Fetterman & Associates provide a variety of specialized evaluation services in education. They include accreditation assistance in higher education, school improvement k-12, standards k-12, and professional development (teachers, staff members, administrators, and Board members). Fetterman & Associates also assess curricular implementation and student and teacher performance. We are also periodically requested to help improve parent and teacher relations and help select principals and other senior staff members.


Fetterman & Associates provide evaluation consultations and guidance in preparation for acceditation site visits in a variety of post-secondary institutions.

Stanford University School of Medicine.  Fetterman & Associates provided evaluation consultation services to establish an evaluation office and systematic data collection systems in the School.  They were used to help prepare Stanford's School of Medicine for an LCME accreditation site visit.  Our work at Stanford is highlighted on our Medical Education web page.

California Institute of Integral Studies.  Fetterman & Associates participated in two accreditation reviews for the Institute.  The first was a formal WASC accreditation review.  This involved applying an empowerment evaluation approach to the institution, facilitating school-wide participation and continuous improvement efforts.

The second evaluation consultation focused on the Somatic Psychology Program, helping them improve their teaching and curricular format.

These evaluation consultations are described in detail in the evaluation literature.

Fetterman, D.M. (2012).  Empowerment Evaluation and Accreditation Case Examples:  California Institute of Integral Studies and Stanford University.  In Secolsky, C. and Denison, D.B. (eds.) Handbook on Measurement, Assessment, and Evaluation in Higher Education.  New York:  Routledge.


Fetterman & Associates have been providing evaluation consultation services to the Oakland Unified School District for over 20 years. Fetterman & Associates are working closely with the Linked Learning Pathway Coaches. They support schools to design and implement Linked Learning (College and Career) Pathways.  Gary Yee, one of the Commissioners, was an earlier adopter of the empowerment evaluation approach and recommended the continued collaboration to build evaluation capacity.

For a detailed description of the intial work with the Oakland Unified School District see:  Fetterman, D.M., Kaftarian, S., and Wandersman, A. (1996). Empowerment Evaluation:  Knowledge and Tools for Self-assessment and Accountability.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, p. 11-12.

Dr. John Watkins, Coordinator of Linked Learning Pathway Coaches

(Click here for brief video of coaches at a Community of Practice meeting.)



Fetterman & Associates provide evaluation consultation services geared toward school improvement.  These are visible and proactive forms of educational service and support.  Fetterman & Associates help develop and implement school improvement plans and programs.  A sample of school districts is provide below to highlight the scope and variety of districts serviced by Fetterman & Associates.

In addition, outcomes associated with Fetterman & Associates' consultation services are provided below:

Lee County School District in Arkansas (low socioeconomic income and low performing schools).  In 2015, Fetterman & Associates successfully helped Lee County School District meet Arkansas Board of Education academic standards, resulting in removal from the academic distress list.

Media coverage was extensive, ranging from the Democrat Gazette to Channel 11 in Arkansas. (Channel 11 News reporting on removal from academic distress list.)


Beryl Henry Elementary was among 201 schools statewide that were recognized recently by the Arkansas Department of Education.

BHE was among the top 6-10 percent demonstrating academic growth under the Arkansas School Recognition Program.  Dr. Charity Smith, Fetterman & Associates, provided evaluation expertise to help them improve.  Public news reports are available upon request.



Altheimer and Elaine School Districts in the Arkansas Delta (low socioeconomic income and low performing schools)

  • improved performance in terms of discipline, attendance, and test scores
  • developed a systematic monitor and evaluation system
  • improved leadership
  • removed schools from "academic distress" classification

Lakeside School District in Arkansas (school improvement program)

  • improved teaching
  • aligned curriculum with the standards
  • developed a systematic monitor and evaluation system
  • improved leadership

Nueva School in Hillsborough (high socioeconomic income and high performing school)

  • cultivated a collaborative academic atmosphere
  • engaged faculty
  • refined pedagogical practices and curriculum
  • raised standards

Pine Bluff School District in Arkansas (school improvement program)

  • improved teaching
  • aligned curriculum with the standards
  • developed a systematic monitor and evaluation system
  • improved leadership

Portola Valley School District (high socioeconomic income and high performing school)

  • created a collaborative faculty body
  • built bridges of trust between parents and faculty
  • engaged faculty
  • developed a data base system to measure student performance linked to teaching
  • raised standards

Fetterman & Associates' work concerning school improvement is documented in the literature.

Fetterman, D.M. (2005).  Empowerment Evaluation:  From the Digital Divide to Academic Distress.  In Fetterman, D.M. and Wandersman, A. (eds.)  Empowerment Evaluation Principles in Practice.  New York:  Guilford Publications.


