Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools

Evaluation of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program

Since 2008, the Center for Social Development and Education (CSDE) at the University of Massachusetts Boston has carried out an extensive evaluation of the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program, a school-based program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The Unified Champion Schools program aims to activate youth to develop engaged school communities where all students are agents of change—fostering respect, dignity, and advocacy for their peers with disabilities.


The annual evaluation of the Unified Champion Schools program has focused on understanding the implementation of the program in the school and its impacts on those involved at the state level, school level, and student level. The evaluation component has been critical, as the results have helped guide its development course, including the creation of more clearly defined parameters and guidelines for State Special Olympics Programs as to what constitutes a Unified Champion School. Specifically, information gathered through the ongoing evaluation has provided the opportunity for Special Olympics to better characterize the parameters of the Unified Champion Schools program and more clearly define its three main school-based components: 1) Inclusive Sports and/or Fitness; 2) Youth Leadership; and 3) Whole School Awareness and Involvement. This intensive, in-depth evaluation of the Unified Champion Schools program has also provided valuable information about building and maintaining collaborations between State Special Olympics Programs and schools, as well as further insight into the best practices and models of implementation. The annual evaluation is a critical part of investing in the future of the Unified Champion Schools program.

 

For more information about the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools program, please read:

Center for Social Development and Education

10th Floor, Healey Library,
100 Morrissey Blvd
Boston, MA 02125 USA