Long-term collaborative (grant supported) relationship with Michigan Rehabilitation Services with the goal of providing long-term stability to the existing program evaluation and research function of the Bureau and expanded capacity to address new evaluation and research questions to provide the agency with data and analysis regarding the impact of the rehabilitation services provided to citizens with disabilities in the State of Michigan. The Bureau serves approximately 40,000 individuals with disabilities each year. The research grant, titled “Project Excellence: A Program Evaluation Partnership,” funding provides support for two full-time doctoral level staff researchers (senior research associates), and seven graduate research assistants from our doctoral program.
During 2012 we designed and implemented a series of studies that were of critical importance to the state agency in understanding the impact of their policies and services. Last year alone, we initiated nine separate studies that included short-term and long-term efforts. To date, this experience has been very rewarding. Our doctoral students have had an opportunity to work in a meaningful research setting with real data, while they are developing their research competencies through formal coursework in our program. Our more advanced students have been able to identify and pursue dissertation topics through the project.
Dr. Michael J. Leahy is the principal investigator and Dr. Sukyeong Pi is the co-principal investigator and director for this long-standing research and program evaluation project