Research and Graduate Studies

Program evaluators spur positive change

Program evaluators spur positive change

Add a program evaluation specialization to your area of practice to diversify your professional opportunities and help shape better policies and programs.

51's part-time Program Evaluation graduate certificate is delivered online. It is perfect for mid-career professionals from a variety of disciplines — including criminal justice, sociology, psychology, economics, social work, public administration,  and public health — who wish to earn a credential to grow their careers and establish their credibility in program evaluation.

The program consists of four courses offered over two years. It is designed to provide you with the  knowledge and skills required to evaluate projects, policies, programs, regulations, and other initiatives in order to determine their relevance, success, and cost-effectiveness.

Inquiry-based learning is at the centre of the training approach. Through problem-solving exercises and case studies, you discover how to apply appropriate research and statistical methods to make sound evidence-based judgments. You also learn to communicate your findings clearly and support your clients to act on your conclusions and bring about change.

With the support of a faculty advisor, you have the opportunity to focus on topics that match your interests, build on your existing professional experience, and apply what you learn in your daily practice.

51’s Program Evaluation graduate certificate is recognized by the Canadian Evaluation Society (CES). Once you have completed your Program Evaluation graduate certificate at 51, you have to option to continue your studies at Royal Roads University to earn a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Career outlook for program evaluation

In Canada, program evaluation is a mandatory function for all government departments and agencies. In recent years, the Auditor General of Canada reports facing a shortage of qualified evaluators, particularly at the senior levels. This has resulted in expanded opportunities for experienced professionals who have  relevant credentials.

Trained professionals in program evaluation are also needed to meet the reporting needs of funding agencies and program managers, both in the corporate and non-profit spheres. Projects exist in sectors as diverse as human resources, technology, finance, energy, social enterprise, and more.

Payscale reports that job satisfaction among program evaluators is high. Practitioners help improve program outcomes, while also enjoying the variety afforded by working on a different project every few weeks or months.