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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Evaluating Out-of-School Time Program Quality by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

Characterizing and Measuring Participation in Out-of-School Time Programs

Sandra Simpkins Chaput from HFRP summarizes recent developmental research examining dimensions of participation in out-of-school activities.

Theory & Practice

Attracting and Sustaining Youth Participation in After School Programs

Sherri Lauver from HFRP proposes a set of strategies for recruiting and retaining youth participation in out-of-school time programs.


Getting Inside the “Black Box” to Measure Program Quality

Nicole Yohalem, Karen Pittman, and Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom from the Forum for Youth Investment provide an overview of program quality assessment tools.

Beyond Basic Training

Life on the Ground: Balancing Youth Ownership With Adult Input

Kathrin Walker and Reed Larson from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign explore the dilemmas adult leaders in youth programs face and how they address them to improve program quality.

Beyond Basic Training

Building Quality in Out-of-School Time in the United Kingdom

Ian Fordham, Pam Boyd, and Tony Apicella of ContinYou, a leading youth development organization in the United Kingdom, describe their efforts to improve quality in OST programming nationwide.

Beyond Basic Training

Promoting Quality Out-of-School Time Programs Through Professional Development

Suzanne Bouffard from HFRP discusses how staff development initiatives and evaluations contribute to quality youth programming.

Beyond Basic Training

Youth Civic Engagement: Emerging Theory and Practice

Margaret Post from HFRP examines the emerging practice of youth civic engagement and describes current efforts to promote quality in this area.

Beyond Basic Training

Out-of-School Time Opportunities for Immigrant Youth

Erin Harris from HFRP discusses the importance of out-of-school time programs for immigrant youth.

Ask the Expert

Designing Quality Assessment Tools in Early Childhood Education and Youth Development

Ted Jurkiewicz and Charles Hohmann from the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation describe the design of High/Scope's new Youth Program Quality Assessment tool.

Ask the Expert

Learning From Organizations That Learn

Four experts in the out-of-school time field discuss their experiences using evaluation for program improvement.

Ask the Expert

A Recipe for Quality Out-of-School Time Programs

Priscilla Little from HFRP asks eight after school experts to identity the single ingredient essential to ensuring high quality OST programs.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Howard Bloom & Stephen Raudenbush

Howard Bloom and Stephen Raudenbush talk about using randomized trials to assess youth programming.

Promising Practices

Extracting Evaluation Lessons From Four Recent Out-of-School Time Program Evaluations

Thomas J. Kane from the University of California, Los Angeles, distills lessons for future research from his review of four recent after school program evaluations.

Promising Practices

Promising Approaches to Evaluating Out-of-School Time Program Quality

Christopher Wimer from HFRP describes three promising methodological approaches to studying program quality in the OST arena.

Promising Practices

Meaningful Assessment and Continuous Improvement: Using the Foundations Quality Assurance System

Claudia Weisburd and Rhe McLaughlin of Foundations, Inc., describe their Quality Assurance System for program improvement.

Promising Practices

Using Technology to Link Evaluation and Funding: San Francisco’s Contract Management System

Tajel Shah and Nani Coloretti of the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families describe a web-based contract management system for youth programs.

Promising Practices

Program Evaluation Across the Nation Using Technology

Sarah Levin Martin, currently with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes an innovative, cost-effective way to collect and report evaluation data for program quality improvement.

Evaluations to Watch

The New 3Rs — Reading, Resilience, and Relationships in Afterschool Programs

Gil Noam describes an evaluation to discover how well the New 3Rs, a proven school-based reading and risk prevention intervention, works in after school contexts.

Evaluations to Watch

Quality Youth Interventions Through Community Assessment: Evaluation of the School Success Profile Intervention Package

Gary L. Bowen from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill describes the evaluation of an intervention system that uses assessment to design and implement high quality individualized youth services.

Evaluations to Watch

Investigating Quality: The Study of Promising After-School Programs

Deborah Lowe Vandell and Elizabeth R. Reisner discuss whether and how participation in high quality after school programs matters for youth outcomes.

Evaluations to Watch

Bringing Yourself to Work: Assessing the Impact of Social-Emotional Learning for After School Staff

Michelle Seligson describes a professional development initiative for after school practitioners.

Evaluations to Watch

Assessing the How of Outcomes in Out-of-School Time: Learning From MARS

John Zuman and Beth Miller present an overview of the Massachusetts Afterschool Research Study, a statewide investigation into how after school programs constitute quality contexts for youth.

New & Noteworthy

An annotated list of organizations and initiatives related to the issue's theme of Evaluating Out-of-School Time Program Quality.

New & Noteworthy: Expanded Web Only Version

This web only version of the New & Noteworthy section features an expanded annotated list of organizations and initiatives related to the issue's theme of Evaluating Out-of-School Time Program Quality.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project, edited by Priscilla Little, managing editor, and produced by Stacey Miller, publications/communications manager and Tezeta Tulloch, publications assistant. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission, email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the William T. Grant Foundation, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders.

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project