The Office of Program Evaluation's mission is to improve education policy and practice in the U.S., southeast region, and South Carolina. To accomplish this, we:
- Provide high-quality services in evaluation, research, assessment, and professional development to support a broad range of educational agencies and organizations.
- Develop partnerships with the education community to build evaluation capacity and improve decision making through systematic inquiry.
- Initiate research on educational policy and practice.
- Develop the capacity of future evaluators, researchers, assessment experts, and educational administrators through extensive, practice-based graduate assistantships under the supervision of expert faculty members.
We approach evaluation and research projects as partners with our clients. In the context of evaluation, this means we will provide the highest quality services, in adherence to the standards of the American Evaluation Association.
As evaluators, we are responsible for providing an objective, unbiased view of program implementation, outcomes and impacts, using the most appropriate and cost-effective techniques available.
We provide formative input to project leaders to assist with successful project implementation, and summative evaluation reporting that focuses on program outcomes and impacts.
Our dual mission focuses our efforts on providing excellent services to our clients, and enhancing the educational experiences of our graduate research assistants. Research assistants are encouraged and supported to attend and present at regional and national conferences, often in partnership with clients and USC faculty.
OPE regularly sends contingents to the American Educational Research Association and American Evaluation Association conferences, as well as to the South Carolina Educators for the Practical Use of Research and other regional conferences. OPE faculty, staff and research assistants publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals.