Synergy Enterprises, Inc. — Your Partner for Innovation and Excellence

 

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Who We Serve

Since 2003, we have expanded our reach from helping one federal agency to helping 12 federal agencies meet their missions in the public health and public education arenas. At each of these client agencies our productive relationships have expanded into new Offices, Centers, and Branches because we build partnerships that last. Our global experience, cultural knowledge, and multilingual skills add depth to our support and guarantee success to our clients, who demand innovation and creative collaboration. Our subject matter expertise and customized technology tools deliver outcomes that help connect people, programs, communities, and countries. We partner with experts in specialized areas to ensure that client goals are clearly translated and executed.

View a list of our Federal and private sector clients and partners.

Click on the buttons below to view an illustrative selection of project descriptions representing the variety of SEI capabilities.

  • Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools

    Office of Safe and Healthy Students

    Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center

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    U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS), Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center

    Project: The REMS TA Center supports schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education (IHEs), with their community partners, in the development of high-quality emergency operations plans (EOPs) and comprehensive emergency management planning efforts. Administered by OSHS, the REMS TA Center provides a hub of information, resources, training, and services in the field of school and higher education emergency operations planning.

    SEI's Approach: SEI offers a wide range of tools and services to support the REMS TA Center, including Web development, virtual training hosting, technical assistance (TA), and resource development. Our digital designers created a new logo, reconfigured the information architecture, and designed wireframes for the newly-launched, Ed.gov compliant site, which is accessed by schools, school districts, and IHEs across the nation.

    SEI is developing an interactive community of practice forum to help readiness and management personnel collaborate, share ideas, and discuss issues and challenges of importance to the field. TA specialists respond to requests for the delivery of live group trainings and online, self-paced individual trainings on topics including threat assessment, risk management, and resilience strategies. SEI was instrumental in production of the Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans and Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans for Institutions of Higher Education , which were introduced to Congress and public safety officials at a White House Briefing by Vice President Joe Biden in June 2013.

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  • SAMHSA CSAP Prevention Fellowship Program

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

    Center for Substance Abuse Prevention Fellowship Program

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    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), Prevention Fellowship Program

    Project: CSAP selected SEI to enhance and manage the Prevention Fellowship Program in September 2009. An important part of SAMHSA’s larger behavioral health strategy, the program allows prevention fellows to develop skills working “hands-on” with state and national substance abuse prevention initiatives. SEI works with fellows and interns to ensure they have the necessary skills to expand the capacity of the nation’s state-level substance abuse prevention workforce. The program includes the 2-year fellowship, a summer internship for graduate students, and internships for fellows who work with tribal organizations.

    SEI's Approach: SEI develops and implements a marketing strategy each year to recruit the next generation of prevention professionals. Since 2009, staff reviewed more than 1,000 applications and worked with mentors and state agencies to select eligible fellows, summer interns, and graduate student interns. Of those applicants, 91 fellows, graduate student interns, and summer interns were selected from more than 40 states and U.S. territories. Staff pair participants with first-rate mentors; develop high-quality Web-based trainings on topics, including comprehensive prevention strategies, applying social marketing and prevention initiatives; and convert face-to-face trainings into online formats using cutting edge technology. They also maintain a database of national and community partners and disseminate program information and announcements, including a monthly newsletter, via the program’s Blackboard site, the collaborative space used by fellows, interns, mentors, program staff, and training consultants. SEI was reselected by SAMHSA to manage the 2013–2015 program.

  • Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA)

    Student Achievement and School Accountability

    Online Training Module Design for New and Veteran Title III State Directors

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    U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Student Achievement and School Accountability (SASA)

    Project: ED selected SEI to enhance its capacity, knowledge, and skills of state education agency and local education agency personnel by planning and implementing strategies that align with ED policies, and spur the use of best practices and strategies to achieve SASA’s core results.

    Technologies: The database system will be created using ASP.NET, C#, SQL Server 2008, and IIS 7.0 in a Windows Server 2008 environment. SEI staff will build the Web portal for both UNIX and SQL servers using .NET 3.5, Web 2.0 application development in interactive Adobe Flash and ColdFusion 9.1.

    SEI's Approach: SEI is partnering with SASA to develop comprehensive technical assistance (TA) and support tools for local, state, and Federal education program directors. The centerpiece of this effort is a TA Web site that is compliant with Federal guidelines. SEI is working closely with SASA directors to develop the information architecture of the Web site to ease the process for officials who implement, monitor, and support various Title I, Title III, and homeless education programs. The Web site will feature online training modules, reader-friendly informational products, and program-specific TA tools and resources. SEI will also provide consulting, note-taking, reporting, and logistical support for Federal compliance monitoring events conducted by phone and on-site with state education agency officials responsible for administering and monitoring Elementary Secondary Education Act flexibility with regard to specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.

