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Evaluation Reports

Longitudinal Study

January 24, 2000

TO: Members, Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

FROM: Mary Jo Nichols

RE: Partners in Policymaking™ Longitudinal Study

The most recent longitudinal study of Minnesota Partners in Policymaking graduates was completed by Tom Zirpoli, Ph.D. and submitted January 18, 2000. This study was conducted for Year VIII through Year XI, a total of eight classes.

This is the first study that included questions about the increased independence, productivity, integration and inclusion of individuals since graduating from the Partners program. We can now show trend data for our key business results (IPII) from our longitudinal study because these results are tracked over four years and seven classes (trend data is demonstrated with at least three data points). The long term benefits of the program are also shown by the extent to which Partners graduates continue to be involved in leadership activities, how leadership skills are being used, and the difference that Partners has made in the lives of graduates and their families.

In an effort to increase the response rate, we prepared a cover letter to accompany the surveys. The cover letter explained the purpose of the survey and encouraged Partners graduates to complete and return the survey. The overall response rate was 56%. No results were reported for Year IX, Class 10 due to insufficient data.

A copy of the complete study is available upon request. Following is a summary of the results:

Partners graduates identify significant life changes in the areas of housing, education, employment, family support, case management, technology, health care, and friendships that they attribute to their Partners experience. Highlights from these areas are as follows:

Partners graduates identified skills they learned during the Partners program and still use today, an indicator of the long term value of the program:

Other comments included:

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