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Developing Effective After-school Educators through University-Community Partnerships

Developing Effective After-school Educators through University-Community Partnerships Joseph L. Mahoney Jeff Johnston Susan Guilfoyle Department of Education, University of California, Irvine U-C Partnerships and After-school Education I. Background and Rationale

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Developing Effective After-school Educators through University-Community Partnerships

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  1. Developing Effective After-school Educators through University-Community Partnerships Joseph L. Mahoney Jeff Johnston Susan Guilfoyle Department of Education, University of California, Irvine

  2. U-C Partnershipsand After-school Education I. Background and Rationale II. Example: UCI CASE Program III. Findings, Challenges, and Directions

  3. Workshop Format This is an INTERACTIVE session YOU should feel free to PARTICIPATE We like to be interrupted Your questions and comments are welcome at any time

  4. After-school Programs CAN be Beneficial for Young People • * Quality is critical to program benefits • * Poor Quality Programs • Do not confer academic or social benefits • May contribute to problem behaviors • * Program Staff are Key to Quality • Safety, social climate, activities and skills • Typically receive little or no formal training • University-Community collaboration can play • a critical role in educating program staff

  5. Status of the After-school Workforce “…many workers with little experience or education directly relevant to afterschool, frequent turnover, and many part-time workers, suggesting the need for training approaches to ensure basic knowledge of afterschool work.” (p. 1). Source: National Afterschool Association (2006)

  6. Status of the Workforce:The “Typical” After-school Line Staff • Female, white, age 35, 2-year degree or higher, salary $25k or $10.75/hour • No paid time for training • Seldom have education or a credential in after-school work • 40% are part-time and short-term • “A tale of two workforces” • 30% annual turnover Source: National Afterschool Association (2006)

  7. Quality (in need of) Improvement • No national data on after-school program quality • Existing research suggests that quality is often “minimal” or “below average” • Hall & Cassidy (2002): SACERS • Smith and Colleagues (2009): YPQA • Quality can be improved through training

  8. A Variety of Training Approaches • After-school field lacks a well-accepted system of training and instruction • Different from K-12 Education • Common approaches to training: • Discussion at the program site • Brief workshops and conferences • Webinars • Networks Source: National Afterschool Association (2006)

  9. Limitations • Little evidence of effectiveness • These approaches are criticized in the K-12 professional development literature • Few can be served by these approaches Source: Mahoney, Levine, & Hinga (2010)

  10. Limitations “…we currently have millions of young people participating in ASPs being served by adults with little or no formal education in providing quality after-school services. Only a small fraction of the after-school workforce receives training through activities designed for working in after-school settings and the effectiveness of these approaches is highly questionable and the opportunity to receive such training is infrequent.” Source? Mahoney (1/27/09 7:30am)

  11. What Works? • Profession Development of K-12 Teachers: • Sustained learning opportunities • Active learning that features supervised opportunities to practice new skills and reflect • A focus on content knowledge and skill development

  12. Developing Effective After-school Educators • Education and training that matches the needs of the staff and program organization(s) • Pre-service and In-service Training • Core knowledge and content knowledge • Durable opportunities to integrate knowledge and practice

  13. The Role of U-C Partnerships “ An explicit agreement between a community entity and a university academic unit for the purpose of working together over an extended period of time to achieve common goals that are mutually beneficial.” - Suarez-Balcazar, Harper, & Lewis (2005)

  14. Benefits of U-C Partnerships • Universities are uniquely prepared to offer ongoing education and training on a large scale • Classroom-fieldwork blend is optimal for the educational needs of today’s students • The partnership results in a co-developed program that yields knowledge and service that will be both useful and utilized

  15. UCI Certificate in After-School Education (CASE)Coursework and Fieldwork

  16. CASE: Coursework & Fieldwork 2 CORES 3 ELECTIVES in 2 CATEGORIES Foundations of Out-of-School Learning Reading/ Literacy Tutoring Math/ Science Child or Adolescent Development Physical/ Health ED Technology Arts Multicultural Educational 10 Hours Observational Fieldwork 60+ Hours of Interactive Fieldwork

  17. Core Sites for CASE • Criteria for Selecting Sites • Reputation; well-established • Formal level of training • UCI site inspection/interview during program’s operation • Staff supervision

  18. Core Sites for CASE • Feasibility for UCI Students • Location (walk, bike, bus, car) • Variety of choices (SES, program offerings, fee/non-fee based) • Program size (able to place 5 or more UCI students)

  19. List of Initial CASE Sites Project Success, Costa Mesa Girl’s Inc., Costa Mesa Think Together, Santa Ana KidWorks, Santa Ana Turtle Rock Community Park, Irvine UCI Extended Day Center, UCI Campus

  20. CASE Course Examples Mr. Jeff Johnston: “Physical Education for After-school Programs” Ms. Susan Guilfoyle: “Literacy for After-school Programs”

  21. Implementation Findings

  22. Goals of CASE • Benefits for Programs • Staff-to-child ratio • Quality and content • (2) Benefits for Children and Youth • According program goals and offerings • (3) Benefits for College Students • Program-related skills and knowledge • Civic-mindedness and cultural awareness

  23. Student Participation and Interest: A Popular Program • 619 students in CASE courses • Equal numbers in core and elective • 30% enrolled in two or more • Students completed in-class surveys • 70% expressed interest in CASE; 43% plan to earn the certificate

  24. UCI Student Experience • Perceived ASPs as important • Increased their positive perceptions of ASPs • Lessons learned: • New understanding of ASPs and child development • Importance fitting program offerings to student needs • Blended approach between classroom instruction and fieldwork was viewed very positively

  25. “I am so glad that there was a requirement to do fieldwork this quarter. It is very interesting to watch the kids slowly develop and come out of themselves as time goes by. Art is a wonderful way to help kids develop and gain self-esteem and confidence, which of course, only helps their experience in other subjects and settings. I think that the readings and the class work melded perfectly with the hands-on experience, and I think I am that much more well-rounded and aware of myself and the learning process now. Being a teacher wasn't at the top of my list of possibilities, but now, it definitely is. ”

  26. Site Coordinator Reports: A Helpful and Beneficial Partnership • Site Improvements: • Instruction • Student-to-staff ratios • Organization • Child behavior • Role model • Growth in abilities of UCI students

  27. Challenges and Future Directions • U-C Collaborations are ONE approach to pre-service and In-service Training • Cadillac model • Other: workshops, on-site orientation and mentoring programs, seminars and conferences, networks, online resources, etc. • How do they fit together? • Need for rigorous evaluation of alternatives

  28. What Needs to be Known? “How much of which types training are required and feasible for different workers to achieve what sorts of outcomes for which types of youth in what sorts of programs?” -Mahoney, Lewis, & Hinga (2010)

  29. Feasibility: Affordable, Accessible, & Sustainable • Cost and Turnover • CASE may be less feasible for the transient portion of the workforce • Online coursework and training • Training specialists and mentors

  30. Beyond Line Staff • Formal education for directors, coordinators, and other administrators • Advanced coursework: leadership, organization theory, business administration, educational policy, research methodology, program evaluation • Require that universities make education for all after-school program providers a priority

  31. Thank You! For More Information… • CASE Program • • Joe Mahoney ( • Jeff Johnston ( • Susan Guilfoyle (

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