Early Learning Mentor Coach Study - Survey Tools & Protocols

Publication Date: November 1, 2016


The Head Start Early Learning Mentor and Coach grants funded 131 grantees in 43 states beginning in September of 2010, each with a project period of 17 months. According to the grant announcement, the grant funds paid for mentor coaches to provide on-the-job guidance, technical assistance, and training to classroom teaching staff, home visitors and family child care providers who work in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. The coaches provided professional development to improve staff qualifications and training; assist grantees to promote positive, sustained outcomes for children; and promote career development in Head Start grantees. The grant funds did not prescribe the model of mentor coaching and grantees proposed approaches to fit their particular circumstances.

The research questions for the Early Learning Mentor Coach Study were:

  1. How are grantees implementing the mentor coach initiative?
  2. What are grantee administrators, coaches, and staff perceptions of coaching?
  3. What are implementation challenges and perceived areas of satisfaction?

To address these questions, we developed four measures. Grantee directors received the Grantee Survey to gather information about the coaching context.

Each of the mentor coaches funded, at least partially, by the Early Learning Mentor Coach Initiative received a Coach Survey. A selection of coaches participated in a Coach Phone Interview. For each of the interviewed coaches, two teachers receiving coaching participated in a Teacher/Staff Phone Interview.

The constructs measured in the Early Learning Mentor Coach Surveys and Interviews are consistent with the logic model in the ACF report Putting the Pieces Together: A Logic Model for Coaching in Head Start.

Results from the ELMC Study, utilizing these measures, can be found in the ACF report The Descriptive Study of Head Start's Early Learning Mentor Coach Grant Initiative: Final Report and Appendices.

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