The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University
The Evaluation Center's mission is to provide national and international leadership for advancing the theory and practice of program, personnel, and student/constituent evaluation, as applied primarily to education and human services. The Center's principal activities are research, development, dissemination, service, instruction, and leadership. Evaluation is the systematic assessment of the worth or merit of something. Objects of evaluation include, among others, institutions, programs, projects, services, personnel, students, materials, and facilities. Evaluations are undertaken to ascertain strengths and weaknesses; and they provide guidance for improvement, documentation for accountability, and information to increase understanding of the processes under study. The process of evaluation is complex and involves defining the assessment criteria, identifying key questions, obtaining and analyzing relevant information, judging the merit and/or worth of the program or other object, reporting results, and promoting effective use of findings.