Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

Sam Stephens, PhD

stephens (@)
Director, Child Care & Early Education Research Connections
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In addition to his position at NCCP, Dr. Stephens is vice president of the Center for Assessment and Policy Development (CAPD), a nonprofit research and evaluation organization with offices in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Among recently completed projects Dr. Stephens conducted are an evaluation of the field test of New York State’s early childhood quality rating and improvement system, in partnership with researchers at NCCP and Cornell University; consultation with the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) Committee of Connecticut’s Early Childhood Council in developing criteria and indicators for quality standards for center-, school-, and home-based providers; a retrospective assessment of the ten-year investment by a major national funder in early childhood education advocacy at both the state and federal levels; and evaluation of an initiative in Connecticut supporting early education policy change efforts, including advocacy, at both the community and state levels.

Currently, Dr. Stephens is leading a team evaluating Accelerate Success, an early childhood and K-12 system change initiative funded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. In addition, he provides evaluation services to the New York Early Childhood Advisory Council through the BUILD Initiative, an effort supported by a funder collaborative working with state teams in developing policies, funding, and programs to provide comprehensive education, health, and related services to young children and their families. He is also working with the United Way of Pioneer Valley (Massachusetts) to evaluate its community impact grants in the area of education. Prior to joining CAPD in 1991, Dr. Stephens was senior survey researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, responsible for designing and directing large-scale data collection and evaluation projects. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Michigan.