The Office of Behavioral Research & Evaluation (OBRE) is an interdisciplinary center for research and evaluation.
OBRE's overall aim is to work with community, state, and regional partners to help meet their goals and improve their initiatives. This is done primarily through Program Evaluation, emphasizing both formative and summative methods, including developing, monitoring, assessing, and understanding outcomes both within and outside of the University. OBRE also assists its partners in program development, strategic planning, and grant writing.
In 2000, David Saarnio, Ph.D., professor of psychology, started an evaluation/research office that was funded by a Federal Safe Schools Healthy Students (SSHS) grant awarded to the 4 major school districts in Jonesboro. A major goal of the office was to provide research and program evaluation experiences to students. During the course of that project, the office began contracting with other community organizations to provide evaluation services (e.g., for a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant to Westside School District). With the expanding list of projects, there was a clear need to create an official entity to promote and continue the efforts. Therefore, in 2005, the Office of Behavioral Research & Evaluation (OBRE) was officially formed as an interdisciplinary center for research and evaluation.
OBRE works with regional and state organizations to provide a multitude of services in several areas, including:
- program evaluation
- grant writing
- cultural competence assessment
- capacity building
- needs assessment and asset mapping
- focus groups and individual interviews
- cost-benefit analyses
- strategic planning
- community health needs assessments for hospitals (CHNAs)
RECENT CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
Developing Soft Skills through Project-Based Learning: A case study from Arkansas. - Feb 2019
Poster session presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Educational Research Association, Myrtle Beach, SC.
Poster session presented at the 16th International Conference on Positive Behavioral Support, Washington, D.C.
Increasing social support for new parents: A preliminary look at one program’s effectiveness. - March 2019
Poster session presented at the 32nd Annual Research & Policy Conference on Child, Adolescent, and Young Adult Behavioral Health, Tampa, FL.
Developing civic-mindedness in middle- and high-school students using service-learning. - March 2019
Conference session presented at the Interdisciplinary STEM Teaching & Learning Conference, Savannah, GA.