Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Chris L. S. Coryn

Second Advisor

Dr. Leslie A. Fierro

Third Advisor

Dr. Catherine M. Sherwood-Laughlin


Evaluation, public health, evaluation education, master of public health, evaluation competencies


Despite the increasing role of evaluation in public health practice and research (Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health [ASPH], 2006; Institute of Medicine [IOM], 1998; Public Health Functions Steering Committee, 2008; United States Government Accountability Office [GAO], 2012), as well as Henry and Mark’s (2003) assertion of a need for systematic evidence on evaluation training and education, the literature continues to lack studies on evaluation instruction in Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited Master of Public Health (MPH) schools and programs. As such, this study explored evaluation instruction in CEPH-accredited MPH schools and programs in the following areas: (a) instructional pedagogy, (b) evaluation competency domains taught, (c) CEPH discipline-specific and interdisciplinary competencies related to managing, designing, conducting, using, and reporting evaluations taught, and (d) evaluation competencies as defined by Stevahn et al. (2005a, 2005b) and Stufflebeam and Wingate (2005) taught in evaluation courses. More specifically, this study sought to increase understanding of the instructional pedagogy and content of the evaluation courses offered by CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs through a two-phase sequential mixed method design that included the following: (1) review of documents and (2) administration of a survey. First, two reviewers coded data on CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs (N = 156) and their evaluation course offerings (N = 652) from university registrars’ websites, graduate catalogues, school and program websites, course websites, and course syllabi. Second, instructors who taught courses coded as either partially- or fully-focused on evaluation (N = 128, which represents 22.07% of the total 580 instructors who taught partially- or fully-focused courses on evaluation in CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs at the time of this study) completed a web-based survey about their evaluation course content and instructional pedagogy.

In the results, I describe findings regarding the Stevahn et al. (2005a, 2005b) evaluation competencies, Stufflebeam and Wingate (2005) evaluation competencies, and evaluation-related competencies recommended by CEPH (ASPH, 2006) to be taught in CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs, as well as the instructional pedagogy used to teach these evaluation competencies. The results show wide variation among the evaluation domains and competencies covered in evaluation courses offered by CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs. Results also suggest a disconnect between the evaluation course curricula within CEPH accredited MPH schools and programs and domains and competencies identified as essential skills for program/intervention evaluators.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access