What Is the National Afterschool Matters Fellowship?

The Fellowship is a two-year professional development and leadership training program unique in its national reach and incorporation of technology for ongoing collaboration. It comes from an exciting partnership between two experienced national leaders, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College and the National Writing Project (NWP), with generous funding from the Robert Bowne Foundation.

What Does It Offer?

  • A collaborative process of study, conversation, and engagement within a community of OST professionals in a shared investigation of OST practice, policy, and experiences;
  • Direct, hands-on inquiry-based research, learning, and writing, under the guidance of experienced mentors;
  • Leadership development, designing and delivering training/presentations for peers, administrators, parents, and community members;
  • Product preparation and writing for dissemination, such as briefing papers, workshops, curricula, and articles for professional publication;
  • Two retreats at Wellesley College, led by NIOST and NWP (travel stipend provided);
  • A participation stipend each year.

Who Is It for?

The NASM Fellowship is for mid-career OST, education, or youth development professionals who demonstrate a commitment to the field. NASM fellows are selected by application, and over a two-year process engage in reflection, inquiry and writing activities that position them to inform and contribute to the quality of OST programs, practice, and the broader field.

How Did It Start?

NIOST and NWP launched a national, city-based, Afterschool Matters Practitioner Fellowship in September 2008. These fellowships have taken place in seven different areas around the country. The National Afterschool Matters (NASM) Fellowship is a new model developed by the NIOST and NWP partnership, and began in the fall of 2015.

What Is the Philosophy Behind It?

The NASM Fellowship is informed by the theoretical and philosophical foundation of teacher inquiry, a 30-year movement that profiles teacher knowledge and emphasizes the importance of teachers in improving practice. Research engages professionals in identifying questions and problems in their own work experiences, and then provides the structure for them to examine these problems systematically and reflectively. Professional development does not mean merely learning a few more classroom strategies, but rather becoming more professional on all levels. NASM Fellows are viewed as the agents of reform through professional development. This professional development model provides frequent, ongoing opportunities for practitioners to reflect on practice, engage in inquiry projects based on their own questions and concerns, and write about their work. Those who are well informed and effective in their practice can be successful teachers of other practitioners as well as partners in development and implementation of such practice. The NASM Fellowship engages professionals in the OST and youth development fields in a process of leadership development where they learn to reflect on, study, improve, and assess their work with a view toward improving its quality and impact.

Applications due May 31, 2017.

Fellowship Cohort Two commences Fall 2017.


Main NASMF Page

Apply now!


    "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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