressing health indicators, a summary of proud moments from CAHs, and individual hospital economic impact analyses for each of Ohio’s 34 critical access hospitals and for all hospitals combined.

Link to the report

Student Growth Measures: Policy and Practice Study

Student achievement growth is a significant component of Ohio’s new educator evaluation system, comprising 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance evaluation. The SGM: Policy and Practice study, led by the Voinovich School in partnership with researchers from Wright State University and the Ohio State University, is a multi-year project focused on understanding 1) how well the various SGM components fit together and if they do not, how their fit may be improved; and 2) how well the 50 percent SGM element compares with the remaining 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation that is graded on state-specified performance rubrics and standards.

Click here to view the executive summary.

Strengthening Ohio’s Safety Net (2011)

The Voinovich School supported HealthPath Foundation by facilitating roundtable sessions where experts and stakeholders discussed strategies for strengthening primary care in rural and underserved areas of Ohio. Subsequently the School facilitated sessions of the Foundation’s Research Advisory group and conducted research on select health professional pipeline and community-based training programs for primary care providers.

Link to the report

Assistance with Public Health Accreditation

Local health departments are required to apply for accreditation to the Public Health Accreditation Board by 2020.  The Voinovich School is working with a number of Southeast Ohio counties, assisting them with community health needs assessments, community health improvement plans and strategic plans so that they can meet the prerequisite requirements for accreditation. The Voinovich School is providing technical assistance, facilitation services, consultation, data analysis and technical writing to assist in the process.   

Roster Verification

At the request of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs completed year two of a three-year project examining the implementation of teacher-student data link/roster verification in Ohio. In this second year of the project, the researchers conducted a survey of all principals and teachers who participated in the roster verification process for the 2012-13 academic year (Spring 2013). 

Click here to read the report.

Ohio Resident Educator Assessment Evaluation

The Voinovich School is collaborating with researchers from Miami University and the University of Cincinnati on a multi-year statewide evaluation of Ohio’s Resident Educator Program (OREP). This study is assessing particular aspects of OREP implementation including: (a) fidelity and compliance, (b) quality and effectiveness, (c) influence and impact, and (d) scale-up and sustainability. The results of this study will shape practice at the state, local (LEA), and individual (Resident Educator, Resident Educator mentor, and LEA administrator) levels.

The Ohio Education Research Center (OERC)

The OERC is a collaborative partnership where researchers from six universities (Ohio State, University of Cincinnati, Miami University, Ohio University, Case Western Reserve University, Wright State University) and four organizations (Battelle Memorial Institute, Battelle for Kids, Community Research Partners, and the Strategic Research Group) come together as a permanent education research center for the state of Ohio. Funded by a $3.8M award from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the OERC carries out a P-20 education research agenda in collaboration with ODE and the Ohio Board of Regents. The Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs was invited to represent Ohio University and is actively involved in three major projects:

  1. Case Study: “Collaborating on Economic Success in Appalachia" High School-Higher Education Alignment Project

    This case study focuses on the gap between Appalachia Ohio and the rest of the state in producing, retaining, or attracting sufficient numbers of college graduates. While the educational attainment gap has begun to narrow, the region has made relatively few inroads in terms of narrowing the education/skills gap and garnering the ability to compete successfully in the global economy. The region's college-going, college retention, and college completion rates remain lower than any other region of the state. This case study is an in- depth examination of the processes and initial outcomes of the "Collaborating on Economic Success in Appalachia" project--one of the 14 regional high school-higher education alignment consortia awarded funding by the ODE. The primary focus is to address whether or not the collaborative is successful in addressing the five targeted areas of need: 1) increasing academic engagement of high school students, 2) improving math, reading, and science skills of high school students, 3) increasing social competencies and empowering students and their families, 4) decreasing non-academic barriers impacting student success, and 5) increasing college completion rates. Additionally, five participating districts will be selected as exemplar districts for more in-depth analysis that will enable a rich, vivid description of implementation and initial outcomes. This additional study will address the challenges the project faced and provide baseline and initial implementation year metrics related to high school course selection, high school teacher credentialing for dual enrollment, and the need for remedial coursework in college.

