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Request for Proposal (RFP): Project Description: Assess and Evaluate MAM’s English as a Second Langu

  • Project Description: Assess and Evaluate MAM’s English as a Second Language Programs for Adult Learners

  • Organization: Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM)

  • Address: 1625 Blalock Road Houston, TX 77080

  • Contact Person: Martha Macris, CEO

  • Telephone: 713-574-7543

  • Email: [email protected]

1. Organization Description

MAM’s mission is to ensure families have the means to meet their basic needs. Established in 1983, the agency is the largest provider of social services in west Houston. In 2016, MAM created a new Theory of Change and accompanying Philosophy of Service with the underpinning that assistance and self-sufficiency are not at odds with each other but are elements addressing needs along a spectrum. This necessitated a change in service delivery where a coaching model of care replaced case management. Clients are now greeted with a non-traditional, self-reflecting, validating approach that seeks to uncover and highlight strengths. This technique has proven effective in connecting clients with a wide array of services.

MAM has strategically added programs that include adult education, workforce training, employment services, financial education programs, immigration services, and mental health. MAM has been a leader in West Houston in helping families to impact unemployment, poor education, housing instability, and poverty. MAM’s $6.2m budget brought these services to 19,190 individuals from 9,138 families during 2018. 72 employees form the infrastructure for volunteer engagement as well. Volunteers work in most of MAM’s program as teachers, interviewers, job coaches, clerks, data entry support. The highest concentration of volunteers serve in the MAM Resale Store whose sales generates 30% of MAM’s annual revenue.

English as a Second Language has been part of the menu of services since the early 1980’s. As immigrants moved into the area, MAM recognized that the ability to speak, read and write English was a basic need for families to thrive. Over the past 8 years, MAM has become more intentional about its program design and standards continuously seeking the best practices for student engagement and retention and ultimately, learning English.

2. Project Description: Goals and Scope of Services

In 2018, MAM acquired Literacy Advance of Houston (LAH), a well-established and highly regarded adult literacy nonprofit organization located in West Houston. Literacy Advance Houston has provided a free literacy program focused on reading, writing and conversational English using a volunteer teaching model.

The impetus for the acquisition stemmed from LAH’s commitment to both a sustainable nonprofit model and providing a broader menu of programming for their adult learners. MAM is likewise committed to increasing its capacity to provide ESL training in order to accommodate the demand for English classes in West Houston. MAM also offers a variety of programming to support low income families as they strive to become economically stable and thriving; services often needed by LAH clients.

As a result, MAM now offers two distinct English as a Second Language programs which share many characteristics but also significant differences.

The assessment and evaluation would help us:

1. Make strategic recommendations for program design:

a) Provide strategic recommendations for the possible merger of the two programs

b) Assess possible challenges and benefits to maintaining two separate programs

c) Evaluate strongest assets and lessons learned from each program and how that knowledge can improve the overall program design (either as one or two programs)

2. Develop an organization wide set of data standards by which we will continue to evaluate student learning and performance including student progress.

3. Identify best practices for volunteer teacher selection, training and engagement

3. Elements of Proposal

A submission must, at a minimum, include the following elements:

  • Description of the firm/consultant that includes a general overview, outline of strengths and any unique qualifications for this project.

  • Name(s), credentials and relative experience of the individual consultant assigned to this project.

  • Summary of the process and timeline for the consultant anticipates using for this project.

  • Project budget

4. Timeline and Selection Process

  • April 15, 2019 – proposals are due at MAM via email by 12 midnight.

  • by May 15, 2019 – begin

  • by July 31, 2019 – present findings and recommendations to MAM staff assigned to the project.

5. How to Submit your Proposal Proposals should be emailed to Martha Macris, President and CEO of Memorial Assistance Ministries by April 15, 2019. Any questions should also be addressed to Ms. Macris at [email protected].

6. Budget MAM’s budget for the project consultant is not to exceed $10,000.

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