University-Community Partnership for an After-School Education

Investigator: Deborah Lowe Vandell

Funding: UC Links

Duration: 2015-2017

Project Description

The UCI Certificate in After-school Education (CASE) began in Fall 2008. CASE is guided by a bioecological perspective on human development. As applied to after-school programming (ASP), this perspective emphasizes the importance of a good fit between the background and stage of children served, and the opportunities and quality of interchanges in the program environment. To achieve a good person-stage-environment fit, education and training opportunities for program providers are deemed critical. To that end, CASE combines classroom instruction and supervised fieldwork across a sequence of courses in the Department of Education.

The goals for UCI students include developing:

  1. basic knowledge of child/adolescent development;
  2. core knowledge in theory, research, and evaluation of ASPs; and
  3. practical skills working with, and developing quality programming for, children and youth in ASPs

CASE maintains a partnership with seven core ASPs:

  • KidWorks (Santa Ana),
  • Project Success (Newport-Mesa Unified)
  • Turtle Rock Community Park (Irvine),
  • UCI Extended Day Center (UCI)
  • Girls Incorporated (Costa Mesa)

The diverse populations of young people served at these sites provide CASE students the opportunity to understand the needs of a variety of people and communities. In turn, CASE provides K-12 youth with a variety of socially and cognitively appropriate activities that include: creative writing; technology using music, art, and computers; book clubs; real world math investigations; tutoring; dance programs; cooking; sports; and multi-cultural learning.