Testing an Intensive Community-based Program Evaluation Experience for Graduate Students
Program evaluation as a profession is steadily growing and advanced training is necessary to master the evaluation‐specific skills necessary to provide quality service to clients, as well as to be socialized into the professional frameworks, standards, and ethical guidelines. This initiative aims to implement and pilot test an intensive 2‐course program evaluation experience for graduate students. This innovative hands‐on learning experience will be offered to a single cohort of graduate students interested in developing their community engagement and program evaluation skills. The students will conduct a large scale community‐based evaluation project with a Detroit‐based nonprofit organization. Students will learn a full range of evaluation skills in a real‐world context.
The instructor will use action‐based learning, social justice frame, and evaluation mentors to improve student program evaluation competencies. A critical aspect of the course will be the field-based mentoring component. The action‐based learning model will provide students with the opportunity to develop competencies in client and stakeholder engagement, which would not otherwise be available in a classroom‐based evaluation project.
Sue Ann Savas, Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Social Work