• Ed.D. 1984 – Auburn University, Educational Leadership and Curriculum & Instruction
  • M.A. 1976 – California Polytechnic State University, Educational Administration
  • A.B. 1971 – University of California Berkeley, Anthropology

Areas of Expertise

  • Collaborative Evaluation
  • Educational Research
  • Assessment


Rita O’Sullivan teaches program evaluation, case study methods, research design, qualitative methods, measurement and statistics. As executive director of Evaluation, Assessment and Policy Connections (EvAP), she works with graduate students, providing program evaluation assistance and training for local, state, national and international organizations.

She has traveled to Puerto Rico (2009), U.S. Virgin Islands (2008), Southern Sudan (2006), Kazakhstan (2005), Guinea (2004), Brazil (2003), Siberia (2002), Durban (2002) and Barbados (2001) to work with evaluators from governmental and nonprofit organizations in the areas of education, health, social work, auditing, government service, agriculture and environmental protection. In 2009, she traveled around the world as a member of the Semester at Sea faculty.

O’Sullivan specializes in developing collaborative evaluation techniques that enhance evaluation capacity and utilization among educators and public service providers. Much of her scholarly work has investigated ways to promote and conduct these evaluations. Since entering academia in 1984, she has conducted more than 100 evaluation projects, specializing in multi-site collaborative evaluation approaches in the areas of education, community development and family support programs.

Her current vision of collaborative evaluation has evolved from these years of field experience. Throughout this development, she has shared her research efforts in four of the six premier refereed journals in evaluation.

Conducting evaluations has provided O’Sullivan with an essential laboratory to develop a distinct evaluation approach, called “collaborative evaluation.” The development of this approach has culminated in a book published by Sage Publications titled Practicing Evaluation: A Collaborative Approach (2004).