Goodman Community Center

Internship Location: Madison WI

Organization Type: Nonprofit

Policy Areas:  Education/Nonprofit Management

This summer I interned at the Goodman Community Center (GCC) in Madison, Wisconsin. The center serves the North and East sides of Madison and are the largest center of their kind in Dane County, comprising a food pantry, event spaces, community gardens, and programming for older adults and children and youth. I reached out to the Director of Program and Mission Impact to ask about summer opportunities. They had not posted an opening for an intern, yet the organization seemed like a good fit and the Program and Mission Impact department aligned with my interests in program evaluation.  Under the direct supervision of the department’s Director, I supported program evaluation for GCC’s children and youth programs. My work centered around the measurement of impact that GCC programs have on participants’ social-emotional learning (SEL). Countless SEL frameworks have been developed, each having their own focus, targeting different skills and domains within their curricula. Organizations, like GCC, must determine which framework best aligns with their values and practices. My main task was to research, compare, and try out SEL assessment tools. I provided GCC with practical information to assist in their development SEL programming. I created a crosswalk that aligns SEL competencies from CASEL (a leading organization in SEL research), DPI, the Goodman Center, as well as a goals and alternatives matrix of SEL assessment tools, including the current assessment tool used by GCC. Additionally, I worked with GCC’s youth evaluation team during their regular meetings by assisting them in conducting focus groups and reporting findings. I will continue working with this group throughout the school year.