Make College Pay for Youth Workers

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In response to the cover story in February [“Local Schools Give Youth Workers More Class”]: You noted that youth workers who enroll in college-level certificate programs hope to earn better pay or promotions. If we want to encourage busy after-school educators to spend time in college classes, we’ve got to make the benefits specific and tangible.

In New York City, the Center for After-School Excellence has secured promises from eight of the major citywide employers of after-school staff to give hiring preference to graduates of our nine-credit professional certificate program, Foundations in After-School, which we have developed in partnership with the City University of New York.

The center’s first 100 professional certificate holders will complete this program in June. We will follow their progress thereafter, as they advance in their careers and make an impact with young people. You noted the need for information-sharing, and we will do our best to disseminate what we learn about both hiring incentives and the long-term impact of college training for youth workers.

Mark D. Levine, Executive Director
Center for After-School Excellence
New York