About this course
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 illustrates the CDC program evaluation process.
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 doing 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.
In this "learn by doing" class, you'll learn how to do program evaluation and apply it to a program of your choice. At the end, you can at your option produce a product such as a memo, op-ed, infographic, or video.
How it Works: Students will work at their own pace with the option to participate in monthly office hours that will be scheduled based on the votes of class participant interest and schedules.
The content of the class is presented through short-taped lectures of about 15 minutes on our learning management system called Ruzuku (where you are now). You will then practice the content of each lesson through exercises that go through each step of the policy analysis.
Each month, there will be a 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.
In addition, each student will have the option for three individual coaching calls to get feedback on your work 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, materials and videos on Ruzuku, and announcements of jobs, fellowships, seminars, and workshops via the Academy's Slack channel.
Completion of the requirements for your digital badge is defined as watching all the class videos and meeting virtually with the instructor at least once to discuss their analysis. We recognize that not everyone (or even most students!) will complete their lysis within the timeframe of the course.
Another option is to register for all four classes offered by the S&T Policy Academy at once to obtain digital badges for each class as well as a digital certificate. The four classes, which may be taken in any order, are:
- Level 1: Science and Technology Policy & Careers 101: Whether you’re a scientist, engineer, or health professional interested in a career in science and technology policy or a researcher who’s interested in improving how they describe the potential societal implications of their research, you need a better understanding of science and technology policy. In this class, you'll learn how the White House, Congress, and Judiciary REALLY work, receive an introduction to analytical techniques, and learn about careers at the local, state, national, and international level.
- Level 2: Public Policy Analysis: Policy analysis provides a systematic process to analyze public policy options to respond to societal challenges such as COVID-19, climate change, and homelessness.
- Level 3: Analytical Methods: Benefit-cost analysis (BCA), cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA), and risk analysis (RA)are quantitative techniques used to support the assessment of effectiveness, efficiency and equity in the policy analysis process.
- Level 4: Program Evaluation: 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.
If you sign up for the certificate program, you receive a financial discount over individual registration and an additional hour of career counseling, resume or cover letter review, and job-, internship, or fellowship-hunting, or similar advice (a $300 value) that can be used at any time. If you believe that you have attended a course that already provides you with the knowledge in one of the certificate classes, you can request a lower rate.
Monthly 1 hour Q&A office hours with the date and time are determined by the majority vote of registered students. Typically, they are 1 hour sometime between 5-7 pm eastern, M-Th. Q&As are optional and can be watched via video at a later date/time. If there is sufficient interest, we will consider increasing the number of Q&A calls.
Registration Deadline: Students can register at any time and will have immediate access to the course material. You are only eligible for the Q&A sessions, however, during the semester for which you register. In addition, you are only able to vote on the day/time of calls. These deadlines are as follows:
Fall Semester: Register by September 1st to vote on the day/time of Q&A calls. You can participate in the Q&A calls until December 31.
Spring Semester: Register by January 1 to vote on the day/time of Q&A calls. You can participate in the Q&A calls until May 31.
Summer Semester: Register by June 1 to vote on the day/time of Q&A calls. You can participate in the Q&A calls until September 1.
Certificate Students: Can participate in all Q&A calls for the 2021-22 academic year (including the summer).
If a waiver is needed from these deadlines due to petitioning professional development funds from NSPN, email email@example.com.
Level 4 - Students/Postdocs/Unemployed $247 Register at this link
Level 4 - Students/Postdocs/Unemployed - NSPN Member $124 Register at this link with Discount Code (see below)
Level 4 - Professionals $347 Register at this link
Certificate - Student/Postdoc/Unemployed - $947 Register at this link
Certificate Program - Students/Postdocs/Unemployed - NSPN Member $474 Register at this link with Discount Code (see below)
Certificate - Professional - $1337 Register at this link
Half-price discounts are available for National Science Policy Network (NSPN) members and for splitting the cost with a friend. Note that NSPN has a professional development fund where you can apply or funds to pay for S&T Policy Academy classes. The maximum is $500 annually and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You can find the NSPN discount code by visiting this page.
Questions or Discount Codes Needed?: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Satisfaction Guarantee: We take the success of our students seriously. So as long as you fully participate in the course (watching all the videos, doing all the assignments, participate in the Q&A calls and the one-on-one meetings) and work collaboratively with your instructor yet are still not satisfied with the results, I’ll refund your money no questions asked.