The Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation Coach (Issue Brief)

The Vocational Rehabilitation Program Evaluation Coach (Issue Brief)

Published: Sep 11, 2017
Publisher: Princeton, NJ: Mathematica Policy Research
Associated Project

Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) Project Demonstration

Time frame: 2010-2017

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services


Rachel Miller

Key Findings

Key Findings:

  • The VR Coach guides users through the process of designing and conducting program evaluations and interpreting the findings.
  • A completed program evaluation produces a findings report, which compiles the data collected by the VR Coach and helps translate the findings into action-oriented, policy-relevant information for VR agencies.
  • The VR Coach can conduct a randomized controlled trial evaluation design, a matched comparison group evaluation design, a rapid-cycle evaluation, and assess program implementation fidelity. 
State vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies can use a new, free performance management tool—the VR Program Evaluation Coach (—to evaluate the outcomes of their policies, programs, and services. VR agencies collect or have access to large amounts of data on client services, programs, and outcomes. However, these data may be largely underused for the purpose of improving services and outcomes. The VR Coach can help agencies use their data to better serve clients. When an agency is considering a change in services or processes, whether small or large, the VR Coach can help staff evaluate whether that change will have the desired impact. Rigorous evaluations such as these are important given the emphasis on evidence-based best practices by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and by organizations such as the National Technical Assistance Center on Transition.

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