Project Excellence is a long-term collaborative (grant supported) relationship with Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) 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 and four graduate research assistants from our doctoral program.
Each year, MRS and Project Excellence staff develop a series of studies that are of critical importance to the state agency in understanding the impact of their policies and services. To date, this experience has been very rewarding. Students in our Rehabilitation Counselor Education doctoral program 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.
In 2001, Dr. Michael J. Leahy initiated this long-standing research and program evaluation project and served as the principal investigator until 2020. Currently, Dr. Sukyeong Pi continues the program evaluation partnership as the principal investigator.