APAS (A Program Assessment System)
Assessment of programs are invaluable to creating the highest quality afterschool programs. WYAA, with support from National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) implemented its initiative, A Program Assessment System (APAS), which builds a common approach to quality improvement across the field.
Outcomes from APAS include:
- An upward trend in attitudes, skills and behaviors of youth
- Peer networking and relationship building between programs
- A statewide shared vision and understanding of high quality afterschool and OST programming
STEM System Building
The Wyoming Cross-Sector STEM Collaborative is WYAA’s statewide pilot project to advance STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning in afterschool. The project gives afterschool program providers a structure for defining the elements of high-quality STEM activities.
- Dimensions of Success (DoS)® uses a rubric to measure tangible outcomes
- WYAA partnered with researchers from PEAR/Harvard University/McClean Hospital to implement DoS.
- Two-year project funded by the Noyce Foundation in partnership with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Core competencies outline the skills, knowledge, and dispositions required of professionals to deliver high-quality programming and support youth development and learning. You can view the “Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals” which were adopted by WYAA and authored by the National Afterschool Association. It outlines 10 content areas:
- Child and Youth Growth and Development
- Learning Environment and Curriculum
- Child/Youth Observation and Assessment
- Interactions with Children and Youth
- Youth Engagement
- Cultural Competency and Responsiveness
- Family, School, and Community Relationships
- Safety and Wellness
- Program Planning and Development
- Professional Development and Leadership
WYAA began an initiative to understand juvenile justice issues in Wyoming and promote high-quality afterschool programs as a resource for high-risk children in grades K-12. Afterschool programs help divert risky behaviors through expanded learning opportunities and by nurturing positive youth development.
The Juvenile Justice Initiative:
- Identifies current programs and partnerships in Wyoming communities that focus on prevention and early intervention of risky behaviors for K-12 youth
- Develops meaningful resources and training opportunities to help afterschool programs better serve our most vulnerable, at-risk children
- Reduce juvenile citations
- Increase school attendance
- Increase engagement in learning
- Improve grades
- Raise the graduation rate