American Evaluation Association Minority Serving Institution Fellowship

Frequently Asked Questions*

Q: What is required of a MSI Fellow?

Fellows are required to participate in monthly conference calls and attend AEA professional development activities including the summer AEA/CDC workshop series and the AEA annual meeting. Fellows may be expected to contribute to presentations, manuscripts, monographs, etc. Any contribution, however, will be fully acknowledged. In most cases, the decision to make particular contributions is made by the cohort members with the advice and support of the program facilitator.

Fellows are expected to contribute individually and collectively to practice and theory of evaluation in various ways and teach and encourage others to consider evaluation as a profession and practice.

Q: Who is eligible to become a Fellow?

Faculty members appointed to Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) within the United States and Puerto Rico can apply to become a Fellow. While we would love to support international candidates in the future, the MSI Fellowship is open only to US-based candidates at this time. The initiative is in part designed to provide professional development, teaching, and learning opportunities to individuals from groups traditionally underrepresented in the profession. In the past nonacademic candidates have been considered and appointed as Fellows on an individual basis given the potential of the candidate to impact the field of evaluation and the association. Fellows are selected by a panel of former Fellows and others who consider each applicant carefully and individually. From time to time other requirements or preferences may be indicated for a given year.

Q: Do you have be a member of a minority or underrepresented group to be a Fellow?

No. The expectation is that Fellows will be a resource to others including members of underrepresented groups.

Q: How many Fellows are selected every year?

The total number of Fellows selected each year is a function of the pool of applicants, the location of their academic or professional appointment and total budget for the program each year. In the past, the number of Fellows  has ranged from 6 to 10.

Q: How long does the fellowship last?

Fellows are appointed for a full year. To fully benefit from the opportunity Fellows are required to be fully involved in all of the activities. This is why each applicant is required to provide a letter of support from his/her Dean or Department Chair acknowledging their support of the Fellow, recognizing the requirements of the opportunity.

Q: What are the goals of the AEA MSI Fellowship?

The primary goals of the Fellowship are:

  1. to provide significant professional development to faculty from MSI schools, to help faculty at MSIs introduce the science and practice of evaluation to students from underrepresented groups, and others in order to increase the breadth and depth of practice.
  2. to provide access to AEA as a professional organization to individuals from diverse academic disciplines and expand the reach of the association.
  3. to inform ideas and practice of culturally competent evaluation

Q: What resources or support is provided by the Fellowship?

Fellows receive full membership to AEA with their appointment to the Fellowship.  As such they have access to all of the resources offered by AEA including meetings, materials, training, etc.  In addition, Fellows are provided with access to experienced and expert evaluators as “consultants” and mentors.  Finally, Fellows are provided with travel and registration support for the meetings and professional development opportunities where attendance is required by all Fellows.

Q: Does the Fellowship experience change from year to year?

While the general goals of the program have been consistent from the inception of the Fellowship, the conduct of the experience is organized only in general terms.  Each year’s cohort is responsible for determining the nature of the individual and collective work and contribution they will make as a result of the experience.  This means Fellows are expected to self-define the nature of their experience so that it is maximally of benefit to each and all. In the past, Fellows have focused on the development of grant proposals, scholarly articles and presentations, development of evaluation courses and programs, and the inclusion of evaluation content in existing professional development courses (e.g. teacher preparation, social sciences, nursing, administration and management, etc.).

Q: What is my role in AEA after the year of the Fellowship concludes?

Fellows are invited to continue their association with AEA through ongoing membership. While the AEA does not continue to support this membership after the Fellowship year, it is expected that Fellows will continue to take advantage of the opportunities for evaluation community support and scholarship as well as exercise leadership in the future growth and development of evaluation theory and practice.  Fellowship alumni have been and continue to be actively involved in many of the AEA Topical Interest Groups, contributing their experience and expertise to the benefit of other Fellows through committees and working groups, the association and its membership, and the profession of evaluation.

Q: How do I apply?

The AEA website will provide an announcement of the acceptance of applications and provide links to the necessary forms. Click here to apply for this year's MSI Fellowship. While the application requirements are generally the same from year to year, it is important that interested individuals carefully examine the program details for particular program requirements or preferences.  Given the usually very competitive nature of the application process, applicants who are unsuccessful in previous years are encouraged to reapply. Former Fellows, however, are not eligible for reappointment.

*Developed by the 2013-2014 MSI Cohort under the supervision of Program Director Art Hernandez. For more additional questions regarding the Fellowship, contact Art Hernandez at