Resources

NAA is pleased to offer the afterschool professional a wide range of tools and downloads designed to both grow your career and strengthen your program.


Core Knowledge and Competencies

 

The Core Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Out-of-School Time Professionals (CKSCs) outline what professionals who  work with and for youth need to know, show,  and grow to positively impact young people and the field. The CKSCs can be used across organizations,  programs, and funding streams to define what it  takes to work with and for children and youth. They  can also guide the development of compensation  structures, inclusive and culturally responsive hiring  practices, professional development (PD) and PD  plans, career pathways, credentials and qualifications,  and mechanisms for demonstrating and assessing  practitioner’s skills.

pdf DOWNLOAD CORE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, & COMPETENCIES FOR OST PROFESSIONALS (563 KB)

The CKSCs research-based framework describes the  dispositions, knowledge, skills, and competencies  individuals need to provide high-quality OST  programming, support the learning and development  of children and youth, and advance equity. Dispositions are a set of attitudes, and knowledge  reflects information and understanding, while skills  and competencies are concrete, achievable, and  establish standards of practice that strengthen  individual skills and the overall profession.

The CKSCs are grouped into ten content areas. These  content areas are categories of knowledge that are  widely used in the field and based on research. 

  1. CHILD/YOUTH GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT
  2. LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND CURRICULUM
  3. CHILD/YOUTH OBSERVATION AND ASSESSMENT
  4. RELATIONSHIPS AND INTERACTIONS WITH CHILDREN AND YOUTH
  5. YOUTH ENGAGEMENT, VOICE, AND CHOICE
  6. EQUITY AND INCLUSION
  7. FAMILY, SCHOOL, AND COMMUNITY RELATIONSHIPS
  8. SAFETY AND WELLNESS
  9. PROGRAM PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
  10. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND LEADERSHIP

Each of the content areas includes:

RATIONALE This section explains why each content  area is important in the OST professional’s practice.

SKILLS & COMPETENCIES Professional practice  develops over time with additional work experience  and learning. In recognition of this progression, each  content area has skills and competencies grouped  into three categories:

  1. Identify - knowledge gained through on-the-job training, mentoring, coaching, and other formal and informal learning experiences, with the professional  building an understanding of concepts and content.
  2. Apply - skills demonstrated through action with the professional’s goal to know and subsequently show concepts and content in practice.
  3. Amplify - actions taken with the professional’s goal to enhance other’s understanding of concepts and content and subsequently influence policies, practice,  PD, and funding.