  • Promise Neighborhoods

    White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

    Promise Neighborhoods Training and Technical Assistance Center

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    Promise Neighborhoods Training and Technical Assistance Center, White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative

    Project: The Training and Technical Assistance Center provides information and assistance to grantees and others who are planning or implementing Promise Neighborhoods. This signature program of the White House Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative puts education at the center of community-led efforts to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.

    Partners: Promise Neighborhoods collaborating agencies include the U.S. Departments of Education (ED), Housing and Urban Development, Justice, Treasury, and Health and Human Services. Dr. Sherri Lauver is the subcontractor lead on this project in partnership with the Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP).

    Technologies: SEI designed and developed the Web portal using Drupal 7.2, PHP 5.2.7, Apache2.2, and MySQL 5.6. SEI followed a SDLC process and uses WinCVS for version control and the SEI Bug Tracker for tracking application changes.

    SEI's Approach: SEI’s team of interactive designers, information architects, software programmers, and content strategists are designing a Web portal for communities planning or implementing a Promise Neighborhood. SEI will host this “ed.gov” website; ensure that it is fully 508-compliant; and identify and create content—resource library, newsletter, blog, webinar announcements, and promising practice guides. Staff will plan and execute conferences and regional meetings; conceptualize, write, and edit a variety of resources, such as materials for the annual project director’s conference; and arrange events that enable neighborhoods to build community capacity and implement powerful strategies. SEI staff also will assist CSSP with assessing grantees’ technical assistance and training needs through a tested needs assessment framework used to develop individual strategic plans for each site.

  • Web-Based Application Development for Grant Review and Monitoring

    The Middle East Partnership Initiative

    Web-Based Application Development for Grant Review and Monitoring

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    Web-Based Application Development for Grant Review and Monitoring, The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)

    Project: MEPI’s objective is to support civil society groups, political activists, and business leaders in their efforts for political and economic reform, government transparency, and accountability projects. MEPI asked SEI to develop a Web-based application to streamline their grant review and monitoring process, and allow tracking of grant information from submission of a proposal through closeout.

    Technologies: The system was created using Microsoft (MS) .NET 3.5 technology and a MS SQL Server 2005 database. It is hosted on SEI's MS Server 2005 servers. All modules and Web tools are protected with role-based security and connections are encrypted using Secure Sockets Layer security.

    SEI's Approach: SEI provides information technology (IT), logistical, multimedia communication, and translation services to reinforce MEPI initiatives. SEI staff developed and currently hosts the e-Grants System, a customized IT solution designed to streamline MEPI’s grant management process. SEI designed, developed, and currently hosts a trilingual (French, English, and Arabic) Application Submission Web site for MEPI’s regional offices and embassies, with a built-in training and instruction tool to guide applicants on the submission process. SEI also provides a range of conference planning, multilingual translation, and resource development services. For example, SEI developed and hosted an electronic registration system and multilingual Web site for the Broader Middle East and North Africa (BMENA) Initiative meetings in Jordan and Morocco and for the 2012 G8-BMENA Initiative 9th Forum for the Future held in Tunisia.

  • School District Demographics System

    National Center for Education Statistics

    School District Demographics System Development

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    School District Demographics System (SDDS) Development, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

    Project: NCES needed a Web-based tool that would provide access to information about school district resources developed and to enable users to directly access demographic and geographic data by school district.

    Technologies: SEI's development servers are configured to mirror the NCES servers and the site is built using IIS 6.0 and ARC GIS Server suite 9.3. Programmers coded the site using .NET, Adobe Flex, Microsoft (MS) .NET 3.5, ActionScript and a MS SQL Server 2005 that incorporates the GeoDatabase. WinCVS is used for version control with SEI Bug Tracker to track changes and report bugs.

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    SEI's Approach: SEI designed the interactive SDDS to create reports displaying detailed demographic data from throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SDDS gives analysts tools to make snapshot reports or fine-grained assessments of what works and where help is needed. SEI interpreted server statistics, designed and coded tables and indexes, and compressed geo-databases to guarantee consistency between text and visualizations. The system imports shapefiles to geo-databases and develops, converts, and integrates reports and other data into maps. SEI used U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey data integrated with Common Core of Data information on 879 U.S. school districts as a foundation. The site features an intuitive Web service that presents data in a dynamic geographical format on any Web browser.

  • Y4Y Professional Development Module

    21st Century Community Learning Centers

    You for Youth Professional Development Module Design

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    Professional Development Module (PDM) Design, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

    Project: The 21st CCLC PDM provides training tools and development resources to more than 160,000 educators working to enrich learning opportunities through after school programs for students in low-performing schools across the country.

