In case you faithful and interested readers missed it, yesterday I moderated a webinar on providing professional development to out-of-school-time staff. You can still register to watch the archived version here.
This webinar followed a story I wrote a little while ago, called “Training of Out-of-School Staff Debated,” which addressed challenges and issues surrounding professionalization of the workforce. Yesterday, I was joined by Nancy Peter, the director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center at the University of Pennsylvania, and Charles Smith, director at the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality in Ypsilanti, Mich., and vice president of research at the Washington-based Forum for Youth Investment.
Peter provided a thorough look at the “big picture” of why professional development is important to the out-of-school-time field, obstacles to implementing PD to OST workers, and examples of efforts undertaken around the country to improve staff quality in OST programs. Smith homed in on specifics of the David P. Weikart’s Youth Program Quality Assessment (Youth PQA) and Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI), an assessment tool that OST programs can use to self-evaluate and self-improve.
We received many thoughtful questions and were able to address a number of them, including questions on how to improve the culture around professionalization in OST, core competencies needed by OST staff, and ways that partnerships with community organizations, parents, and teachers can improve PD offerings for out-of-school-time programs.
Both guests have also supplied additional resources that can be found with the archived version of the webinar for reference.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Beyond School blog.