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Building on the success of the first two years of the ASAP initiative, Boston, New York and Providence are now looking to broaden apprenticeship opportunities for youth and connect ASAP with current high school reform efforts.

Credit-bearing opportunities

Informed by the experiences of the PlusTime initiative in New Hampshire, which provides opportunities for students to earn high school credit for learning that occurs outside the traditional classroom, TASC, Boston Beyond and PASA are examining the potential of integrating a credit-bearing component to strengthen in-school and out-of-school alignment and promote sustainability of the model.

In New York City, TASC is consulting with the NYC Department of Education and other experts from the fields of after-school and high school education to explore the feasibility of adding a credit-bearing component to ASAP. Building on its experience with after-school science programming and informed by ASM’s Science37 program, which offers science apprenticeship opportunities that build on the school day, TASC identified Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as a potential content area for credit-bearing work. However, access to laboratories and the current requirement for certified instructors pose barriers to developing a credit-bearing apprenticeship model.

Professional certification

Given the enthusiasm for certification opportunities connected to the lifeguarding and baseball umpiring apprenticeships this year, Boston, New York and Providence are exploring additional fields where licenses are issued to link apprentices with additional jobs opportunities. Initiatives are looking to ASM, which has several apprenticeships leading to certification, including soccer officiating where apprentices have the opportunity to gain official "E" License and Grade 8 Referee certification from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF).

Initiative plans for 2010:

>> TASC is continuing its partnerships with Asphalt Green, Henry Street Settlement, and Studio in a School to offer sports, arts and lifeguarding apprenticeships to high school youth across the city. Further, with a Legislative Appropriation from Representative Clarke, TASC is developing an ASAP program in the 11th Congressional District in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to partnering with community-based organizations, TASC is also looking to local museums and other cultural institutions to offer apprenticeships that are tailored to the community and build on local resources.

>> Boston After School & Beyond is continuing its baseball umpiring apprenticeship program in 2010, in partnership with Boston Centers for Youth and Families. Approximately 20 teens will serve as umpires in Boston’s city-wide baseball league and will have the opportunity to receive official umpiring certification as part of the summer internship experience. Boston Beyond and BCYF have also developed an instructional assistant position for up to five high school students who completed the ASAP program last year and want to serve as mentors to the new apprentices.

>> Currently, PASA and its city and community partners are building an expanded learning system for high school aged youth in Providence. Key elements of the initiative include a virtual and physical “HUB” that will connect youth with community resources, including social services, after-school and employment opportunities, as well as a transportation system that will improve access for young people. PASA is exploring ways to integrate ASAP into its high school strategy and is seeking additional funds to continue the program.

>> CBASS is continuing our work to inform policy and advocate for increased federal investments in high school after-school programming, promoting ASAP as an example of a successful model for engaging teens.