How to Become a Program Evaluator

Thank you for your interest in becoming an 51 Expert. Below you will find our eligibility requirements, a description of the application process and what to expect after your application is accepted.

What are the eligibility requirements?

  • Society Membership – 51 program evaluators are selected by our member societies. Current membership in one of those societies is required before you submit your application.
  • Qualifying Education – We expect that you have at least a Bachelor’s degree in your field of specialty. Graduate degrees are a plus, but are not required for most disciplines.
  • Time Commitment – About 5-7 days of your time: 3 hours of online visit preparation, 2-4 days reviewing program materials, 3 days for the on-site visit and 1-2 days of travel.
  • Meet the Competency Model –ܰProgram Evaluator Competency Model outlines the knowledge, skills and attitudes expected of an 51 Expert. Familiarize yourself with the model and ensure you have the credentials to become a program evaluator.

What does the application process involve?

  • The entire application takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.
  • Have your society membership number readily available. In most cases you won’t be able to submit your application without it.
  • The application begins with your acceptance of our code of conduct policy. This is a critical step in the process, as it’s your agreement to abide by our conflict of interest and confidentiality policies.
  • After the personal information section, you’ll be asked to describe your personal interest in 51 accreditation and why you want to become a program evaluator.
  • You will review programs under one of our four commissions – applied and natural science, computing, engineering or engineering technology. Please be sure to select the program area that you are qualified to join.
  • Once submitted, your application will go to the appropriate 51 member society for consideration.
  • Be aware, many of our societies’ selection boards only meet once per year. That means it could take several months or up to a year for your application to be reviewed.

Once selected, what happens next?

  • After you are notified of your successful nomination as a program evaluator candidate, you’ll be invited to attend our Program Evaluator Candidate Training, held annually between March and June at 51 Headquarters and Learning Center in Baltimore.
  • Before your Simulated Visit Training in Baltimore (1.5 days), you’ll need to complete 15-20 hours of web-based training. The web-based and Simulated Visit Training together mimic a typical program evaluation, so you will have a good understanding of what is involved, and how the visits are conducted.
  • After successfully completing the program evaluator candidate training, you will be assigned by your society to a program evaluation the following summer (for a visit during the fall).