  2. Student Growth Measures: Policy and Practice Study

    Student achievement growth is a significant component of Ohio’s new educator evaluation system, comprising 50 percent of a teacher’s annual performance evaluation. Given the range of subjects and grades taught by Ohio’s teachers and the lack of statewide standardized tests for every subject and grade, student growth will be measured via a diverse set of assessments — Ohio Achievement Assessments, approved vendor assessments, student learning objectives, and other local education agency (LEA) measures. The SGM: Policy and Practice study, led by Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs in partnership with researchers from Wright State University and the Ohio State University, is a multi-year project focused on understanding 1) how well the various SGM components fit together and if they do not, how their fit may be improved; and 2) how well the 50 percent SGM element compares with the remaining 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation that is graded on state-specified performance rubrics and standards.

  3. Student Growth Measures: Mini-Grants Study

    Currently ODE does not test all grades and all subject matters in LEAs. To improve school accountability and effectiveness, the Mini-Grant project is studying implementation of extended testing (i.e., testing via approved vendor assessments in grades outside the 3-8 reading and mathematics grade/subject bands covered by the Ohio Achievement Assessments) in a small group of LEAs. The evaluation will include the following areas of inquiry: 1) Implementation: The project will critically examine the ongoing implementation of extended testing to identify successes and areas in need of improvement. This includes looking at the major implementation challenges, and best practices; identifying the “buy-in” of both the teachers and administrators; as well as discovering the factors that may increase the quality of participation. 2) Roster Verification: The use of roster verification for the extended Value-Added reporting will be analyzed for challenges and recommendations for improvement. 3) Educator Evaluation Systems: The evaluation will investigate the use of the extended testing data from the LEAs to inform the new state teacher and principal evaluation systems. 4) Best Practices and Lessons Learned: The evaluation will determine best practices, lessons learned, and recommendations for the state and LEAs moving forward with integrating measures of student growth.

Appalachian Housing Initiative (2013)

In 2010, the Ohio CDC Association received funding from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the Ohio Development Services Agency for a study to identify reasons for the lack of affordable housing in the Appalachian region. As part of a multi-pronged research effort, the Voinovich School conducted three web surveys, five focus groups, and twelve interviews to create recommendations for increasing the availability of quality affordable housing in Appalachian Ohio.

Link to the report

Financial Literacy Survey

At the request of the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), the Ohio Education Research Center conducted a survey of Ohio high schools’ implementation of financial literacy education, as required by Ohio Revised Code Section 3313.603(C)(7). The survey was developed to address the following questions:

  • Are districts integrating the study of financial literacy into their high school curriculum?
  • What types of financial literacy curriculum and instruction are Ohio’s school districts providing in order to meet the state requirements?
  • What subjects and grades have financial literacy content standards embedded in the curriculum?
  • How long is the financial literacy content taught?
  • What type(s) of licensure do teachers who are teaching financial literacy hold?
  • Are Ohio school districts partnering with other entities (e.g. banks) to deliver financial literacy content?
  • Are there any differences in the financial literacy content and/or delivery methods by district type?
  • What are some exemplary financial literacy education programs in Ohio?  

Click here to read the results from the 2015 survey.

Grant Making Assistance of Local Wellness Initiatives

Through our long-standing partnership with the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, the Voinovich School is providing grant making assistance to their current wellness initiatives across eight Southeast Ohio counties.  We are identifying community assets and promoting innovative approaches to health and wellness. 

Science Professional Development Seed Grant Evaluation

The Science Professional Development (PD) Seed Grant Evaluation was a multi-phase, statewide project evaluating the provision of professional development to science teachers. The first phase involved 10 university-led projects from around the state who were awarded “Seed Grants” to design an effective PD model in partnership with schools, teachers and community organizations. Phase II was the selection of two grants to receive substantial financial awards to implement their model on a larger scale. Phase III was a refinement of the models using feedback from the evaluator. As the project evaluators, the Voinovich School conducted classroom observations using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) which focused on student-centered, constructivist teaching pedagogy. We also completed periodic phone interviews throughout the year, and guided teachers to document an entire unit as a portfolio.

