Posted by: heatherbritt | September 29, 2009

Back to School (sorta)!

Lately I’ve been diving into some new literature on evaluation approaches and methods.  I’m reading faster than I can categorize and file – and that’s no metaphor.  The office is strewn with articles, graphs, and random jottings. 

But my thinking has been moving forward in fits and starts.  Sometimes an idea will collide with another in a particularly interesting way, and the spark is so sharp I have to jump up and run around the house.  Other times, I run into a brick wall.  Then, I get up and pace the living room. 

I’ve been feeling the limits of the toolbox I’ve been using when clients bring me problems and we try to figure out answers to them together.  Lately, I’ve been feeling the need to discover some new approaches.

So tomorrow, I’m heading back to school, or at least to a “virtual” classroom.  Of course, I’m planning to keep working with my current clients, but I’ll be adding on … well, a pretty heavy academic work load.

I’ve enrolled in Claremont Graduate University’s Certificate of Advanced Study in Evaluation.  The program’s designed for evaluation practitioners like me:  those who have a solid background (MA or PhD) in a related field, and significant professional M&E experience, but want to take their knowledge and skills to the next level.

The courses are all taught via conference calls and online interactions, and are designed to build a tight-knit, classroom-like feel.  Each five student cohort works with two professors throughout the program.  The program includes 32 weeks of coursework, 40 hours of professional development workshops, a practicum and a competency-based exam.  Award of the certificate requires demonstrated knowledge and competency in evaluation theory, methods, practice, and research.  The program is designed for working evaluators and will take about a year to complete.

From now until mid-December, I’ll be immersed in the Evaluation Theory, Practice and Research seminar.   I’m hoping that it provides some structure and historical grounding to my own eclectic reading list.

After that… well… LOTS more.  Wish me luck!

For more information about the Certificate of Advanced Study in Evaluation visit the website:  http://www.cgu.edu/pages/670.asp

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