In March of 2014, US Lacrosse finalized its plans to contract with ERM’s Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) to conduct an evaluation of their Coaching Education Program associated with the Level-1 Certification for the Women’s Lacrosse Game. US Lacrosse is the national governing body of men’s, women’s and youth lacrosse, with a membership of nearly 500,000 players, coaches, administrators, parents, and fans. As the home of the nation’s fastest growing sport, a primary goal of US Lacrosse is educating coaches about the technical aspects of the sport, coaching strategies, and player safety.
The contract with US Lacrosse involves developing an online assessment of coach knowledge and behavior with respect to Lacrosse coaching strategies, game safety, and technical skills for the Women’s Lacrosse Game, and then evaluating the impact of the US Lacrosse Coaching Education Program on coaching knowledge and behavior measured by the assessment. The OAERS project team is led by ERM faculty members Dr. Holly Downs and Dr. Randy Penfield, and includes ERM students Saed Qunbar, J. B. Weir, and Alia Henderson. The leadership of Dr. Downs and Dr. Penfield contributes world-class expertise to the project in the areas of assessment and evaluation. In addition, involving ERM students on the project provides these students direct experience with program evaluation, instrument development, assessment development, psychometrics, quasi-experimental designs for causal inference, online data capture, data management, and applied statistical modeling. The project is anticipated to be completed by July of 2014.