Category: Dissemination / Implementation

Symposium

Academic Support in After-School Time: The Importance of Transparency in Unpacking the Black Box

Friday, November 17
10:15 AM - 11:45 AM
Location: Aqua 310, Level 3, Aqua Level

Keywords: Change Process / Mechanisms | Prevention | Service Delivery
Presentation Type: Symposium

Studies on the impact of academic support time in youth after-school programs show mixed findings. The operationalization of academic support varies (e.g., homework time, tutoring, enrichment), as do the training and qualifications of staff required to facilitate it (teachers, tutors, recreation staff, volunteers). We conducted a systematic review to examine the structure, content, and unique impact of broadly defined academic support in after-school programs on academic achievement scores in school-age children. Results revealed variable impacts on academic achievement and an overall lack of detail regarding academic goals or activities; in turn precluding evidence-informed recommendations to community after-school programs regarding effective use of academic time. In response, we are collaborating with a large urban park district that provides daily after-school programming to elementary and middle school youth from neighborhoods characterized by economic vulnerability, community violence, food insecurity, and mental health need. We are developing an academic routine that consists of both homework assistance and academic enrichment, and conducting semi-structured interviews with teachers and focus groups with after-school staff and youth to examine feasibility of activities (e.g., staffing, resources, expertise), engagement (staff and youth), and alignment with program goals and outcomes. We will synthesize findings from the systematic review with our practice-based data toward advancing the science of after-school time and providing empirically-informed recommendations for academic support.  


  

Rachel Ouellette

Florida International University

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Emily D'Agostino

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Stephanie Berra

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Eric Hansen

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Sarah E. Messiah

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