Posts Tagged: After-school
The Forum for Youth Investment produced a summary of tools for measuring program quality in 2009, Measuring Youth Program Quality. This report provided guidance on selecting an assessment tool for youth development programs, with information about several potential tools. They just released a new, similar report on measuring youth outcomes, From Soft Skills to Hard Data. Several outcomes tools are discussed, including the Developmental Assets Profile, the California Healthy Kids Survey, the San Francisco Beacons Youth Survey, and others.
Harvard University's Family Research Project has an online database of program evaluations. The evaluations are searchable by program topic, program type, grade level, and other variables. The full database is located here.
The health category includes several evaluations of after school programs focusing on nutrition, fitness, smoking, and other health topics.
The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology have issued a new report, "Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM) for America's Future." The report calls for several steps to improve STEM education in the United States, including an increase in after-school programs that incorporate STEM projects. In particular, they hope to see more after-school programs for girls, African American, and Hispanic youth.
From an Education Week article,
The report also asserts that the federal role in such programs should be “significant.” Working together, the council states, the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation “should develop a coordinated initiative” dubbed INSPIRE, which would focus on “individualized, transforming experiences with STEM subjects.” In addition to supporting after-school and extended-day programs, INSPIRE could support boosting the number of local, state, and national STEM contests for students.
The April-June 2010 issue of Applied Developmental Science contains an article by Joseph Mahoney, Mark Levine, and Briana Hinga entitled "The Development of After-School Program Educators Through University-Community Partnerships." The article describes approaches to staff development and promising practices in partnerships with universities to improving professional development for these staff members. Research on the effectiveness of such staff development is limited. Model programs are described that are provided by the UC Irvine Department of Education, which offers a Certificate in After-school Education focusing on positive youth development, and CUNY in New York and The After-School Corporation, which together launched a Center for After-School Excellence that offers classes to enhance the capabilities of after-school staff. Both pre-service and in-service training are available in these models.