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Assessment of the Effects of the National Victim Assistance Academy: Executive Summary

NCJ Number
Date Published
April 2003
25 pages
After describing the background and features of the National Victim Assistance Academy (NVAA), this executive summary of the full report synthesizes the methodology, findings, and recommendations of a 2002 evaluation of the NVAA.
Established in 1995, the NVAA has three primary goals. One goal is to develop and implement a comprehensive, research-based, foundation-level course of academic instruction that provides victim advocates with current and cutting-edge knowledge about victim assistance and the field of victimology. A second goal is to provide high-quality, intensive education and training to victim services providers, advocates, and professionals from Federal, State, local, and tribal settings. The third goal is to create a training model that can be adapted and integrated into institutions of higher learning and other venues. The evaluation was conducted through on-site data collection; document review; and follow-up interviews with faculty, students, and a sample of students' supervisors 5-6 months after the NVAA. Overall, the assessment determined that the NVAA faculty are experienced trainers and knowledgeable about victim-related issues. The faculty received high ratings from the evaluation team, particularly in the areas of instructor presence, presentation skills, session management, and content knowledge. Overall, students at all three NVAA sites were satisfied with the faculty as instructors, mentors, and ongoing professional resources. Some suggestions for faculty are to state learning objectives at the start of a session, to maximize the use of interactive teaching strategies, and to give more attention to the specific needs and expectations of participants. Key findings and recommendations are also presented on NVAA materials; Academy students; Academy organization and environment; and the impact of the NVAA on students, institutions of higher learning, and the victim-services field. Key factors identified as contributing to the success of the NVAA are an experienced faculty, valuable resources, networking opportunities, and the motivating experience of the instruction and the environment. The recommendations are in four areas: the purpose and structure of the Academy, the Academy text, needs assessment of participants, and the role of institutions of higher learning.

Date Published: April 1, 2003