Karen Peterman, Ph.D. has more than a decade’s experience evaluating and researching STEM programs. Originally trained as an experimental psychologist at Duke University, Dr. Peterman began working in the field of program evaluation in 2002. As a Research Associate and then Senior Research Associate at Goodman Research Group, Inc., Dr. Peterman carried out evaluations related to a broad range of educational programs. During that time, she began exploring embedded assessment methodology (particularly in relation to technology projects), and over time became a proponent and leader in the use of these techniques, resulting in invitations to present on this topic at both national and regional meetings.
While embedded assessment methods often take advantage of Dr. Peterman’s qualitative research training, this work has been balanced by the quantitative approach taken as co-Investigator on research grants funded by the United States Department of Education and the National Science Foundation. In 2008 the relationships established during the first of these research projects led directly to the opportunity to lead independent evaluations, and eventually resulted in the creation of Karen Peterman Consulting, Co. in 2010.
Dr. Peterman manages all of the company’s evaluations personally. This hands-on management approach is made possible by the support of consultants and collaborators who lend their expertise to the company on an as-needed basis. Teams of researchers are also hired, trained, and deployed for larger-scale data collection efforts. Current and past projects have been funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Maine Math and Science Partnership (Maine MSP), and the United States Department of Education (ED). Dr. Peterman’s portfolio typically includes evaluations of professional development programs for teachers, training programs for graduate students, in-school and out-of-school programs for students, and science festivals.