Master of Arts (MA)
Faculty of Science
Anecdotal evidence suggests that conference such as Creating Change 2001, an annual youth conference sponsored by the Students Commission, are successful in engaging youth; however, until the Creating Change 2011 Kemptville conference on-site process evaluation, neither the program process nor its outcomes had ever been formally evaluated. This process evaluation was designed to examine the particular aspects of the conference that made it successful with the assumption that despite the changing topics of the annual event, there are critical processes of engaging youth, which are consistent throughout the conferences each year. It is these processes, and not the specific topics themselves, that lead to desired positive impacts on delegates. As such, this thesis developed a comprehensive description of the conference so that it could be used as an exemplary model in developing similar youth programs; documented delegates’ experiences before and after the conference; assessed what it was about the conference that led to achieving the goals and objectives; identified strengths and weaknesses of the conference; identified ways of improving the conference; and finally, developed guidelines for conducting a qualitative process evaluation for a youth conference. A conceptual model, the Conference Process Framework, was developed to summarize the main processes through which the conference was believed to have achieved its goals, and the three main processes [Values Structure (4-Pillars), Learning Structure (Educational Philosophy), and the Conference Structure (Program)] described. This framework was developed based on an examination of the field notes, letters to self, and interviews gathered during the event. Through their annual youth conference, the Students Commission has found a unique approach in which to engage young people in a meaningful way.
Loiselle, Lisa D., "'It's not what we do but how we do it': Process evaluation of a national youth engagement conference" (2003). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 735.