Program Evaluation Certificate

Learn how to use your social science knowledge to better understand the role of groups in social change, increasing your effectiveness in social action work. Develop analytical skills and learn methodological tools that are relevant for both the workplace and graduate study.

Classes in this program gives you experiences working on projects for organizations in the community. This hands-on experience will help you to close the gap between theory and practice, and it will strengthen your career development.

Program evaluation is the process of using social science research methods to study, appraise, and help improve programs in nonprofit organizations, educational systems, governmental departments, and businesses. Program evaluation is an important component of strategic planning working to improve the effectiveness of an organization. It can employ both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The ability to conduct a research-based evaluation is valuable preparation for leadership roles in the workplace. Program evaluation includes not only the theory, research, multicultural, and data management skills of the social science disciplines but also verbal communication skills, report writing, teamwork, project management, strategic planning, and leadership.

Required Core Course (3 credits)

Program Evaluation   |  SOCA 303* |  3 credits
Applies theory and methods of program evaluation including measuring and evaluating program outcomes; analyzing community needs, and assessing program impacts. (Must take prerequisite SOCA 295)

*Similar classes to SOCA 295 (which is a prerequisite for SOCA 303) may be approved by the department.

Select two elective courses from the selection below (6 credits)

Data Collection and Analysis |  SOCA 300  |  3 credits
Develops skills in specific methods of data collection and analysis in sociology. Topics will vary. May be repeated with a different topic.

Research in Community Needs  |  SOCA 306  |  3 credits   
Explores assessment of the needs of a community or environment using the methods of evaluation research.

Or another research course approved by the director.

A practicum is required for this certificate. 
Students must take one course that fulfills a hands-on practical experience, such as an internship or independent study in any related department. Approval of the practicum experience by the Program Director is necessary.

Advanced Program Evaluation  |  SOCA 406  |  3 credits 
Examines the role of research in program planning and implementation. Includes application in a community-based learning project.


Shi Hae Kim | 262-595-2015 |

University of Wisconsin System Member
The Higher Learning Commission
Carnegie Foundation Elective Community Engagement Classification
UW Vets - Veterans Education & Transition to Success
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