Information for SECC Teams

Why a US student evaluation case competition?

The American Evaluation Association has started 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. We welcome all students from all degree programs to participate, regardless of whether you are a member of AEA or whether you are in an evaluation degree program.

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. Coaches could be instructors or evaluation practitioners who can support you prior to the competition. We encourage all teams to have at least one coach, and particularly encourage students who are newer to evaluation to have an experienced evaluator to serve as your coach. 

More information about eligibility, team composition, coaches, and substitutions can be found in the rules.

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.

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 in the spring. Teams will have a total of seven hours to complete the case and submit their final products. Winners will be announced in the summer. 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 review  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. as well as the case and submissions from past AEA case competitions.  

Some ways that teams can practice and prepare for the competition include:

  • Review past cases and winning submissions

  • Hold a mock case competition as a team, using a past case and developing your own submission given the case requirements. Your team can then compare to the winning submission and have your coach judge your submission given the case scoring rubric. 

  • Read the pre-reading, conduct outside research, determine your presentation format, and begin drafting your case submission document in preparation for the competition day. Consider what work you can do ahead of time to maximize your time on the day of the competition. 

Important dates for teams:

Registration opens:February 2024

Registration deadline: Friday, March 1, 2024

Registered teams receive case topic: Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Competition day: Saturday, April 13, 2024

Winners announced: anticipated July 2024

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. 

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