Research and Evaluation

The mission of the NC Center for Afterschool Programs is to influence policy and serve as a catalyst, convener, and clearinghouse for afterschool and expanded learning programs through advocacy, professional development, research and evaluation which will lead to quality improvement.  This page serves as a compilation of existing research and evaluations that provide support for the field of Afterschool, both locally and nationally.

What Does the Research Say About Afterschool?

This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings—from meta-analyses to program-level evaluations—that show that there is demonstrable evidence of the positive impact programs have on students’ academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior.

Afterschool Programs in Demand

This report highlights the key findings of the survey data, addresses the demand for more programs and the persistence of an opportunity gap, and emphasizes the need for a wide range of supports and providers.

Afterschool Programs Inspiring Students with a Connected Learning Approach

This report presents the benefits of the connected learning approach and explores how afterschool can continue to integrate the principles of connected learning into programs.

Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty

This document outlines the role that afterschool programs play in supporting families living in high-poverty areas by answering questions about what afterschool program participation looks like, what the demand for afterschool programs is, what is preventing parents from taking advantage of and children from participating in afterschool programs, and what the afterschool program experience is like for families in communities of concentrated poverty

The Growing Importance of Afterschool in Rural Communities

This report takes a closer look at the afterschool experiences of children and families living in rurual communities and compares these experiences to those of children and families outside of rural communities.

The Value Of Out-of-School Time Programs

To better understand the value and effectiveness of out-of-school-time (OST) programs, RAND researchers examined programs through the lenses of content, dosage (the hours of content provided), and outcomes measured, focusing on rigorous (i.e., experimental or quasi-experimental) large-scale evaluations and meta-analyses. The overall conclusion is that OST programs are generally effective at producing the primary outcomes that would be expected based on their programming.

What Does the Research Say About 21st Century Community Learning Centers?

This fact sheet provides a small sampling of findings from evaluations of the federally-funded Community Learning Centers programs that demonstrate the positive impact programs across the country are having on students’ academics, school-day attendance, engagement in learning, and behavior.

21st CCLC Facts and Figures

This report provides an overview of the 21st Century Community and Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program, highlights its outcomes and benefits, addresses the current state of funding and outlines how you can help support funding for the future.

Building Workforce Skills in Afterschool

This issue brief highlights the ladder of supports afterschool and summer learning programs provide to help students develop the skills and gain the experience that will benefit them in the workforce, from building students’ communication and teamwork skills in elementary school to connecting students to internships and apprenticeships in high school.

Afterschool and Workforce: Opportunities for System-Level Alignment

Skills like communication and critical thinking are among the most desired by employers, but evidence suggests a gap in those skills among young workers. To address this gap, youth development leaders, including those in the afterschool sector, have worked to provide high quality skill-building experiences inside and outside of the classroom. The American Youth Policy Forum released a white paper that delves into the ways in which the workforce sector’s goal of developing a better-prepared and highly skilled workforce is aligned with the mission of the youth development field to prepare young people to succeed.

Full STEM Ahead

This report provides the first national look at access to afterschool STEM programs and parental attitudes towards such programs by outlining survey findings, identifying current challenges, and providing recommendations to improve afterschool STEM programming in the future.

Students Achieve More with Afterschool STEM

Learning in science, technology, engineering and math (the subjects collectively known as STEM) helps students succeed in school and prepares them for careers that are driving global economic growth. Nationwide, states and schools are engaging diverse partners like afterschool programs, libraries, museums, universities, and businesses to ensure that students have access to high-quality STEM education.

Afterschool Learning is a Powerful STEM Solution

This evaluation found that the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs is increasing much faster than overall employment. To fill these jobs, we need to engage youth early to get them excited about STEM and help build the skills they will need for the future.

Career Pathways: Preparing Youth for STEM Futures

This article highlights how young people are developing STEM knowledge and skills that will prepare them to be successful in school today and the workforce tomorrow.