Fetterman & Associates provide evaluation consultation services focused on establishing, aligning, measuring, and raising standards.  Critical support services designed to meet and exceed the standards include:

  • Systemic academic achievement - academic accountability, data analysis and reporting, assessment for learning, research
  • Curriculum - instructional enhancement, school improvement, closing achievement gap, and school transformation
  • Strategic planning - use of data for longitudinal tracking and growth modeling, data analysis, data frameworks, and support for federal and state initiatives including ESEA, Common Core, and IDEA
  • Parent outreach - parent and community training
  • College and career readiness enhancements - enhance instructional capacity to prepare students with non-negotiable skills designed to ensure success in the 21th century.
  • Consultative services - student academic support and organizational turnaround coaching
  • Educational empowerment evaluations - improve school environments, school programs, and practices to help school faculty, administation, and staff take responsibility for both successes and areas meriting attention


Fetterman & Associates provide a wide-variety of workshops, executive coaching, and professional development training activities.  A few testimonials are provided below:


"My evaluation skills were enhanced as a result of your workshops. I learned a lot from you. I am most appreciative to you for teaching me how to identify and track progress as well as the way you helped me to present information that captures the attention of the reader through graphs and charts."


Dear Dr. Fetterman.

Thanks again, for your everlasting patience and concern with the sub-grantees during the 6th Annual Clearning the Air for Communities of Color Conference. You always have informative and inspirational material for our consideration. I'm sure I speak for the other attendees when I say that this workshop was comforting, as you gave us valuable information on how to present our work and how to relate to legislators (and others) concerning how extremely important our work is to the industry.

Thanks again for your concern and hard work!

Pastors Eddie and Carolyn Yarborough

  • "Dr. Fetterman was great!"
  • "I liked the technology implemented into the workshop."
  • "Evaluation made easier."
  • "Gives you a method to take home."

- American Evaluation Association Workshop Participants

Executive Coaching

Fetterman & Associates provide executive coaching, serving as a learning expert, evaluator, and management consultant.  Fetterman & Associates provide leadership training, capacity building, support and outreach training for teachers, school leaders. and school board members.  Coaching is also provided for private sector directors and leaders.




Dr. Fetterman is a much sought after speaker. He builds a strong rapport with his audiences and his words resonate with people wherever he speaks. He is the founder of empowerment evaluation and is invited to speak about both the theory and practice of the approach.  It is designed to help people help themselves.  Empowerment evaluation has become a part of the intellectual landscape of evaluation. 

Dr. Fetterman was invited to present a prestigious Ignite Lecture (20 slides in 5 minutes) about empowerment evaluation.  He also speaks about technology, ethnography, gifted and talented education, and comprehensive community change.  Dr. Fetterman consistently receives stellar reviews. A few selected comments about his keynote presentations are presented below:

  • "Congratulations on being one of AEA's top presenters!" (American Evaluation Association)
  • "You are a truly a great educator, instructor, and communicator!"

The power of David's work lies in how immediately useful and widely accessible it is. I have just completed my tenure as the Chair of the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association, and as the 2011 Conference Chair I can attest to the fact that the participants were completely engaged in David's workshops and keynote address.

I am convinced that SAMEA will have to consider bringing David back for additional workshops on Empowerment Evaluation, since we had to turn so many away due to it being over-subscribed. One of the reasons for the success of the 2011 Conference was largely due to David's presence and inputs, and we are so very grateful that he found the time to support SAMEA in this way.

David not only preaches empowerment, but lives it as well - I spent much of my time with him asking questions and probing about his experiences and perspectives, and I found him open, engaging and extremely helpful and coach-like during our interactions.

Designing evaluations for the public sector (where I currently work) is difficult largely due to issues of complexity and the management of the demands of various stakeholders/partners. I think that using empowerment evaluation as a point of departure to evaluating complicated and complex public sector development programmes is an answer to this, since it focuses the attention on those for whom services are provided, and away from the complexity, other interests or stale methodological debates.

I have been inspired to immerse myself in the study and use of EE, and hope to share my experiences with other evaluators as I do so. Thanks once again to David for his work and his generous spirit.

Candice Morkel
M&E specialist (Public Sector)
South Africa

Additional Comments Concerning Invited Talks & Presentations

  • "Great presenter!"
  • "Made what could have been a complex topic very simple and practical."
  • "Enjoyed presentation and application to every day work! Thank you...Excellent work!"

         - American Evaluation Association - Invited Presentations

Dear Dr. Fetterman,

It was great to meet you this week in Arkansas. I really enjoyed your presentations. You helped make all the calculations and data gathering more practical and functional for me. All the personal examples and stories about your experience made your presentation excellent. I will look forward to any future meetings that you conduct for MISRGO.


Joey Hinson
Project Director
Minority Initiative Sub-Recipient Research Grant Office
University of Arkanas at Pine Bluff