“The Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA) is a validated instrument designed to evaluate the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs. It has been used in community organizations, schools, camps, and other places where youth have fun, work, and learn with adults.
The PQA is an evidence-based tool. Evidence is gathered through observation and interview. Program staff and/or an outside specialist observe program activities and take notes…[This] is used as evidence to score items. Item scores are combined to create an overall program profile.”
–David P. Weikart Center for Program Quality is a division of the Forum for Youth Investment.
Please see their website for more information on these tools: http://www.cypq.org
The Youth Quality Assessment Tools are divided into the Youth version for Grades 4-12 and the School Age version for Children grades K-6. Both overlap in many areas.
For nine years I have served as a Field Consultant for the Weikart Center. In that role, I have trained those who work with youth to use this program assessment to evaluate quality in their program. I have also trained those who wish to become the “outside specialist” or External Assessor. As an external assessor myself, I have observed and scored many youth programs as well as trained many to use this tool for the Nashville After Zone Alliance. Nashvillez.org
I highly recommend this Program Assessment tool for the following reasons:
- It is based on what staff can control.
- Its four areas of Safe Environment, Supportive Environment, Interaction and Engagement measure a well-rounded quality program.
- There are national norms for comparison.
- The online Scores Reporter makes scoring and reports easy.
- Current research is used to improve the tool.
- A Social & Emotional Learning PQA is being rolled out.
If you are interested in acquiring the trainings for Youth Program Assessment tools, please contact me. I will then put you in touch with a David P. Weikart representative or you may reach out directly to http://www.cypq.org.