Community Action Agencies: Strengthening Ohio’s Communities

Commissioned by the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies, the goal of this project was to identify, document, and assess exemplary practices in community economic development initiatives initiated by or in partnership with Ohio’s Community Action Agencies. Through analysis of reporting data and 35 interviews with agency administrators, the Voinovich School developed an Executive Summary, emphasizing innovative strategies by community action agencies, a Technical Report detailing 25 case studies of exemplary programs, and a Community Economic Development Toolkit to help promote exemplary economic development practices in all community action agencies.

Executive Summary

Technical Report

Community Education Development Toolkit

DEAMFISA Evaluation

The Dual Enrollment Access in Mathematics using the Flipped Format to Increase Student Achievement (DEAMFISA) is a partnership between Shawnee State University and thirteen southern Ohio school districts.  With funding from the Ohio Department of Education, the partnership provided training in the flipped course delivery model and support to mathematics teachers to acquire the credentialing necessary for offering dual enrollment mathematics courses to regional high school students.  The Voinovich School is in the second year of a five-year evaluation exploring student matriculation to post-secondary education. 

Click here to access the report.

The Fatherhood Initiative

The Voinovich School is evaluating this five-year initiative that aims to help fathers strengthen their relationships with their children and the mothers of their children, to improve the long-term economic stability of vulnerable families, and to help fathers overcome barriers that prevent them from being effective and nurturing parents.  Long-term objectives include improved family functioning, improved adult and child well-being, increased economic stability and mobility, and reduced poverty.  An underlying objective of this project is to reduce infant mortality rates in five counties by providing fatherhood services to new and expectant fathers. Both a process and outcome evaluation are being conducted to help inform continuous improvement, and document short and longer term outcomes of this initiative. 

Evaluation of the Law and Leadership Institute

This is a two-year evaluation project conducted by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs on behalf of the Law and Leadership Institute, LLC (LLI). Founded in 2008 and based on New York City’s Legal Outreach program, LLI is a statewide, collaborative nonprofit aimed at increasing racial and economic diversity within Ohio’s legal community. LLI works with students from the summer before ninth grade through high school graduation to develop the academic skills and drive necessary to succeed in the field of law.

Factors that Influence Breastfeeding Initiation and Persistence in Ohio’s Appalachian Region (2011)

Funded by the Ohio Department of Health, the purpose of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators to breastfeeding in Ohio’s Appalachian counties. Through group interviews with 176 women, the study provides recommendations for culturally appropriate approaches to improve breastfeeding initiation and persistence among Appalachian women.

Link to the study

Smoke Free Families

The Voinovich School received a second two-year contract from the Ohio Department of Health to work with six counties in Southeast Ohio to promote an evidence-based intervention for smoking cessation. The goal is to “saturate” these counties with trained providers giving the same message in multiple settings.  During the first two years of the initiative, GVS trained 108 professionals across 36 organizations.  Twenty-two organizations implemented the evidence-based intervention. Ten agencies agreed to collect information about their implementation and their data indicates that 747 people received the intervention and over half of them reported that they smoked.  

Evaluation of the Trinity Hospital Twin City: Fit For Life

The purpose of the Trinity Hospital Twin City Fit for Life Expansion for Replication Project is to provide a multi-agency approach to reduce the number of overweight and obese adults in Tuscarawas and surrounding counties. The third year of programming is complete and each evaluation report includes significance testing on behavior, health and lifestyle indicators as well as other comparative analysis on whether the program can be replicated. 

Ohio Children's Trust Fund Regional Coordinator

Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs has been selected by the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF) to serve as a regional prevention coordinator to lead efforts for child abuse and neglect prevention in eastern and southeastern Ohio through regional prevention councils. The councils are comprised of appointed prevention specialists representing 10 eastern and 13 southeastern Ohio counties.  The School is providing ongoing administrative support, conducting needs assessments and assisting the councils with development of child abuse and neglect prevention plans.

Evaluations of Kids On Campus Academic Year Programming

The Voinovich School serves as evaluator for nine Kids on Campus academic year programs located in six Appalachian school districts across southeastern Ohio. The programs are supported through the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Center grants as distributed by the Ohio Department of Education as well as through contributions from individuals and organizations in the Athens County area, and numerous departments and offices at Ohio University. The program serves elementary, middle, and high school children and targets those who face socioeconomic and/or academic challenges. Areas of enrichment include reading/math proficiency, homework help, youth development, art and science activities and supplemental nutrition.