Welcome to aea365! Please take a moment to review our new community guidelines. Learn More.

Art Hernandez on Furthering the Practice of Program Evaluation

My name is Art Hernandez. I am Dean of the College of Education at Texas A&M University.

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely curious as to how you, personally, can improve the practice of program evaluation. I’ll bet that even if you’re a long time member of American Evaluation Association (AEA), you haven’t heard of the Minority Serving Institution Initiative (MSI).

Since 2005, the MSI initiative (through the AEA) has recruited, trained and developed the program evaluation skills and competence of faculty from minority serving institutions. These efforts have led to:

  • Widespread knowledge share through the integration of evaluation content into existing courses, and the development of new programs
  • The advancement of evaluation theory through greater research and publication
  • The conduct of culturally competent practice through the efforts of past participants, their students and their associated campus colleagues.

Rad Resource:
Wondering how you can help further this worthy evaluation endeavor? Read on to learn more, and then send in your application to participate before Saturday, September 13th.

Lesson Learned:
Though past and future MSI participants have been recruited from schools least able to support significant faculty professional development, many program alumni have continued to contribute to the AEA’s work through their individual efforts related to various initiatives, TIGS and working groups even after they no longer are able to attend annual meetings.

The MSI Initiative exists to pursue a series of goals in line with the mission of the AEA, including the advancement and appreciation of the discipline and practice of evaluation. In its goals and policies, the organization among other things, commits itself to:

  • Form a community that spans culture, discipline and geography
  • Use a multicultural lens to engage diverse communities in evaluation effectively and with respect, to promote cultural, geographic, and economic inclusiveness, social justice and equality
  • Enrich the life of the association as well as that of other organizations, fields and disciplines that are aligned with the association’s mission.”

So it is in order to pursue these goals and others, the American Evaluation Association established the MSI Initiative.

Hot Tip:
Here’s where you come in. You can help increase the diversity of the professional and cultural input to evaluation practice theory and inquiry by identifying faculty from minority serving institutions to participate in a year-long experience in order to impact teaching and the development of courses and programs that more fully incorporate evaluation.

Among its purposes, this activity was expected to result in an increase of awareness about evaluation as a discipline and profession, and the impact of professional evaluation for policy and organizational development. From all indications, the MSI initiative has accomplished that and more.  A call for applications for the next cohort is out and if you or someone you know would be a good candidate and lives east of the Mississippi, please apply or encourage them to apply before September 13th.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.