    Technologies: SEI designed and developed a Web portal that received its Certification and Accreditation approval and has received a full Authorization to Operate from ED. The Web portal is built for both Unix and SQL servers using .NET 3.5, Web 2.0 application development in interactive Adobe Flash and ColdFusion 9.1. WinCVS is used for version control and the SEI Bug Tracker is used for tracking application changes and bug reporting.

    SEI's Approach: SEI used a rigorous, research-based methodology to gather data from practitioners, state and local education agencies, and an expert panel to determine the professional development needs of grantees. Using this information, SEI developed standards, templates, and guidance for all deliverables. The You for Youth (Y4Y) Web portal contains easy-to-use e-learning courses, supportive coaching modules, targeted resources, and multimedia tools designed to facilitate interactions among 21st CCLC professionals. Five content-rich courses help practitioners use innovative, engaging activities that differ from school-day teaching. Each course contains high-quality videos to demonstrate the strategies and reflection tools for learners. Y4Y resources offer moderated discussion forums; opportunities to share knowledge, stories, and ideas; webinars on relevant topics; and a mapping tool to locate programs.

  • ICE Medical Records Study with image of medical records

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

    Detention Facilities Medical Services Study Development

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    Detention Facilities Medical Services Study Development, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

    Project: ICE needed to respond to a Congressional mandate for a comprehensive evaluation of health care processes and the quality of services provided to detainees at ICE facilities. The evaluation identified health care deficiencies and their impacts and led to recommendations for modifying and aligning the health care standards with best practices for detention facilities.

    SEI's Approach: SEI's Chief Medical Officer and Senior Evaluator conducted a crosswalk of the ICE medical standards and designed data collection instruments for conducting interviews and field site visits. A group of detention, immigration, and health care experts vetted the data collection instruments. A site visit protocol was developed and all site visitors were trained prior to being sent to 30 randomly selected sites. SEI developed tools to collect and provide information about quality of care provided in ICE detainee medical treatment facilities. SEI established a secure database to store information about each facility, including type, geographic location, number of detainees served, and detainee/health care provider ratio. The project led to recommendations to improve health care in education and training, personnel, facilities, resource support, and systemic changes.

  • NIDDK

    National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases

    Web Content Development and Information Architecture

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    Web Content Development and Information Architecture, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

    Project: NIDDK selected SEI to support migration of its Web site to a new SharePoint Web environment and create a more efficient and inviting information-sharing environment for stakeholders and the scientific community. NIDDK asked us to refresh the image of the Web site, improve the navigational experience for all users, and develop workflow structures to facilitate content management in the new SharePoint structure.

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    SEI's Approach: SEI’s information technology and communication staff worked with NIDDK to plan, design, build, and troubleshoot the new NIDDK website. This included managing document inventories and creating templates, lists, and libraries within a collaborative workspace; migrating technical data and content to a SharePoint 2010 environment; providing recommendations for document content functionality; designing the new site’s look and feel, evaluating designs, and creating wireframes and style guides; developing migration planning activities and organizing metadata lists for content migration; and developing, editing, and updating content on existing pages, including those geared toward researchers and scientists in the intramural and extramural programs. SEI experts conducted usability interviews and tests during both the pre-design and pre-launch phases of development. Following launch, SEI will provide management support to ensure the site remains current, interactive, and user-friendly.

  • APEC

    Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation

    Wiki Web Portal and Knowledge Bank Development

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    Wiki Web Portal and Knowledge Bank Development, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

    Project: Members of the 21 APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG) require worldwide access to policy and research information through a high availability, secure, custom-built Web portal/Knowledge Bank (KB).

    Technologies: The Wiki is hosted on an Apache 2.2 server and uses Mediawiki software on a PHP platform with custom JavaScript coding and a MySQL backend database. The KB is hosted on a Microsoft (MS) Internet Information Services 6.0 server using Visual Basic .NET and an MS SQL Server 2005 database. Server statistics are compiled using WebLogExpert and Google Webmaster Tools.

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    SEI's Approach: SEI provides content management and Web hosting, design, and development services for the APEC KB and Wiki Web sites; and conference planning and logistical support for the United States’ participation in APEC HRDWG projects focused on Education, Labor and Social Protection, and Capacity Building. SEI also provides research, writing, note-taking, and editing services to support the development of research papers, Wiki articles, meeting summaries, and white papers on topics for dissemination to HRDWG and government officials. Additionally, SEI provides full support for meetings held in the United States and abroad, which includes identifying meeting venues, arranging travel for sponsored participants, securing translation and interpretation services, and providing on-site support to domestic and international participants, hosts, and delegates.

