ERIC Number: ED498790
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Shared Features of High-Performing After-School Programs: A Follow-Up to the TASC Evaluation
Birmingham, Jennifer; Pechman, Ellen M.; Russell, Christina A.; Mielke, Monica
Policy Studies Associates, Inc.
This study examined high-performing after-school projects funded by The After-School Corporation (TASC), to determine what characteristics, if any, these projects shared. Evaluators reanalyzed student performance data collected during the multi-year evaluation of the TASC initiative to identify projects where the after-school program was especially likely to have contributed to improvements in academic achievement. Once these 10 projects were identified, evaluators visited each project to learn more about program structures and practices and whether these characteristics were unique to individual projects or whether the 10 high-performing projects shared common characteristics. The findings from these inquiries are reported here. Across the 10 projects, evaluators found shared characteristics around programming, staffing, and support systems. These include: (1) A broad array of enrichment opportunities; (2) Opportunities for skill building and mastery; (3) Intentional relationship-building; (4) A strong, experienced leader/manager supported by a trained and supervised staff; and (5) The administrative, fiscal, and professional-development support of the sponsoring organization. These study findings can offer a guide to new and struggling after-school projects about program features that may be most important when developing or refining an after-school project. Appendix A describes project selection in greater detail and lists the 10 study projects and the 10 projects from the top 20 that were not selected. Appendix B describes the observed activities and the technical details about each of the scales. Appendix C presents the updated edition of the Out-of-School Time Program Observation Instrument used for this study. Appendix D profiles each of the 10 TASC projects. (Contains 2 footnotes.) [This report was prepared for The After-School Corporation and Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.]
Descriptors: School Activities, Academic Achievement, After School Programs, Program Effectiveness, Enrichment Activities, Program Evaluation, Skill Development, Professional Development, Leadership, Staff Development, Educational Opportunities, Observation, Evaluation Methods
Policy Studies Associates, Inc. 1718 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 400, Washington, DC 20009. Tel: 202-939-9780; Fax: 202-939-5732; Web site: http://www.policystudies.com
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Elementary Education; Middle Schools
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Policy Studies Associates, Inc., Washington, DC.