ICF Education Community Engagement

Community Engagement

ICF International partners with education and community stakeholders to evaluate and create effective strategies for community engagement, one of the biggest predictors of student success.



Relying on our deep domain expertise in education, families, and youth, ICF advances practical, data-driven solutions that inform effective community engagement programs and policy and bolster student achievement. Unfortunately, a lack of information and resources often prevents parents, local leaders, and others from getting involved with their local school.

ICF helps clients overcome obstacles to community engagement with a variety of services , including:

  • Community needs assessments and strategic planning—Based on comprehensive research and evaluation, ICF helps education providers form a cohesive plan to accomplish community and school objectives.
  • Outreach and marketing— ICF’s communication experts ensure that parents and other community members are aware of how they can get involved in school programs and planning.
  • Coalition and partnership building—ICF helps appropriate stakeholders collaborate effectively for the benefit of their community and school.
  • Training and development activities—ICF produces programs for parents, board members, and other stakeholders that reinforce existing community engagement skills and cultivate new ones.
  • Blended funding and resources—ICF helps school officials monitor and track multiple funding streams and maximize these investments for stronger community engagement.

Featured Resources

  • Assessment, Reflection, Action, Documentation (ARAD) model—ICF developed the ARAD model to improve planning, accountability, and performance of teacher development programs. The model bases a training curriculum on assessment of the needs of teachers in their specific environments. Training relies on participatory methods and adult learning theory, and it feeds back into continuous program improvement.
  • Research and evaluation—ICF has conducted numerous research projects on school-community collaboration and prevention programs, including designing and conducting quasi-experimental and experimental studies. ICF analysts understand the complex dynamics of community engagement and the development of metrics to measure the depth, strength, and quality of that engagement.
  • Stakeholder inclusion in program design and evaluation—ICF partners with stakeholders to advance practical, data-driven solutions that will inform programs and policies and bolster student achievement. ICF’s communication experts ensure that parents and other community members understand how to become involved in schools, and ICF produces programs for parents, board members, and other stakeholders to help them collaborate effectively and cultivate new skills.
  • Survey research—ICF conducts survey-based data collection to determine the strengths and needs of communities and inform community planning. Effective multimodal data collection is essential when researching the beliefs and behaviors of constituents or clients, and our experience includes telephone-based, in-person, Internet, mail-based, and mixed-mode collection. ICF tailors information gathering to the research, including surveys on sensitive topics and with difficult-to-reach populations.
  • Communities in Schools (CIS) — National
  • District of Columbia
  • State of Ohio
  • Project

    Systems of Care National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center

    ICF provided technical assistance to Systems of Care grant communities on all aspects of program development and implementation to improve outcomes for children and families involved with the child welfare system.

  • Project

    Five-Year Evaluation of Communities in Schools (CIS)

    The Atlantic Philanthropies funded CIS National and ICF to conduct a five-year, multi-site, mixed-method evaluation of Communities in School, a nationwide initiative that surrounds students with a community of support to empower them to stay in school and achieve in life.

  • Project

    Amachi Texas

    ICF International and its partners are conducting a randomized controlled trial study of Amachi Texas—a statewide mentoring program for children impacted by incarceration—whose mission is to help children of prisoners reach their maximum potential through positive relationships with a caring adult in their community. The three-year study is evaluating the impact of Amachi Texas on improving outcomes for children impacted by incarceration.

  • Barbara McCreedyBarbara McCreedy

    Senior Manager

    Expertise in: Education
  • Aracelis GrayAracelis Gray

    Senior Manager

    Expertise in: Education, Community Development, Research + Evaluation

Contact Info

info *at* icfi *dot* com

+1.703.934.3603 or +1.800.532.4783

9300 Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031-1207 USA

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