Defining Program Quality
High quality afterschool and summer programs promote students' intellectual, emotional, and creative development in safe environments.
National research defines the specific elements and indicators of high quality programs:
- Environment and Climate (Safety)
- Programming and Activities
- Administration and Organization
- Staffing and Professional Development
- Linkages Between Day and Afterschool
- Youth Participation and Engagement
- Parent, Family and Community Partnerships
- Program Sustainability and Growth
- Measuring Outcomes and Evaluation
Afterschool organizations can explore each of these elements of quality in depth and conduct a self-assessment of their strengths and weaknesses with our AQuA tool.
Through periodic onsite observations, DASN measures PQI participating sites' quality levels against these national standards. These different levels of quality are reflected by a progressive services of benchmarks (Tiers 1, 2, 3, Certified) that inidicate the types of support and resources needed from DASN to improve quality.
DASN Quality Advisors provide onsite staff coaching around each of these elements of quality, and all DASN training workshops are based on these national best practices.