Out-of-School Learning

Student learning doesn't end when the school bell rings. Afterschool and other out-of-school learning programs can help students develop skills and knowledge to enhance academic success. SEDL conducts research and evaluation and provides professional development, assistance, and resources to elevate the quality of out-of-school learning.

Professional Development

Our staff provide face-to-face and online professional development to help assess and strengthen the effectiveness of out-of-school learning programs.

Services We Provide

Our out-of-school learning specialists draw on their expertise in school improvement, youth development, adult learning, and research and evaluation to help practitioners deliver high-quality programming.

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“We have learned from our research what a successful afterschool program looks like. Now we have taken that knowledge and translated it into a practitioner's guide that is one of a kind. This approach is a new way of presenting findings that can then be used in the field.” — Catherine Jordan, Former Program Manager, Afterschool, Family, and Community, SEDL
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A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs (2009)

For afterschool leaders who want it all—great programming, a terrific staff, and positive relationships—this guide shows the way. Based on the findings of a 5-year study of more than 50 high-quality afterschool programs, the guide details the practices of successful leaders and provides tools for incorporating the practices into everyday operations. Read more

Significant Work

Illinois Quality Afterschool: The Illinois Quality Afterschool initiative provides technical assistance and professional development to all 21st CCLC grantees in Illinois. It is designed to ensure that grantees in Illinois receive the necessary assistance — including training, tools, resource materials, and expertise — to deliver high-quality afterschool programs that  strengthen student engagement and academic achievement.

National Center for Quality Afterschool: The National Center for Quality Afterschool at SEDL provides research-based resources and professional development to help state education agencies and local practitioners develop high-quality, balanced out-of-school learning programs. Recent work includes providing professional development on the Afterschool Training Toolkit to staff of 21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool programs.

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Resources

Image of publication cover A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs
A Practitioner's Guide: Building and Managing Quality Afterschool Programs is designed to share with you the practices that can help you cover it all—great programming, terrific staff, positive relationships, and plenty of resources to lead and sustain successful afterschool programs.
Image of publication cover A Resource Guide for Planning and Operating Afterschool Programs (3rd Edition)
The purpose of this guide is to provide a description of resources to support afterschool programs.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Training Toolkit: Building Quality Enrichment Activities
This online toolkit provides resources for developing fun, innovative, and academically enriching activities for afterschool and expanded learning programs. The toolkit includes promising practices and sample lessons in the arts, literacy, math, science, technology, and homework help.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Training Toolkit DVD: Short Videos of Promising Practices in Afterschool
These 25 short videos are based on visits to afterschool programs across the country identified through a rigorous process based on data suggesting their afterschool academic practices are positively impacting student learning. The videos provide real-life examples of successful afterschool instruction, and they support the goals of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers by illustrating fun and engaging ways to embed academics in afterschool.
Professional Development Guides for the Afterschool Training Toolkit
For use with the online Afterschool Training Toolkit, these free guides give program directors and site coordinators resources for leading professional development courses on building engaging afterschool activities.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Lesson Plan Database
This online database contains fun and enriching lesson plans for afterschool projects in the arts, literacy, mathematics, science, and technology. Expanded learning practitioners can also submit their favorite lesson plans for consideration.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Literacy Resources
This online database provides access to high-quality literacy resources related to afterschool and expanded learning.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Mathematics Resources
This online database provides access to high-quality mathematics resources related to afterschool and expanded learning.
Image of publication cover Afterschool Curriculum Choice: Technology Resources
This online database provides access to high-quality technology resources related to afterschool and expanded learning.
Image of publication cover AfterWords
AfterWords was a monthly e-newsletter published by the National Center for Quality Afterschool from Jan. 2007 to Dec. 2008. The award-winning newsletter provided up-to-date research on high-quality afterschool and expanded learning practices and methods that instructors and site coordinators could use to implement the practices in their own programs.
Image of publication cover What Works? Common Practices in High Functioning Afterschool Programs: The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning Final Report
In an effort to identify and incorporate quality practices into existing and future afterschool programs, the U.S. Department of Education commissioned the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning (National Partnership) to study high functioning 21st Century Community Learning Center programs. The purpose of this study was to document practices to be used to develop resources and professional development that address issues relating to the establishment and sustainability of afterschool programs, to provide models and indicators of promising practices, and to highlight other descriptive information that local sites can access in planning new afterschool programs or improve existing ones.
Image of publication cover Implementing Randomized Controlled Trial Studies in Afterschool Settings: The State of the Field
SEDL provided analytic and technical support to three large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of a promising literacy curriculum in afterschool settings on student academic achievement. This research brief is the first in a series intended to provide the field with insights culled from this collaborative effort.
Image of publication cover Key Issues and Strategies for Recruitment and Implementation in Large-Scale Randomized Controlled Trial Studies in Afterschool Settings
SEDL provided analytic and technical support to three large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of promising literacy curricula in afterschool settings on student academic achievement. This research brief is the second in a series intended to address some of the key challenges faced during the studies to provide insights to the research and practice community.
Image of publication cover The National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning Randomized Controlled Trial Studies of Promising Afterschool Programs: Summary of Findings
SEDL provided analytic and technical support to three large-scale randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of promising literacy curricula in afterschool settings on student academic achievement. This research brief, the last in a three-part series, presents an overview of the studies and a summary of the implementation and findings across the 2 years of funding.

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