Program and Organizational Evaluation

This interdisciplinary certificate provides students with a professional competitive edge in developing evaluation and analytical skills for managing programs, and translating data into relevant insights and practical solutions.

The demand for individuals with skills in program evaluation has grown dramatically over the past decade. Increasingly, organizations are looking for these important skills when hiring program managers. The ability to effectively evaluate the benefits and costs derived from new programs, provides feedback for program improvement and growth. A new cadre of individuals trained in planning and executing evaluations is needed to assist sponsoring agencies, funders, and programs generate this useful information.

The certificate in Program and Organizational Evaluation is designed for professionals who wish to develop competence in the design and implementation of effective evaluation strategies, as well as in the interpretation and communication of data. Individuals will learn practical skills that can be put to use in a wide range of fields, including education, government, social service, public health, community development, corporate, and environmental areas.

This interdisciplinary certificate is offered in collaboration with the Data Analytics program and the Departments of EducationUrban and Environmental Policy and PlanningChild Study and Human Development. It is available in a hybrid format combining in-person and online courses as well as a fully in-person format. 

Curriculum

The certificate requires four courses for a total of twelve credits. Courses cover the areas of statistics, data analysis, and research methods. Course substitutions can be made with the approval of the certificate faculty adviser.

  1. Foundation course: Program Evaluation (UEP 256, Cross-listed as UEP 256 and DLS 265)
    Purposes for and types and techniques of program evaluation. Study of the evaluation process, including design, implementation, and dissemination, with focus on development of relevant data collection, analysis, and report-writing skills. Emphasis on learning to match programs to evaluation models, optimizing eventual evaluation utilization. Students design evaluations for existing program.
     
  2. Advanced Survey Design and Evaluation
    Students will gain skills in advanced survey design including but not limited to questionnaire construction, and scientific sampling. They will also learn how to design questions to minimize the risk of eliciting response effects that might lead to to biased results. Topics covered include: question wording and order effects, response options, the interview setting, and the interpretation of survey responses. 
     
  3. Communicating with Data (DATA 220)
    Students will develop skills in the communication, visualization and analyses of data. Three broad areas will be examined regarding how to turn data and results into narratives that can be presented. These formats include written, graphical and presentational methods and how to design each for different audiences. The fundamentals and rhetoric underlying each of these types of communication and tips for making them highly effective will be covered.
     
  4. Advanced Program Evaluation
    Students will delve deeper into the various approaches for evaluating programs and will have the opportunity to design a proposal and work on a real program evaluation project.

Contact

Maddie Key
Program Manager, Interdisciplinary Programs
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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