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ERIC Number: EJ790694
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1533-8916
Present and Accounted for: Measuring Attendance in Out-of-School-Time Programs
Fiester, Leila M.; Simpkins, Sandra D.; Bouffard, Suzanne M.
New Directions for Youth Development, n105 p91-107 Spr 2005
Evidence that youth programs have real benefits has prompted efforts to get young people in the door of out-of-school-time (OST) programs. Once youth are enrolled, attendance plays a key role in the participation equation. Children and youth will not benefit unless they attend programs regularly, and evidence is emerging that those who attend more frequently and for longer periods of time benefit more than their peers whose attendance is more sporadic. Attendance data are the key to linking program participation with youth outcomes. Program leaders also need attendance data for program planning and to demonstrate to funders, government agencies, and other stakeholders that they are serving their targeted numbers and populations of youth well. OST programs vary widely in the amount and frequency of services they offer, and young people vary in how often they take advantage of these services. Some OST programs require daily attendance, while others operate on a voluntary drop-in basis. As a result, simply checking a box for "present" or "absent" does not provide enough information to link attendance to outcomes. This article describes why programs should measure attendance and discusses the four indicators of attendance--absolute attendance, intensity of attendance, duration of attendance, and breadth of attendance. Appropriate measurement of attendance is the cornerstone of a thoughtful evaluation to demonstrate effectiveness and inform program improvement. Engaging in a process of self-reflection about individual needs and goals can help programs to decide why and how to collect attendance data and to understand how these data will play a role in improving the program and the lives of youth. (Contains 26 notes.)
Jossey Bass. Available from John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774. Tel: 800-825-7550; Tel: 201-748-6645; Fax: 201-748-6021; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A