Planning for evaluation's future: Undergraduate students' interest in program evaluation

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Undergraduate students are a potential pool of future evaluators, but little is known about their level of interest in pursuing a career in program evaluation (PE). This two-stage study collected survey data on 249 undergraduate students' knowledge, interest, and attitudes toward various descriptions of PE. Qualitative analysis indicated participants had an understanding of PE's intent. Correlations suggest that knowledge of PE was related with a perceived match with professional interests (r=.41) as well as general attitude toward PE (r=.44), and factorial ANOVA indicates that (a) participants from diverse disciplines (e.g., education, psychology, and business) were equally interested in PE and (b) average participant attitudes were more positive than would be expected by chance. Given this study's findings regarding students' knowledge, interest, and attitudes about PE, it is proposed that undergraduate students may be a viable source of future program evaluators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)362-375
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Evaluation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • attitudes toward evaluation
  • profile-raising
  • research on evaluation
  • undergraduates

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