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Program Evaluation Graduate Certificate

Program Description

West Virginia University’s online graduate certificate in program evaluation meets the needs of professionals looking to gain knowledge and skill in the field of program evaluation.

The program consists of four online courses, including a capstone project, and provides students with real world experience in performing evaluation studies under the direction of seasoned evaluation professionals. All courses are available entirely online, to maximize flexibility for working professionals, and can be completed within one calendar year.

Individuals who successfully complete this certificate in program evaluation will have priority admission into our Evaluation and Research master’s degree program if they are interested in further graduate training to support career advancement.

Program Features and Requirements

  • Online delivery: 100% online format within the WVU eCampus environment.
  • Student Professional Development Plan: This individualized plan documents learning products developed out of each course and how each product meets the student’s career interests and goals.
  • Coursework: Four, three-credit hour (total of 12 credits) courses address core content areas within the field of program evaluation and include group and individual evaluation experiences.

Admission Requirements

Students can apply to the program online as a non-degree student. (CEHS 4597 – Non-Degree Certificate)

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Application Deadlines

Early Consideration - August 15th

Spring Deadline - December 1st

To be admitted as a non-degree student, a student must present evidence of a baccalaureate degree.

To be admitted as a non-degree student, a student must present evidence of a baccalaureate degree.

The student must also maintain a 2.75 grade point average for the 12 credit hours of course work, a requirement of the College of Education and Human Services. This average must be maintained as long as the student is enrolled.

Required Coursework

EDP 617: Program Evaluation - Spring

An awareness of the purposes, ethics, issues of design, methods and models of program evaluation. Includes real-world group evaluation project experience.

EDP 612: Introduction to Research - Summer I

Basic concepts, strategies, methodologies, designs, and procedures of research in education. Major emphasis on integrating research designs, measurements, and statistics for initiating research projects, collecting and analyzing data, and interpreting and reporting findings.

EDP 611: Measurement/Evaluation in Educational Psychology - Summer II

An introductory course in measurement and evaluation in educational psychology with an emphasis on the principles and procedures in conducting and analyzing educational measurement.

EDP 680: Capstone Seminar in Program Evaluation - Fall

Emphasis on initiating and completing a program evaluation at the local, region or state level under guidance of instructor. Application of evaluative concepts, methods and theories as they relate to practice in different professions. Exposure to differing evaluation literature focused on theory and practice.

Total Credit Hours: 12

All courses can be completed within a year.

Professional evaluators work to systematically investigate and help improve the quality and value of programs of all types and sizes, including but not limited to charitable, educational and school-based, government, health-care, human service and recreational programs. Using many different tools and skills across the spectrum of research and evaluation traditions, evaluators gain a deep understanding of a program and communicate information that guides those who fund, design and implement the program in spending their investments wisely.

Consider a Career in Evaluation

Professional evaluators work to systematically investigate the quality and value of programs of all types and sizes, including charitable, educational and school-based, government, health-care, human service, and recreational programs. Evaluators work closely with people who fund the evaluation, and those who deliver and are impacted by the program, in order to gain a deep understanding of the program, its impacts, and its value. Using many different tools and skills across the spectrum of research and evaluation traditions, evaluators develop and communicate information that informs people who fund, design, implement, and utilize programs being evaluated.

The field of Evaluation has grown dramatically over the past decade in the United States and around the globe. The number of members of the American Evaluation Association, the largest professional society of evaluators in the world, has more than doubled since 2001! There are about 160 active professional societies for evaluators worldwide.

Major government institutions established policies on evaluation in the last decade, including the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, helping to grow the field. Government policies, such as the Government Performance and Results Act Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) - which requires routine government performance assessments - have also given evaluation a huge professional boost by establishing the important role evaluation plays in making society better and assuring investments in programs are well spent.

Professional evaluators work in careers in organizations, in government, and as independent consultants. Organizational opportunities include non-profits and social service agencies, school and other educational institutions, health care, and corporate evaluation firms. State and federal agencies also have evaluation specialists on staff to hold government units accountable and provide evaluative information on programs and policies at the request of elected officials. Finally, there are many opportunities for professional evaluators to win bids for evaluation contracts and work independently for the clients who sponsor those contracts.

Organizations that hire master’s level evaluators and some of the websites of independent evaluation specialists: