Information for SECC Teams

Why a US student evaluation case competition?

The American Evaluation Association is starting a United States evaluation case competition in line with other national evaluation case competitions in Canada, the Czech Republic, India, and Cameroon. Winners of these national competitions then compete in the world evaluation case competition. Previously, without a national competition in the United States, teams were chosen to represent the United States through applications to the world competition; with the creation of the AEA student evaluation case competition, now teams will be chosen through a national competition. 

Additionally, this competition meets the association’s values of a global and international evaluation community (iii) as well as the continual development of evaluation professionals and the development of evaluators from under-represented groups (iv). It also meets the end goals of 1.4 Student members have ample opportunities to develop the leadership skills and competencies needed to practice evaluation, contribute to the association, and the evaluation knowledge base.

What will the competition entail?

Teams will learn about the topic related to the case a week prior to the competition date. Teams are encouraged to explore any resources available to them to learn more about the topic in preparation for the case. On the day of the competition, teams will receive information about the case organization itself and will conduct a situation analysis and prepare an evaluation proposal for the case organization. In line with the world competition, there are three options for teams to prepare as their final product: a 12-page report, a non-narrated 25-slide slideshow presentation, or a 15-minute narrated presentation. Learn more about the competition through visiting the rules and assessment criteria.

Who can compete in the competition?

Teams consist of 3-5 students who are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. Students from all degree programs are welcome to participate—students do not need to be members of AEA or pursuing an evaluation degree to participate in the competition. Each team will have 1-2 coaches who will assist the team in preparing for the competition, but will not assist teams during the case competition itself. More information about eligibility, team composition, coaches, and substitutions can be found in the rules.

Additionally, we are developing this competition so that undergraduate and graduate students can all compete, even if you're in your first evaluation course. If you are earlier in your evaluation training, we strongly recommend you have a coach who can help you best prepare for the competition.

How do I register to compete?

Teams interested in competing in the student evaluation case competition will need to register in advance of the competition. There is no cost for registering or competing in the competition. Registration will open in March and remain open until April 28, 2023.

What does the competition day look like?

Information regarding the topic of the case will be sent at least one week prior to the start of the competition day. The competition will then take place on June 3, 2023. Teams will have a total of seven hours to complete the case and submit their final products. Winners will be announced in July, 2023. The competition will take place virtually. More information will be provided as we get closer to the competition date.

How can our team best prepare for the competition?

We encourage student teams to practice with past cases from the World Evaluation Case Competition, the Canadian Evaluation Society’s Student Evaluation Case Competition, the India Evaluation Case Competition, and the Czech Evaluation Society’s Evaluation Case Competition. The cases and finalists’ submissions are available on the websites.

Important dates for teams:

Registration opens: March 15, 2023

Registration deadline: April 28, 2023

Registered teams receive case topic: May 15, 2023

Competition day: June 3, 2023

Winners announced: anticipated by early August

What do winning teams receive?

All team members and coaches of the winning team will receive an award/scholarship from AEA consisting of 1 year free AEA membership, free conference registration at the next AEA conference, and formal recognition at the AEA conference with a certificate or plaque. The three winning cases will be highlighted on the AEA student case competition webpage. 

Additionally, we are seeking funding support for additional scholarships for winning student teams. If you are interested in helping financially support student competitors, please email