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Opportunities Guide | Service-Learning Courses

Applications in Program Monitoring and Evaluation

At A Glance

Course DescriptionSample ProjectsCBO RequirementsApplication & Project Dates
Students learn and apply advanced program evaluation methods, identifying CBO evaluation needs and designing plans. 4-5 students per project.Identifying areas and strategies for continuous quality improvement such as by using Plan, Do, Study, Act cyclesCBO must provide background info on history, mission and goals of the organization. Meet with students three times during the course. Organize a final debriefing meeting with CBO staff to discuss next steps with students.

Application Period December - January

Duration: March - May

Course Overview

This course will provide students with the opportunity to learn and apply advanced program evaluation methods. The goals of the projects are to 1) identify evaluation needs of an organization, 2) devise a preliminary evaluation plan in keeping with the needs and budget of the organization. The course incorporates principles of utilization-focused evaluation, the purpose of which is to identify and answer questions of importance to program stakeholders to promote the use of results in future program decision making. The course also covers key concepts in evaluability (pre-evaluation), implementation drivers, evaluation of complex interventions, program monitoring, and quality improvement. Students will collaborate with staff members of a CBO to assure that the evaluation plan will meet the needs of the organization. A small team of 4-5 students will be working on the project.


Partnering CBOs would be requested to:

  • Provide students with background information regarding the history, mission, activities, and short- and long-term goals of the organization
    Provide students with background information about any past or ongoing evaluations, as well as evaluation or reporting requirements
  • Work with students to identify your evaluation and program monitoring needs. A few examples may be: 
    • Assistance developing a logic model with measureable outcomes
    • Assistance identifying evaluation priorities
    • Assistance developing a rigorous evaluation plan with a small budget
    • Assistance using data to inform decision making
  • Meet with students at least three times during the term the course is offered (March-May). One phone meeting allowed. 
  • Answer follow-up questions that students might have regarding the development of the monitoring or evaluation plan. 
  • Provide feedback as the assignment is carried out to assure organization’s needs are met
  • Organize a final debriefing meeting with community-based organization staff who contributed to the student projects. The hope is the students can provide a summary of the project, receive constructive feedback from the CBO, and discuss potential next steps.



  • For a program in earlier stages of development or new to evaluation, an evaluation plan might include a brief overview of research/evaluation of similar programs, a synopsis of methods used to inform the development of the evaluation plan, a concise theory of change and logic model, and a list of measurable outcomes.
  • For an expanding program, an evaluation plan may focus on formative activities that will inform the development of a new initiative.
  • For a program aiming to improve operations or impacts, the plan may focus on identifying areas and strategies for continuous quality improvement such as by using Plan, Do, Study, Act cycles.
  • For a complex program that works closely with other organizations, a plan may focus on ways to assess involvement or impact of one organization within a larger community or initiative.