In 1984, Lee Cronbach urged that "the evaluator is an educator; his success is to be judged by what others learn."  It's no coincidence that 1984 is also the year in which Washington Evaluators formed as one of the country's earliest professional evaluation societies committed to fostering continuous learning in our field.
Today, Washington Evaluators is committed to ensuring that our current cohort of professionals not only advocate to support the profession, but recruit future professionals into the field. Earlier this year, the Board of Washington Evaluators approved a new strategic plan that specifically identifies this as an objective for a goal to strengthen the evaluation community (see Objective 1.1).
To accomplish this objective the Washington Evaluators Board earlier this year established two new task forces to better address the needs of new professionals. First, we created a task force to develop a suite of recommendations for future consideration around improving the services available for new professionals.
Second, the Washington Evaluators Board established another task force led by Tamarah Moss from Howard University to design a new scholarship program for new professionals. This group's efforts resulted in the launch in August of the 2017 New Professionals Scholarship sponsored by Washington Evaluators. The new scholarship is intended to support new professionals in integrating evaluation practices and approaches within their respective organizations by encouraging participation in the American Evaluation Association's annual conference, as well as engagement over the next year with AEA and Washington Evaluators membership.
Through this new scholarship opportunity, Washington Evaluators hopes to strengthen the sustainability of the evaluation community, by recruiting and helping to educate the next generation of evaluators. The scholarship serves as one means to recruit new professionals into the evaluation community to facilitate continued diversity in the profession. It also ensures that those of us already engaged in the evaluation field can fulfill Cronbach's charge: to be educators and mentors to those who are new to the profession.
Learn more about the 2017 New Professional Scholarship here.
NICK HART, PH.D. is the President of Washington Evaluators in 2017. The views presented here are those of the author and do not represent the official position of the U.S. Government, including the Office of Management Budget and the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.
 Cronbach, L., et al. 1984. Towards Reform of Program Evaluation. Washington: Jossey-Bass Publishers.