Research & Evaluation

Sequor YDI researchers engage in a wide variety of youth development related research and evaluation projects. As an organization we are always looking for projects to help increase the fields knowledge of youth development best practices and programs. We also work with organizations who are looking to better understand the impacts of their programs or to increase their capacity to evaluate their own programs. For more information about working with us please call 979-845-5983 or email ydi@ag.tamu.edu.


Current Sequor YDI Projects

- These are the most current projects the Sequor Youth Development Initiative is involved in.

National Kids Outdoors Study

Start Date: Spring 2010

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Mike Edwards, Corliss Outley, David Scott, & Alex McIntosh

Description of Project: Sequor YDI is working with University of Tennessee's Human Dimensions Lab, USDA Forest Service, and the National Wildlife Federation to develop a national study to measure the amount of time kids spend outdoors. When funded this study will serve as the national benchmark study for research in this area. Partial funding for the project was recently obtained through the ORAU Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award.

Project UpBeat

Start Date: Spring 2010

Researcher(s) Involved: Corliss Outley & Marie Bryant

Description of Project: The Brazos Valley Community Action Agency received a grant from the Department of State Health Services to support a community-based obesity prevention program. Sequor YDI was subcontracted to develop and implement a youth led-health promotion program. Youth in the program have completed community interviews, environmental assessments, analyzed the data and formed recommendations to improve the two targeted communities. They presented their findings at the 2011 YDI conference in Austin, TX and to city groups in Bryan/College Station.

Public Lands Service Coalition Evaluation

Start Date: Summer 2011

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden & Mike Edwards

Description of Project: Member organizations of the Public Lands Service Coalition contracted Sequor YDI to conduct an evaluation of the impact of their programs on participants with a specific focus on career development and future outdoor recreation participation patterns.

Camp Counselor Study

Start Date: Summer 2011

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Peter Witt, Barry Garst, & Deb Bialeschki

Description of Project: Sequor YDI has developed a collaborative agreement with ACA to conduct research regarding the impact of camp on camp counselors with a specific focus on professional development and workforce readiness. The first phase of this project will involve a series of focus groups with former camp counselors. The qualitative data collected this fall will be used as a foundation for subsequent phases of this project.

Wetlands Restoration Evaluation and Curriculum Development Project

Start Date: Summer 2011

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Marissa Sipocz, & Karen Melton

Description of Project: Sequor YDI was awarded a $5,000 Renewable Resources Extension Act grant to facilitate collaboration between two AgriLife Extension Service programs, the Sequor Youth Development Initiative (www.ydi.tamu.edu) and the Texas Coastal Watershed Program (www.urban-nature.org), to produce educational materials detailing how to develop service learning programs designed to engage and connect youth with nature. Materials will be shared online and in face to face trainings with groups and individuals interested in reconnecting youth to nature (e.g., Texas Master Naturalists).

Texas Partnership for Out-of-School Time

Start Date: Fall 2009 Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Chris Boleman & Peter Witt Description of Project: Texas is one of only 11 states who do not have a dedicated statewide network focused on out-of-school time issues. In November 2009, a group of 18 afterschool professionals representing non-profits, state agencies and universities met to discuss the formation of a state-wide network that would be eligible for Mott Foundation funding. ($75,000 per year for three years). In 2010 a workgroup was established to form the inaugural board of directors for the Texas Partnership for Out-of-School Time (TXPOST). Mat Duerden and Chris Boleman currently serve on this board. In May, 2011 TXPOST formally submitted a proposal to secure funding from the Mott Foundation.  Sequor YDI is committed to collaborating with TXPOST to promote the positive development of all Texas youth.

Texas CYFAR 4-H Programs Evaluation

Start Date: Spring 2010

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden & Amy Dromgoole

Description of Project: Sequor YDI was contracted by Texas 4-H and Youth Development to conduct evaluations of its CYFAR funded Ready, SET, Go Programs. This is a yearly evaluation project that will run through 2013.

Completed Sequor YDI projects

- These are the completed projects the Youth Development Initiative has been involved in.

Texas Youth Serving Agency Needs Assessment

Dates: Summer 2009

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Peter Witt, Chris Boleman & Corliss Outley

Description of Project: As its inaugural research effort, Sequor YDI conducted an online survey to assess the most pressing resource and training needs of youth serving organizations in Texas. More than 500 organizational representatives responded. Results from this study have been used to guide the Sequor YDI resource development efforts. A report from this study was published in 2009 Fall issue of the Texas Recreation and Park Society Magazine.

CYFAR Life Skills Measurement Study

Dates: Fall 2009 - Spring 2011

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Peter Witt, Chris Boleman, Mariela Fernandez, Marie Bryant & Daniel Theriault

Description of Project: Sequor YDI was awarded a $40,000 subcontract to conduct life skill measurement research by the University of Arizona as part of the Children, Youth, and Families At Risk grant 2009-41520- 06075, funded by 4-H National Headquarters / USDA – NIFA. The project included identifying and validating 10 measures of frequently targeted life skill measures with a diverse sample of adolescents.

Economic Impact Study

Dates: Fall 2009

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Peter Witt, Chris Boleman & Corliss Outley

Description of Project: In an effort to better understand the impact of the 2009 economic conditions on youth serving agencies in the state of Texas, Sequor YDI conducted an online survey during the Fall of 2009. Respondents were asked to answer questions regarding the impact of the current economic situation on budgets, fundraising, and grant writing.

Practitioners' Perspective on Youth and Technology Study

Dates: Summer 2010

Researcher(s) Involved: Mat Duerden, Rachel Aaron & Kate Cromwell

Description of Project:While literature exists regarding trends and impacts of adolescent use of technology, less is known about youth practitioners’ attitudes towards and professional use of technology. To address this gap in the literature and to aid practitioners in their efforts to effectively leverage technology to promote positive youth development, this study aimed to assess practitioners’ perspectives on the use of technology in out-of-school time program contexts.