45 CFR § 2522.810 - What will the Corporation do to evaluate the overall success of the AmeriCorps programs?
(a) The Corporation will conduct independent evaluations of programs, including in-depth studies of selected programs. These evaluations will consider the opinions of participants and members of the community where services are delivered. Where appropriate these studies will compare participants with individuals who have not participated in service programs. These evaluations will: (1) Study the extent to which the national service impacts involved communities;
(2) Study the extent to which national service increases positive attitudes among participants regarding the responsibilities of citizens and their role in solving community problems;
(3) Study the extent to which national service enables participants to afford post-secondary education with fewer student loans;
(4) Determine the costs and effectiveness of different program models in meeting program objectives including full- and part-time programs, programs involving different types of national service, programs using different recruitment methods, programs offering alternative non-federally funded vouchers or post-service benefits, and programs utilizing individual placements and teams;
(5) Determine the impact of programs in each State on the ability of VISTA and National Senior Volunteer Corps, each regular and reserve component of the Armed Forces, and the Peace Corps to recruit individuals residing in that State; and
(6) Determine the levels of living allowances paid in all AmeriCorps programs and American Conservation and Youth Corps, individually, by State, and by region and determine the effects that such living allowances have had on the ability of individuals to participate in such programs.
(b) The Corporation will also determine by June 30, 1995: (1) Whether the State and national priorities designed to meet educational, public safety, human, or environmental needs are being addressed;
(2) Whether the outcomes of both stipended and nonstipended service programs are defined and measured appropriately;
(3) Whether stipended service programs, and service programs providing educational benefits in return for service, should focus on economically disadvantaged individuals or at risk youth, or whether such programs should include a mix of individuals, including individuals from middle and upper income families;
(4) The role and importance of stipends and educational benefits in achieving desired outcomes in the service programs;
(5) The income distribution of AmeriCorps participants, to determine the level of participation of economically disadvantaged individuals. The total income of participants will be determined as of the date the participant was first selected to participate in a program and will include family total income unless the evaluating entity determines that the participant was independent at the time of selection. Definitions for “independent” and “total income” are those used in section 480(a) of the Higher Education Act of 1965;
(6) The amount of assistance provided under the AmeriCorps programs that has been expended for projects conducted in areas classified as empowerment zones (or redevelopment areas), in areas that are targeted for special economic incentives or are otherwise identifiable as having high concentrations of low-income people, in areas that are environmentally distressed or adversely affected by Federal actions related to the management of Federal lands, in areas that are adversely affected by reductions in defense spending, or in areas that have an unemployment rate greater than the national average unemployment rate for the most recent 12 months for which satisfactory data are available; and
(7) The implications of the results of these studies as appropriate for authorized funding levels.