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Leadership Program Evaluation—Methodology

Research Design



  • Leadership 101 (L101) and Leadership 201 (L201)
    • Pre-Course
      1. Self-evaluation for participant where participant evaluates own leadership abilities;
      2. 360 evaluation to be completed by 8-10 colleagues (supervisors, peers, employees hereto referred as to evaluators) where evaluators rate the participants perceived leadership abilities and complete a self-evaluation
    • Post-Course self-evaluation for participants
  • Leadership Intensives (LI)
    • Pre-course self-evaluation
    • Post-course self-evaluation
    • Control Survey – self-evaluations given to USGS employees who have not participated in a Leadership Program course
    • Follow-up Survey – self-evaluations given to past Leadership Program participants


Each survey consists of five main concepts which make up the core of the learning model: motivation, knowledge, experience, familiarity, and behavior. Each construct is built from a group of 5-12 items, where each item is a theory-based question meant to get at one component of an overall concept

  1. Motivation = Underlying reasons for involvement
  2. Knowledge = Formal learning through classes
  3. Experience = Informal learning by watching and/or doing
  4. Familiarity = Degree of comfort and confidence
  5. Behavior = Leadership activity and intention

The surveys are also designed to address Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation:

Graphic of four levels of evaluation

Course evaluations correspond to Level 1 Reaction; the knowledge and behavior indices provide data for Level 2 Learning and Level 3 Behavior respectively; and Level 4 Results is met through the 360 evaluations where coworkers evaluate the participants before and after training, indicating what impact the training has had on the participant.


  • Pre-course surveys – initial request 6 weeks before course
       L101, L201, LI
  • Post-course surveys – initial request 6 months after course
       L101, L201, LI
  • Control surveys – every few years
       Administered 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008
  • Follow-up surveys – every few years
       Administered 2001, 2003, 2005, 2008


Response Rates—

Each year pre-course and post-course surveys are administered to two L101 courses, two L201 courses, and eight LI courses. We garner response rates of between 50 and 100%.



Leadership 101 (L101)

  • Provides a week long experience that will expose carefully selected potential leaders to a wide range of theory and practical information that is useful for leadership and management in the twenty-first century.
  • Interaction with high-level managers from the bureau who serve as instructors.
  • Eligible employees are GS 12-15 level, from either supervisory or non-supervisory ranks, selected through a nomination process.
  • Full course description of L101

Leadership 201 (L201)

  • Week-long experience that is an expansion/continuation of L101 which provides a deeper understanding of leadership, group interaction, and application of theories.
  • Opportunity to work on current USGS issues with high-level managers from the bureau and members of the ELT.
  • Eligible employees are graduates of L101.
  • Full course description of L201

Leadership Intensives (LI)

  • 2-day leadership courses that provide effective leadership experiences to a large population of the USGS to further support the bureau's commitment to creating a leadership-centered culture.
  • Employees of all grade levels, from all Regions and Headquarters are eligible and will be selected by a nomination process.
  • Goal is to conduct approximately 10 classes around the country taught by pairs of trained leadership class graduates.
  • Full course description of Leadership Intensives

T-3: Train the Trainer

  • A 4-day leadership course that gives participants the opportunity to practice teaching and coaching a variety of leadership related topics that they will in turn deliver to other USGS employees through the Leadership Intensives.
  • Before a T3 class, all Leadership 201, TLP, ELP, FEI, and SES/CDP leadership class graduates are sent an invitation to apply for one of the 25 slots and participants are chosen by a panel.
  • They are strongly supported by the Leadership Team during the entire process.
  • Full course description of T3


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