ACEE conducts external evaluations of all its key programs. To that end, we retained consultant Sue Staniforth to evaluate the impacts of ACEE's key programs in 2008 and then again in 2012.
Results of our 2012 Evaluation
Evaluative interviews were conducted with a cross section of ACEE stakeholders, to “take the pulse” of ACEE, provide a window into its impact, provide baseline data, and document successes and opportunities. The External Evaluator's conclusions include the following:
- ACEE plays an essential role in networking the environmental education (EE) community, building capacity within the EE sector and championing environmental education at many levels across Alberta: teachers, non-formal educators, non-profits and the provincial government.
- ACEE's role in advocating for environmental education is critically important. ACEE should continue to take a lead role in curriculum reform with Alberta Education, and should share key research, project outcomes and success stories to ensure that collaborative opportunities are not missed.
- As the largest EE affiliate in Canada, ACEE should continue to offer high-value EE initiatives such as professional development, educator support and networking opportunities to promote the advancement of EE in Alberta.
- ACEE should continue to explore opportunities to offer professional learning sessions to administrators to better facilitate support for EE programs, action projects and initiatives within schools.
- In order to strengthen regional networks, ACEE should explore options to increase outreach and professional development opportunities for educators and stakeholders in both urban and rural centres, target resources to specific local needs and build a network of local resource people.
- ACEE’s communications should continue to explore alternative means of engaging busy teachers and administrators through increased connections with the ATA and key school boards.
Our External Evaluator submitted Key 2008 Projects of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education: An External Evaluation in January 2009. Evaluative interviews were conducted with a cross section of ACEE stakeholders, to “take the pulse” of ACEE, provide a window into its impact, provide baseline data, and document successes and challenges.
Areas of Strength from 2008
- Overall the interviews and stakeholder surveys paint a positive and optimistic picture of ACEE.
- Its mission and goals are clear to most stakeholders, and there is broad support and a clear rationale for its collaborative and networking roles.
- The professional development opportunities ACEE has provided (2007 conference, 2008 Leadership Clinic) are ranked very highly by participants and seen as of high value to their organizations.
- The ability of ACEE to convene multi-stakeholder groups to encourage networking, communication and partnerships, and advance environmental education province-wide, is highly supported
- ACEE's collaborative style, diverse and broad-based leadership, committed Board and current initiatives are positive elements.
Areas of Development
Some areas that require further work include…
- developing concrete projects and “products” across the province.
- communicating activities and results to others.
- clarifying ACEE’s target audiences
- providing more outreach and services to teachers
- including more non-formal and informal educators in ACEE’s activities and Board
ACEE gratefully acknowledges the support of Suncor Energy Foundation, which supported this work.