December 2015

December 2015


Webinar Recording – Increasing College & Career Readiness through Afterschool & Competency-Based Learning

To further our goal of college and career readiness for all students, AYPF has been exploring the opportunities that exist at the intersection of afterschool and competency-based learning. Research has demonstrated that high-quality afterschool providers help contribute to a student’s college and career readiness through college and career exploration, social and emotional learning, soft skills development including communication and team-building, various enrichment activities, and more. In recent years, we have also seen the growth of competency-based learning, an approach within classrooms and schools that stresses specific skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and teamwork, and paired with less reliance on seat-time, allows students to advance upon mastering competencies at their own pace. As students learn and develop valuable skills and competencies both in and out of school, it seems natural to explore strategies and policies to support the intersection, interaction, and interrelationship of these two fields that have demonstrated success in preparing students for college and careers.

This webinar served as the release of AYPF’s white paper on current trends and opportunities at the intersection of afterschool and competency-based learning. Our presenters shared promising practices in the realms of badging, internships, work-based learning experiences, and other emerging strategies that bridge afterschool and competency-based learning and discussed opportunities moving forward in policy and practice.

Forum Brief: How Research Evidence Informs Foster Youth Medication Policies

This forum, based on research by Laurel Leslie and Thomas Mackie, Vice President of Research at the American Board of Pediatrics, will focus on how mid-level policymakers in state child welfare agencies acquire, interpret, and use research evidence to develop policies regarding the use of medications for youth in foster care with the goal of improving their life and health outcomes. Responding to the dramatic increase in the use of these medications in recent years, the federal government mandated that all child welfare agencies develop plans to review and manage behavioral health services for youth. Presenters at this forum will explore various state and local responses to the federal charge – particularly in New Jersey’s Department of Children and Families. 

Forum For Thought Blog The Forum for Thought blog is operated by the American Youth Policy Forum, and highlights diverse points of view and information from the intersection of policy, practice and research.

  • How can youth apprenticeships address youth unemployment? Digital Communications Associate George Knowles highlights new data on how apprenticeships can help both youth and industry.
  • Guest blogger Emily Morgan from the Council of State Governments Justice Center explains how it’s essential for foster and opportunity youth to receive critical supports as they “age out” of the system.
  • Without certain supports, first-generation college students can sometimes find the prospect of attending college daunting. Program Associate Jenna Tomasello shares her own experiences as a first-gen college student, and looks at the role that traditional college counseling can play in the first of a three-part blog series.

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Check these out – recommended reading from the AYPF staff:

American Institutes for Research Ready for Work? How Afterschool Programs Can Support Employability Through Social and Emotional Learning Young people need a variety of important skills to be ready to work, including understanding key work habits and having a strong work ethic. But another aspect of employability has gained attention in recent years—the need for strong social and emotional skills in order to be successful in the workplace.

Youth Transitions Funders Group Investing to Improve the Well-Being of Vulnerable Youth and Young Adults: Recommendations for Policy and Practice This publication provides a framework for understanding the well-being of vulnerable youth and highlights the roles families, communities, and public systems can take to promote young people’s well-being. It offers recommendations for youth system leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders to improve policy and practice to support a successful transition to adulthood for vulnerable youth.

ACT Using Dual Enrollment to Improve the Educational Outcomes of High School Students This report offers key recommendations and analysis on how to effectively increase student participation and success in dual enrollment programs. It is the first in a series of steps ACT will take as part of its multiyear commitment to boost the number of students taking dual enrollment courses across the nation.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation The Path Forward: Improving Opportunities for African American Students This report and interactive site offers a portrait of the performance of African-American students in the United States today. How successful have interventions to improve the quality of education been? In what areas are African-American students succeeding? In what areas are they struggling?

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute America’s Best (and Worst) Cities for School Choice Using nearly fifty markers of “choice friendliness,” this report shows which of thirty American cities are the best and worst for school choice. The report examines three factors: political support, policy environment, and quantity and quality of schools available for students.