Level 4
Program Evaluation
for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals


While policy analysis focuses on the future, program evaluation looks at the past performance of a program to see if it has met its societal goals,  how it can be improved, and whether funding for that program should be continued.  The figure above illustrates the process used by CDC.


Whatever the source of funding for your program, you'll likely be asked to evaluate it on a regular basis.  And when developing a proposal for funding, one common element requested is how you will evaluate the program to determine if it is successful in achieving the proposed outcomes.  

And when developing a policy analysis, your first step is to understand the "status quo."    That is, what is the current program and how well does it work according to the 4E's: effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and ease of political acceptability.  Based on this information, you can develop policy options to respond to what does not work well in the current program while maintaining those elements that do work well relative to the desired societal outcome.


Educational Outcomes 

In this “learn by doing” class, students will enhance their understanding of:


  • What program evaluation is and why it is important

  • Program evaluation framework (e.g., stakeholder participation)

  • Methods for evaluating programs (e.g., population-based vs. program-based)

  • Program evaluation standards

  • Development of a program evaluation plan

  • Understanding the difference between a good and poor program evaluation

Class Topics

  • What is program evaluation and why is it important?

  • What are the six steps and four evaluation standards in a program evaluation framework?

  • Step 1.  Engage stakeholders

  • Step 2.  Describe the program

  • Step 3. Focus the evaluation design

  • Step 4. Gather credible evidence

  • Step 5: Justify conclusions

  • Step 6: Ensure use and lessons learned

How it Works:  You can go through the material at the pace that works for you.  The content of the class is presented through short-taped lectures of about 15 minutes on our learning management system called Ruzuku.  You will then practice the content of each lesson through exercises on which you'll receive feedback. 

During the six weeks of the class, there will be a weekly one-hour live Q&A session where you can ask questions and students can volunteer for their exercises to be "workshopped."   The date and time for the weekly Q&A session will be determined by the vote of the registered participants.  Evening (eastern) options will be offered.

Although the Q&A sessions occur over 6 weeks, it sometimes takes longer for students to complete the exercises due to their other responsibilities.  There is no expiration date for watching the videos.  In addition, you can use your three coaching calls to get feedback on your work at any time - before or after the Q&A sessions end - along with career guidance and any other professional guidance you'd like to receive.


The date/time for coaching calls is based on your schedule and that of the instructor and is scheduled via an app.  You also have long-term access to the instructor and announcements of jobs, fellowships, seminars, and workshops via the Academy's Slack .channel



Adriana Bankston, Principal Legislative Analyst, University of California Office of Federal Governmental Relations

"This course [Level 2: Public Policy Analysis for Scientists, Engineers, and Health Professionals] helped me conceptualize a framework for writing about policy issues of interests, in a way that would be compelling to a legislator. As someone working in science policy and much of it is on the job, this structured learning environment has been a really helpful learning experience to deepen my knowledge on policy analysis which I can apply to various aspects of my career."