IDPE: Seventeen Years of Doctoral Education in Evaluation by Chris L. Coryn

Greetings! I am Chris Coryn, Professor of Evaluation and Director of the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation (IDPE) at Western Michigan University. The IDPE is the oldest, and perhaps only, true doctoral program in evaluation (one that is not a ‘specialty’ or ‘concentration’ in education psychology, or other traditional disciplines, for instance). The program was developed and established by Drs. Daniel Stufflebeam and E. Jane Davidson in response to the perceived need for doctoral-level education dedicated specifically to evaluation. The mission for the IDPE developed jointly by Drs. Stufflebeam and Davidson is to develop thought leaders in evaluation who have: (1) deep knowledge of evaluation theory, methodology, and practice; (2) superior skills in practical and critical thinking; and (3) a knack for seeing opportunities for innovation and improvement. To accomplish this mission, the IDPE is based on the concept that the best way to learn evaluation is by doing it and the best way to develop thought leaders in a discipline is by exposing them to the best and brightest minds available. Dr. Davidson directed the IDPE from 2003 through 2004 and it was directed by Dr. Michael Scriven from 2004 through 2007 (I officially took over in 2008, following a national search in 2007). Given that evaluation is not a traditional discipline, many institutional challenges have been encountered (and overcome) throughout the program’s history. Even so, since its inception in 2003, the IDPE has graduated nearly 50 students and its current students alumnus have published almost 300 peer-reviewed journal articles, 15 books, and have received more than 25 local, state, and national awards for their evaluation-related work.

Rad Resource: Read more about the origins and history of the IDPE in the Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation (JMDE).

This week, we’re diving into learning about the Interdisciplinary PhD in Evaluation (IDPE) program at Western Michigan University.  IDPE is the oldest evaluation doctoral program whose purposes include the education and development of thought leaders in evaluation. 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.

1 thought on “IDPE: Seventeen Years of Doctoral Education in Evaluation by Chris L. Coryn”

  1. Dr. Sondra LoRe

    Thank you for the great post-Chris and for the connection to JMDE journal. Looking forward to reading more posts this week!
    Cheers,
    Sondra

    Manager | National Institute for STEM Evaluation and Research (NISER)
    Adjunct Professor | Evaluation, Statistics, and Measurement Program, Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling
    The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
    Office of Research & Engagement
    114 Philander P. Claxton Education Building
    PH: 865-974-4962
    slore@utk.edu

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