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ERIC Number: EJ1068362
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Shared Research Dialogue: One College's Model for Professional Development of Youth Practitioners
Fusco, Dana; Espinet, Ivana
Afterschool Matters, n10 p22-27 Apr 2010
Until recently, youth practitioners learned how to support team building, maximize the participation of diverse groups of youth, and measure the desired effects of new strategies through experience, ingenuity, mentoring, and an occasional workshop. As research amasses about the critical role of staff quality in predicting positive outcomes for children and youth, the professional development of youth practitioners is becoming more intentional. Even higher education is playing an increasingly intentional role in the professional development of youth workers. College programs designed for youth workers and afterschool practitioners have been emerging across the United States at a rapid pace. Many of these programs earn participants a certificate and/or college credits transferable toward a degree. York College, a senior college of the City University of New York, developed such an offering in 2001. The Certificate Program for Child and Youth Workers is an interdisciplinary program designed to support the increasing number of competencies needed for youth practitioners to handle their jobs effectively. One author of this article, Dana Fusco, developed the curriculum for this certificate program. The other, Ivana Espinet, taught its capstone course, Action Research for Educators. This paper describes what the authors call the "shared research dialogue" that emerged throughout the semester, and served as a valuable component in the professional development of youth practitioners. The authors discuss the Action Research method used in the course and consider how the participants grew from the experience. The authors argue for the inclusion of a consistent set of competencies in the college curriculum for youth workers by making the claim that supporting the capacity for reflective practice should be a component of that curriculum.
National Institute on Out-of-School Time. Wellesley Centers for Women, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Tel: 781-283-2547; Fax: 781-283-3657; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A