Evaluating the Fidelity of Special Olympic Minnesota's Unified Champion School Program

Evaluates the fidelity of Special Olympic Minnesota's Unified Champion School Program. ICI will gather data from a wide variety of stakeholders, including program administrators, trainers, school administrators, teachers, students, and parents to assess whether participating schools are implementing the program with high fidelity and in a manner consistent with SOMN-USC's overall mission and vision: "To promote school communities where all young people are agents of change: fostering acceptance, respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities and thereby anyone who is perceived as different."

Special Olympics Minnesota describes its Unified Schools program as "an education and sports based strategy powered by an engaged youth community. The program aims to increase athletic and leadership opportunities for students with and without intellectual disabilities, while creating inclusive school communities." ICI will assess five aspects of program fidelity including:

  1. program adherence, the extent to which program components are delivered as prescribed by the model including program content, methods, and activities;
  2. program exposure, the amount of program delivered in relation to the amount prescribed by the program model;
  3. quality of delivery, the manner in which a program is delivered including: instructor preparedness, use of relevant examples, ability to respond to questions;
  4. participant engagement, the degree to which participants engage in the program; and
  5. program differentiation, the extent to which the critical components of the program are distinguishable from each other and from other programs at three different levels (i.e., administrators, teachers, and students) to determine how well program curriculum, training, and implementation support the outcomes intended by Special Olympics Minnesota.

This evaluation will help SOMN-USC determine the strengths and challenges of implementing the Unified Champion School Program within the context of the Minnesota educational system.