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Making a Difference with At-Risk Youth: Creating an Evaluation Plan for an Experiential Juvenile Justice Program Suzanna Sharkey, Ph.D. Director of Experiential Education Associated Marine Institutes What is AMI? History of AMI Associated Marine Institutes 1969

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making a difference with at risk youth

Making a Difference with At-Risk Youth:

Creating an Evaluation Plan for an Experiential Juvenile Justice Program

suzanna sharkey ph d director of experiential education associated marine institutes
Suzanna Sharkey, Ph.D.Director of Experiential EducationAssociated Marine Institutes
history of ami
History of AMI
  • Associated Marine Institutes
  • 1969
  • One judge’s vision of a different way
  • Florida Ocean Science Institute
  • Currently have 60 programs in 8 states
  • Day treatment, residential, WINGS, Infinity
mission of ami
Mission of AMI
  • Associated Marine Institutes (AMI) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping troubled youth develop into responsible and productive citizens. 
  • AMI’s mission is to protect the public safety and positively impact as many youth as possible through the efforts of a diverse and innovative staff. 
thirteen values of ami
Thirteen Values of AMI
  • Kids First
  • Integrity
  • Dedication
  • Safety
  • Family
  • Excellence
  • Enthusiasm
  • Goal Oriented
  • Diversity
  • Creativity
  • Loyalty
  • Leadership
  • Honesty
outcomes
Outcomes
  • Lower recidivism
  • Increase educational gains
  • Increased favorable completion rates
  • Stakeholder satisfaction
  • Staff retention
ami s definition of experiential education
AMI’s Definition of Experiential Education

The presence of regularly scheduled, challenging and exciting activities that do the following:

  • engage our students physically, emotionally and mentally;
  • enrich learning;
  • provide staff-student bonding opportunities; and
  • create a unique personality for the program with which students, staff, and the community are proud to be associated.
new model for educating at risk youth
New Model for Educating At-Risk Youth
  • Tools for social and emotional development
  • Tools to create safe opportunities in class for youth to experiment with success and failure
  • Tools to lead students to a place where they can take responsibility
  • Tools to help students care for themselves and others
experiential education at ami12
Experiential Education at AMI
  • Traditional methods:
    • SCUBA Diving
    • Boating/Seamanship
    • White Water Rafting
    • Rappelling
    • Horse and Dog programs
    • AMI Olympics
    • Kayaking and canoeing
    • ROPES courses
standards based experiential education
Standards-Based Experiential Education
  • Character Education through Martial Arts
  • SCUBA diving aligned with state standards
  • Enhancing academics through EE
    • Science
      • Taxonomy and snorkeling
    • Reading
      • Mental Imagery
    • Health
      • Create your own restaurant
what is the sis database
What is the SIS Database?
  • SIS stands for Student Information System.
  • SIS is a database that records information about kids served in AMI programs.
slide17

Programsenter data into SIS

Thus, data help keep funding for programs

SIS data collected at AMI

Data used to create reports, proveeffectiveness, battle funding cuts, etc.

Cycle of SIS Data

comparisons
Comparisons
  • Compare UA outcomes of those youth that participated in EE and those that did not.
  • Compare UA outcomes of those programs that incorporate EE into education and those that did not.
  • Compare UA outcomes of those programs that have at least one ongoing EE component with those that do not.
data points sources
Data Points/Sources
  • Did the youth participate in an EE activity? If so, which one(s)?
    • SIS data entry
  • Was he/she certified? (if applicable)
    • SIS data entry
  • If youth SCUBA certified, how many recreational dives did they complete while at the program?
    • SIS data entry
  • Is participation in EE incorporated into all three components of the UA?
    • Observation
    • SIS data entry
    • Student/staff surveys
  • Does the program incorporate EE into its educational curriculum?
    • Observation
    • Lesson plans
    • Student/staff surveys
research questions program based
Research Questions Program based
  • Did those programs who incorporated EE into education have higher educational gains?
  • Did those programs who utilize EE in all three components of the UA have lower recidivism rates?
  • Did those programs who utilize EE in all three components of the UA have higher completion rates?
  • Did those programs who utilize EE in all three components of the UA have higher staff retention rates?
research questions student based
Research QuestionsStudent based
  • Were those youth who participated in EE less likely to re-offend?
  • Were those youth who participated in EE more likely to complete the program favorably?
  • Do those youth who participated in EE as part of their education have higher educational gains?
research questions staff based
Research Questions Staff based
  • Do programs that incorporate EE have higher staff retention rates?
  • Are the teachers who utilize EE in their curriculum more likely to be satisfied in their jobs?
  • Do the teachers who utilize EE in their curriculum report lower incidences of behavioral issues in class?
challenges
Challenges
  • Data accuracy
  • Timeliness of entry
  • Consistency
  • EE Training
  • Money
contact information
Contact Information
  • Suzanna Sharkey
  • Cell: 813-395-2558
  • Email: sas@amikids.org
  • Website: www.amikids.org