Skilled staff are key to the afterschool program quality that produces positive youth outcomes. NAA’s Professional Credentialing System (NAAPCS) recognizes individuals for competencies that contribute to the development of high-quality programs for young people.
To better meet the needs of our increasingly diverse populations of young people and afterschool professionals, NAA is encouraging professional development and learning that focuses on competency rather than seat-time. The NAAPCS is a competency-based system that enables individuals to personalize and demonstrate their learning through evidence. The shift from seat time to competency-based professional learning allows individuals and organizations to focus on the discovery and application of new learning - building the competencies that we know matter - and not simply time spent.
The NAAPCS, provided through the Digital Promise Credentialing Ecosystem, is designed for a broad audience of professionals and leaders with varied interests and competence levels, includes:
Micro-Credential and Credential Awards
A micro-credential is a short, competency-based recognition that allows an individual demonstrate mastery in a particular area. Some micro-credentials may be stacked into full credentials. Micro-credentials are represented by digital badges, shareable visual representations of the achievement, which may be displayed to show specific competency in digital resumes, on social media platforms, in email signatures, and in other creative ways.
Micro-credential Digital Badges for Identified Key Competencies
In overall youth development, leadership, and facilitation specializations such as training, STEM, Literacy, Digital Learning, Social Emotional Learning, Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, and other out-of-school time topic areas. All micro-credential digital badges are aligned with NAA’s Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals and other research-based frameworks.
A Path Of Professional Development
Interested individuals review elements of each micro-credential - Overview, Details, Research & Resources, and the Submission & Evaluation Process. If an individual determines professional development is necessary to build their skills then they participate in PD from the provider of their choice. (note: Many NAA Affiliates provide PD that builds skills and prepares individuals for micro-credential applications. Some PD providers are also listed within the system in the resource section of the micro-credential.)
Once skills are developed, individuals apply for the related micro-credential digital badges and submit evidence through the NAAPCS. Trained assessors review evidence using clear rubrics from the CKCs or related research-based assessments.
Application fees are waived for the first 50 applicants!
INTERESTED IN BEING AN NAA PROFESSIONAL CREDENTIAL ASSESSOR?