Program Evaluation Certificate

This introductory level non-academic, professional development certificate is for nonprofit professionals interested in learning how to use basic evaluation methods and tools. 

The Program Evaluation Certificate is made possible in partnership with St. Mary's University. The program offers six, three-hour workshops, including 20 hours of individualized evaluation mentoring and consulting from community-based faculty or staff between February and May 2018. 



Application Process

Participants will submit an application. We will review and select 10 to 15 applicants to participate in the program. The deadline to apply is December 15, 2017. 

About the Consulting Services

Consulting services start by end of 3rd workshop or end of program and conclude by May 18, 2018.

How to Apply

Please note that the application is accessed through our online grants center. It will look like you are submitting a grant application. Use the log-in you have if you've already created an online account. If you haven't already accessed our grants center, you will need to create an online account to access the application. You will receive an email confirming you have created an account. 

Application is currently closed.

Meet the Presenter

Dr. Rick Sperling

Dr. Rick Sperling is an Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin where he focused on quantitative methods, human growth and development, and Mexican-American Studies. While at St. Mary’s University, Dr. Sperling has taught courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, including Advanced Statistics, Multivariate Statistics, Test and Measurements, and Program Evaluation. He also serves as the Principal Investigator for a Promoting Post-baccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans grant from the Department of Education, Director of Community-based Research, and Program Director for the undergraduate and graduate academic certificates in Community-based Assessment and Evaluation. In his free time, you can find him playing wiffle ball.

2018 Class Schedule - 9 am to 12 pm

Session 1 – January 19, 2018


  • What to expect from each other
  • Sharing of human organizational capital among us
  • Assessing attendees’ needs/expectations
  • What evaluation is and is not
  • Why evaluation is important to nonprofits and why funders need it

Critical First Steps

  • Identifying stakeholders
  • Taking stock of data sources and costs
  • Composing the MOU
  • Thinking in terms of Return on Investment (ROI)

Session 2 – February 2, 2018

Ethics in Program Evaluation

  • Protecting Research Subjects
  • Voluntary Participation
  • No Harm to Participants
  • Anonymity and Confidentiality
  • Transparency and Honesty
  • Culturally-Responsive Evaluation

Logic Models as Planning Evaluation Tools

  • Types of evaluation, and the approaches best suited to nonprofit programs
  • Planning tools for evaluation – introduction to the logic model
  • Outcomes, Indicators and Targets

Design Options

  • Exploring pros and cons of different design options

Session 3 – February 16, 2018

Creating an Evaluation Plan

  • What an evaluation plan is and why you need one
  • Using outcomes from our logic model to create your evaluation plan
  • Setting priorities for your evaluation (navigating barriers based on budget, funder requirements, staff time and staff capacity)
  • Creating indicators for your outcomes
  • Defining benchmarks and targets where appropriate
  • Using Excel for data collection and analysis

Session 4 – March 2, 2018

Collecting the Data

  • Taking stock of data you already use
  • Making data collection systematic
  • Choosing and/or creating data collection tools – output information, surveys, interviews, focus groups

Item Construction and Analysis

  • Writing items
  • Evaluating the utility of items given existing data

Session 5 – March 23, 2018

Before Writing the Report

  • Remembering purpose
  • Considering audience
  • Determining authorship, ownership, and distributional range

Technical Aspects

  • Structuring the report
  • Writing for efficiency and utility

Session 6 – April 6, 2018

Final Advice

  • Surviving the public presentation
  • Identifying funding sources
  • Peer Feedback
  • Presenting to our colleagues
  • Using feedback from our colleagues
  • Next steps

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