The OST Office supports program quality and the development of staff through The Institute for Youth Development (The Institute) located at the University of the District of Columbia. The Institute provides various professional development opportunities, program quality improvement assessments, and technical assistance to OST programs across the District. The programs are committed to improvement in order to connect youth with quality enriching and education experiences beyond school hours.
The OST Commission, OST Office, The Institute, and families throughout the District defined quality as:
For younger learners (ages 5-13):
Quality afterschool and summer programs provide children with activities that bring joy in learning and build character with dedicated staff who engages every child.
For older youth (ages 14 and up):
Quality afterschool and summer programs connect youth with other young people and supportive adults to have fun, engage, and prepare for the future.
Organizations can increase the quality of their programs by building staff competencies. Professional Development Opportunities offered through The Institute vary from two-hour workshops to full day offerings or conferences. Each workshop aligns with the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality which works to create a powerful environment for youth programs that support the development of children and youth.
In order to request workshops, the organization must have a minimum of 10 participants confirmed to participate. Workshops may be scheduled by completing this online form. A full listing and description of workshops can be found here.