"Having your team review our project from
an outside objective view allowed us to see the areas for improvement we
might otherwise have neglected."
--Marc Coomer, Upward Bound, Yakima Valley Community
Peer Monitoring of TRIO Programs Helps
Find Ways to Save Money; Ensures Compliance with Federal Regulations
/ How it Works /
Monitor Training / One
Program Director's Story / Resources
Few things bring a greater dread to a TRIO program director
than knowing an auditor is coming to review her/his federally funded
"It can be scary," affirms Pat Clyde,
director of the Lewis-Clark State College TRIO Programs. "Federal
regulations governing grants that support these programs are numerous and
can be interpreted in various ways."
So partly to give program directors a less scary
"dry run," and partly to help veteran program directors share
"best practices" with newer directors, the Northwest Association
of Special Programs (NASP) launched a peer review option.
A drop in
Another reason the Northwest Association of
Special Programs (NASP) has trained peer monitors to perform site-visits
in Region X is in response to a drop in the number of visits conducted by
US Department of Education. NASP felt that the cut in site visits
created a vacuum in which programs could be in danger of moving out of
compliance, and thus lose funding.
During the two-day reviews, two to four experienced
program directors meet with top college administrators and campus TRIO
staffs and even with top college administrators to review record keeping, budgets, programs.
"It's a great way to impress college
administrators with the work we do, and it can be an valuable part of
staff training," says Pat Clyde. "Also, we often are able to find ways to help
program directors save money. In the process we all learn from each
other about innovations and ways to streamline and improve our programs."
How the Program Works
Veteran TRIO Program directors Isabel Bond (left)
and Pat Clyde team up to help evaluate another TRIO program. More
Pat Clyde, Director of Lewis-Clark State
College's Student Support Services in Lewiston, Idaho, says peer reviews can improve programs
and make real audits "less scary"
Lucia Loera, director of Washington State
University TRIO Student Support Services requested a review just months after she assumed
leadership. Her story