Out-of-School-Time: Leveraging Higher Education for Quality

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Foundations and The After-School Corporation

Youth need high-quality out-of-school time (OST) programs with staffs that are well-trained and better educated staff members to assist them in academic, social and emotional development during the 60 percent of their day not spent in a classroom.

Studies have determined that programs with such well-trained staff members were more successful in retaining youth and responding to their needs than those with lesser trained staff, this report states.

Because the skills needed by OST staff members are different from those offered in teacher training programs, separate training is necessary, according to the report. Until now, most after-school staff training has focused on compliance, safety and basic operations, but this report encourages more training – if funds and time permit – in classroom management, homework support strategies and development activities.

For this training, the report recommends collaborating with institutions of higher education. Many colleges and universities have begun to offer programs for after-school training, partner with OST programs for internships and provide student service-learning project experiences. Various organizations also have initiatives for OST programs. The American Educational Research Association has an OST interest group that meets every year to share research, and the Society for Research in Adolescence offers informational sessions.

Part of the challenge in determining the proper training for out-of-school-time teachers stems from the difficulty in defining the field. Because the OST projects involve interdisciplinary study, the lack of a national framework makes it hard to select coursework, and after-school staffers want to focus on what they need most.

The report offers recommendations for the next steps in training OST workers: Tailor classwork to the needs of after-school staff members; consult with experts for content and procedure advice; work with local providers as well as college students; and partner with various institutions of higher education.

Free, 24 pages. Contact: http://www.afterschooled.org/PDF/Higher_Ed_Report_Feb2010.pdf.