Speech Adjudicator Certification

How Certification Works #

Interscholastic Speech contests involve subjective and standards-based evaluation of students across more than a dozen contest categories. Schools are responsible for providing adjudicators based on a ratio of number of participating entries. Coaches and/or adjudicators (judges) gain certification through training, and can report time spent as professional development.

High School #

Initially, you pay for and enroll in an online course that takes about 2 hours, followed by a 3-hour live online workshop, culminating with an assessed evaluation of a student presentation. Provided the assessment has been completed successfully, certification lasts 3 years, inclusive of the school year of enrollment. 

Renewal #

Certification can be renewed upon successful completion of a brief renewal course (~30 minutes), plus an assessed evaluation of a student presentation. Anyone whose certification lapsed since 2008 may enroll in the Renewal course. If it was earlier than 2008, please enroll in the Initial Training course.

Middle Level #

We offer an entirely online course for individuals adjudicating just Middle Level Speech Contests (the high school course will cover most of what individuals need to know to adjudicate middle level Speech contests). Inclusive of asynchronous practice evaluation tutorials and assessed evaluation, this course will take about 3 hours to complete. Individuals who complete this course will receive a certificate of professional development certifying time spent on the course.

Certification Status #

Terminology #

  • Adjudicator: a person who constructively and non-judgmentally evaluates student presentations. Around the country, this person is commonly referred to as a “judge,” but WISDAA strongly believes in using a term that refers to the educative quality of what this person does.
  • Adjudicate: the act of evaluating (past tense, “adjudicated” means to have evaluated). For example, “My students were adjudicated three times at the subdistrict festival.” Or, “I adjudicated a powerful round of Farrago that left me pondering women’s rights.”
  • Certified: the act of training, and having an evaluation assessed to determine a “seal of approval” by WISDAA to serve as an adjudicator. Often, people incorrectly say someone who is evaluating students is “adjudicated,” instead of what is actually happening — they are being “certified” as an adjudicator.
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Updated on 05/18/2024
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