Professional Development

PlaceholderMeasuringOSTsuccessDedicated, well-informed staff and administrators are at the core of a successful OST program. Our in-person and virtual, research-based professional development is designed to give you the information and skills needed to build on the success of your OST programs or networks and to improve in areas that need help.

Affordable and Customized.

We work with OST site administrators as well as city/state/regional governments and professional organizations to plan private, in-person or virtual learning sessions. Our trainings can be tailored for groups of anywhere from 10 to 40 participants and are led by one or two of our expert trainers, along with subject matter experts, depending on the needs and size of your group. In-person sessions are held at the location of your choice, anywhere in the U.S. and our interactive virtual supports vary between a single session to a series of events. In addition, we provide online training for our  APAS tools that measure quality and youth outcomes.

We want to be sure that our professional development works for you, which is why we are proud to have the flexibility and creativity to adapt our offerings to meet your needs. Whether it’s a newly developed program, a multi-site organization, or a community, we can work together to ensure that you get exactly what you are looking for from single events to technical assistance, coaching, or ongoing consulation.

Browse our Professional Development Opportunities

  • Getting to Win-Win: Growing Successful Junior Staff/Counselor-in-Training Programs
    • How do we grow the workforce pipeline to our OST programs and make the partnering of interns and supervisors work? Presenters will share experiences and findings from training supervisors and observing over 100 high school interns and their supervisors in action during summer learning programs. We will share strategies for developing intern and supervisor programs and training with an emphasis on quality, commitment, longevity, diversity, and supervision. Downloadable Coaching Guide and Training plans will be shared. Presenters will share and discuss relevant challenges that surface and strategies for program improvement and effectiveness...and getting to the finish line successfully!
  • Power-Up on OST Literacy Skill-Building: Your Kids Will Cheer!
    • This session will help you to Power-Up literacy skill-building in your program to support teachers in classrooms, children, and families. Research overwhelmingly reveals that the early elementary school years are critical for developing foundational literacy skills. There is significant evidence that OST programs are important settings that can provide literacy-rich environments which may help children build their literacy skills. We are sharing evidence and experiences from three years of work with program partners to help get you there. You'll take in tips, advice, plans, and activity guidance to move the needle on literacy skill-building as part of your program.
  • Building Program Quality and Continuous Program Improvement
    • This session focuses on the building blocks of program quality and strategies for identifying challenges in program practices and structure and working towards improvement. We will reference elements of field-tested program quality tools and frameworks to best understand the elements of program quality – what quality means, why it is important, and how to elevate your program work. Discussion topics will include activity planning strategies, approaches for promoting youth engagement and participation, engagement in a Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) process that makes quality improvement an integral part of your work, and connection to youth SEL outcomes.
  • Creating and Enhancing SEL Experiences in OST Programs
    • OST programs provide a unique opportunity for children to engage in social and emotional learning. In addition, your children and staff may be experiencing individual and collective trauma that deserves informed care. This session will help you and your staff understand the fundamentals of this learning and care and weave practices that support both children and staff into your program. Together we can address the roles of emotional and mental health, and developmental needs in creating and sustaining engaging, equitable learning environments for all.
  • Leading for Quality: Leading through Change
    • Leading for quality at your programs inevitably means leading through change. Whether you’re new to a leadership role or have spent decades in your position, taking time to reflect on your experiences and then take action is an important tool in your professional development toolbox. This training is your opportunity to do both. The first half of this training will be focused on you as a leader in out-of-school time. We’ll discuss the differences between leading and managing, and why both are important to high-quality OST programs. We’ll also explore different leadership styles, which one(s) most reflect your personal style, and how that shows up in your work as an OST leader. The second half of this training turns towards those that you are leading – your staff, youth, partners, and families. We’ll discover how individual and group identities impact how people experience change, and then how we as leaders can support others through change. You will leave this training with a better understanding of your leadership role and a framework for leading through changes at your program. A downloadable Coaching Guide and Training plans will be shared.
  • Assessment and Evaluation
    • Data tell the story of your program, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. The APAS System is a research-based, field-tested suite of customizable tools used to measure OST success. Learn more about the APAS System and how NIOST is measuring OST success.
  • System Building
    • Forge a unified system in your state, region, or city that shares data, creates a range of professional development opportunities, partners with youth development and community organizations, and promotes shared resources. Start with a pilot at a few programs and grow from there, we’ll guide you along a customized path towards a stronger network of youth serving providers.

Build on your OST success with our professional development trainings.


    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
Directions to NIOST

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