Florida Sea Grant Earns Top Evaluation in National Review
Over a four-year period, the National Sea Grant Office (NSGO) evaluates each of the 31 Sea Grant programs through use of an external Program Assessment Team (PAT). About one-fourth of the programs are evaluated each year. This review is used by the NSGO in its overall assessment of program quality, to learn about strengths and weaknesses of the program, to improve individual program performance, and to provide a basis for comparison among programs over the long term. The PAT evaluation focuses on four criteria: (1) Organizing and managing for success (20 percent); (2) Connecting with users (20 percent); (3) Effective and long-range planning (10 percent); (4) Producing significant results (50 percent).
The evaluation also affects the merit funding portion of a Sea Grant program’s core funding from NOAA for the four years following its review. The current federal authorizing legislation for the National Sea Grant College Program (passed in late 2002) also mandates that all Sea Grant programs be rated into categories with no more than 25 percent of the programs being placed in the top two categories. All federal Sea Grant appropriations above federal fiscal year 2003 levels are to be allocated to the Sea Grant programs in the top two categories. The PAT evaluation thus not only evaluates program quality, but also is important in setting future funding levels.
Florida Sea Grant hosted its Program Assessment Team May 17-20, 2005 and was rated “Highest Performance” in all four category areas (and in 13 of the 14 sub-elements) the 14th received the next highest mark “Exceeds Benchmark.” As required by the Board of Education for University State of Florida Centers, the complete Florida PAT 2005 evaluation is available on this website. Pages 1-17 contain the narrative, pages 18-25 are appendix materials and page 26 is the detailed rating sheet.