Dr. Devarati Syam is a research evaluator and an adult education practitioner in the Center for Urban Community Development for the last 14 years. She has extensive experience working with public schools, community based agencies and refugee families on multiple projects that employ a participatory action research framework to facilitate adult learning in various contexts. The contexts have varied over the years and included settings related to teacher training programs; facilitating collaborative dialogue between day school members and community partners in the context of implementing after school programs; working with college readiness professionals to evaluate college readiness programs, evaluating parenting and health programs for adolescent girls and other projects.
As an evaluator, Dr. Syam has used both quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluating educational and health program. She works closely with program stakeholders to develop tools and practices that enhance program quality. Her evaluation focus is primarily centered on understanding and closely monitoring program implementation to refine program practices. Program implementation is a complex process and both her practice and research interests are tied to understanding the role of adult learning in program implementation. Both, in her research and in her practice, she has had to work with community based partnership projects in which negotiating within partnership spaces has been a significant part of her work.
Dr. Syam has been engaged as the principal evaluator for a statewide evaluation of the GEAR UP program for the last 10 years. She has developed an interest in the area of college and career readiness and has engaged in developing capacity in this area. She has been selected as the Senior Research Fellow with Massachusetts Institute of College and Career Readiness to work with a designated school district and assist them with their college and career readiness goals. Her other current projects include: developing a home based English Language program for Rohingya refugees; a Cultural Competency training program for education and health professionals;and an in-service training program for College and Career Readiness professionals.