  • NCES

    Education Statistics Support Institute Network

    Data Quality Control and Statistical Analyses for School Crime and Safety Surveys

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    Data Quality Control and Statistical Analyses for School Crime and Safety Surveys, National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Education Statistics Support Institute Network (ESSIN)

    Project: NCES relies on SEI to provide data quality control and related technical support for two surveys on school crime. The School Survey on Crime and Safety solicits key information from school principals about crime incidence and response in their schools, as well as about school safety plans; community involvement; and student-, school- and community-level context variables associated with crime and safety. The School Crime Supplement accompanies the National Crime Victimization Survey and asks students about their perceptions of crime incidents, school safety, bullying and other related school safety factors.

    View the School Survey on Crime and Safety.

    View the School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey.

    SEI's Approach: The SEI team collaborates with NCES, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics in using data—including restricted use data—to provide quality assurance and analyses that inform and advance policy. We identify analysis errors and options, reexamine assumptions, and develop innovative data quality control solutions. We maintain thorough substantiation of all programming code, including documentation used for database review and all analytic procedures. SEI developed program code to produce tables using current data and based on NCES Statistical Standards and Tabular Guidelines. We also develop processes for a cognitive laboratory to test new survey items; draft interview procedures and use the data collected to recommend changes to the SCS survey items; conduct Technical Review Panels; and perform various resource development tasks.

  • LIEP

    Language Instruction Educational Programs

    Program Implementation and Evaluation Guide Development

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    Program Implementation and Evaluation Guide Development, Language Instruction Educational Programs (LIEP), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

    Project: ED asked SEI to design and carry out a literature review leading to development of a program implementation and evaluation guide on LIEPs for education practitioners. The guide is a practical tool for improving the outcome of English-learning programs based on promising practices and common challenges identified during site visits.

    SEI's Approach: Content experts and researchers began by conducting a review of the relevant literature. Using the research, they began designing and carrying out case studies of promising schools within 23 districts in 10 states. SEI designed key informant interview protocols for state and school district administrators, Title III coordinators, teachers, families, community based organizations to identify characteristics that influence the quality of K-12 English learning programs. SEI refined the survey instrument and carried out an Office of Management and Budget-approved survey to collect the case study data. The survey included (a) structured interview or focus group protocols to be administered; and (b) an observation instrument to capture data on specific school-based activities and practices that represent features of well-designed and implemented LIEPs.

  • 21st CCLC

    21st Century Community Learning Centers

    Identification and Evaluation of Best Practices for Early Childhood Learning

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    Identification and Evaluation of Best Practices for Early Childhood Learning, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), U.S. Department of Education (ED)

    Project: ED wants to ensure afterschool practitioners have the information necessary to build high-quality programs for young students with a wide range of learning characteristics. ED selected SEI to assess the quality of care in 21st CCLC programs that involve pre-K and kindergarten students; determine the characteristics of programs that provide higher quality care, and the best practices they share; determine the characteristics of programs that provide lower quality care, and their major issues and challenges; identify the resources needed by 21st CCLC programs to improve quality; articulate what state coordinators and program directors need to know to support quality program improvements; and prepare a best practices guide for dissemination in the afterschool field.

    SEI's Approach: SEI obtained Office of Management and Budget and Institutional Review Board clearance for interviews and onsite observations conducted using reliable, valid instruments: the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale-Revised and the Classroom Assessment Scoring System tool. SEI used the evaluation data obtained to compile guidance materials and strategies, including an evaluation report outlining site effectiveness and efficiency and detailing best practices and specific strategies that can be used across the field. Topics include student outcomes, support services, teacher qualifications, assessment practices, and costs for developing programs and/or activities for the target group. Study findings identified during site visits were used to compile a report for grantees to use in developing quality afterschool activities for young children.

  • NASMHPD

    National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors

    Information Architecture and Web Site Development

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    Information Architecture and Web Site Development, National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD)

    Project: NASMHPD selected SEI to redesign their Web site, which is home to the only member organization representing state executives responsible for the $36.7 billion public mental health service delivery system serving 6.8 million people annually in all 50 states, 4 territories, and the District of Columbia. NASMHPD operates under a cooperative agreement with the National Governors Association.

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    SEI's Approach: SEI's digital communications team worked directly with NASMHPD staff members to conduct a needs assessment and redesign plan. NASMHPD wanted to redesign their public-facing site to streamline their resources and remove duplication, all while focusing more on the user experience. Information architects used their expertise to design the best interface to manage NASMHPD's large collection of publications, webinars, and meeting presentations, which account for more than half of the site's overall content. Designers streamlined the information architecture of the site to reorganize the content and create a more intuitive navigation structure for the site's users/visitors. The site's newly added "What's New" section features recently released NASMHPD publications and other relevant events in the news.