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First Year of Center for Afterschool Excellence Program a Success, Report Finds

Resource type: News

Philanthropy News Digest |

The first year of the Center for After-School Excellence’s certificate program saw a high level of participant satisfaction and a relatively high level of completion, a new report from Policy Studies Associates finds.

Launched in 2007, the one-year program enables staff who serve New York City youth in afterschool programs to gain skills and knowledge in education and youth development through college coursework at five City University of New York campuses.

The center was established in 2006 with support from the After-School Corporation and Atlantic Philanthropies. Part of a three-year evaluation of the program, the report, College Opportunities for After-School Workers: Report on the First-Year Implementation of the Center for After-School Excellence Certificate Programs (33 pages, PDF), found that seventy-five of the program’s ninety-four participants completed the program, with forty-nine of the newly certified staff registered for classes through the center for a second year – a rate comparable to the CUNY system retention rate for first-year students (66 percent).

The report also found that 96 percent of participants reported that they enjoyed the program, 98 felt proud of their accomplishments, and 100 percent would recommend the program to a co-worker or friend. A majority of participants said they hoped to enroll in more college courses (83 percent) or in another certificate program with the center (74 percent).

On average, program participants had seven years of experience in the afterschool field, while a third had not participated in formal schooling beyond a high school diploma or GED. Indeed, 46 percent of participants were concerned about their ability to succeed in an academic setting.

To address those concerns, participants received support and incentives from the center, their employer, the CUNY college in which they enrolled, and peers.

Report on the First-Year Implementation of the Center for After-School Excellence Certificate Programs. Atlantic Philanthropies Press Release 9/02/08.

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