Investments = Results

We are kicking off the new year by thinking about planning for professional development in 2018. This month we'll be discussing the who, what, why, and how of professional development. We'll start this week by examining "Why" out-of-school programs should invest in staff development.

The equation is actually pretty simple. Staff development benefits all the stakeholders in your program. As staff develop their skills, they are able to provide better program quality, which leads to better outcomes for youth. Which is what parents and teachers value about your program. "Excellent afterschool programs depend largely on the talents and abilities of staff and leaders" (Davis, Lingo, and Woodruff, S., 2013).

staff development equation for out-of-school time programs

All of this starts with effective professional development. What makes professional development effective?

  1. Effective professional development starts with a plan. You cannot be effective by providing haphazard, disconnected experiences.
  2. Effective professional development has a purpose and logic behind it. It is focused on objectives that meet the needs of your program.
  3. Effective professional development engages staff as adult learners who want to do their job well.

Well planned professional development will impact staff comfort with science content, their capacity to identify and deliver STEM programming, and staff retention by OST programs (Afterschool Alliance, 2010). Well trained staff deliver a program that parents and teachers value. Trained staff are happier in their work and stay longer. Youth taught by trained staff are engaged and learning.

Did you know that Click2Science can create a customized professional development plan for your program that focuses on your program's unique needs and strengths? Learn more about the results of the Click2Science model of professional development on our research and evaluation page


Rebecca Escott's picture
As a partner and supporter of the Click2Science program, I LOVED reading this blog about intentional professional development plans.  As programs are making their plans, remember the companion Better Kid Care Online learning modules are available 24/7 to complement the in-person coaching and training provided by program staff using Click2Science resources.  It's been exciting to see how OST programs are transforming their camps, curriculum, and daily experiences once they develop a confidence and comfort with facilitating STEM learning!
Saundra Frerichs's picture
Thanks for the comment, Rebecca.  Our next blog focuses on developing your professional development plan, and the self-directed learning opportunites offered by Bettter Kid Care are part of our model of professional development.  Don't miss the Blog on developing that PD plan!