Kirkpatrick Model Evaluation on Government Intern Programs: A Qualitative Exploratory Case Study

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Professional Studies in Instructional Design Leadership (DPS)

Committee Chair

Niccole Hyatt

Committee Member

Crissie Jameson

Committee Member

Tami Moser


The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is the largest healthcare system in the nation and faces management challenges in caring for veterans’ needs. This qualitative exploratory case study evaluated the VA’s Technical Career Field (TCF) internship. This internship was vital to ensure the VA closed the gap between mission-critical leadership and workforce challenges by training qualified candidates to fully staff the hospitals and address our veterans' needs (VHA, 2021a). The Healthcare Leadership Technical Institute (HLTI) training program was designed to fulfill the VA strategic business objective performance goal of monitoring recruitment, retention, and evaluation (VHA, 2021a). The sample for this study was from two cohorts, Cohort A, 2018-2020, and Cohort B, 2019-2021, from three of the 19 TCF mission-critical career disciplines: Human Resources (HR), Office of Information and Technology (OIT), and Supply Chain Management (SCM). The archival secondary data from the Kirkpatrick Model Level III Behavior instrumental survey of this case study evaluated the results using Braun and Clark's (2006) six phases of thematic analysis. Utilizing this approach in a systematic process ensured replication and, by definition, effectively saturated the prevalent themes and subthemes from the surveys (Braun & Clarke, 2006). The ATLAS.ti software program, manual hand coding, and the independent coder identified seven subthemes grouped into three major themes. Although the findings from the participant’s perceptions of the TCF internship were beneficial, the program has room to improve.