Evaluation is a key to the improvement and success of Access to Achievement Education Foundation. The Foundation’s personalized, grassroots grant making approach builds trusting relationships where personal feedback allows for continual evaluation, refinement, and improvement of programs. Its evaluation methods build on the best practices established by SMYSP for more than 25 years. These practices show that it is possible to identify motivated low-income students and involve them in meaningful learning activities. This in turn enhance theirs academic knowledge and increase college readiness and success.

Evaluation is conducted systematically by the Foundation as well as by partner schools and programs. Outcomes include:

  • Percentage of Foundation funding that goes directly to schools, teachers, or students.
  • How funds are spent—types of programs and activities, and support for individual students
  • Number of students reached
  • Degree to which funding reaches target students (low income, predominately underrepresented students).
  • How funds are enhanced and leveraged by other resources
  • How activities can be sustained on a long-term basis
  • Difference funding makes in students’ lives (e.g., college application fee paid for private university and student was admitted; college tour taken that increased student’s awareness of a college to which they subsequently applied; inquiry-based science kit experiment motivated student to take a honors biology course).