ABC's of ELOs

# A B C D E F G H I J L M O P Q R S T U W Y


The Framework for 21st Century Learning consists of core subjects and themes that revolve around three core skills: life and career skills, learning and innovation skills, and information media, and technology skills. These are the skills that students need in order to be successful in the 21st century. Principals of 21st Century skills include authentic learning, mental model building, internal motivation, multi-modal learning, social learning and international learning. The 21st Century skills are also mentioned as “non-cognitive skills,” “social-emotional learning (SEL),” character development, etc.

Approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2011 in Senate Bill 253, the “40-40-20 Goal” is for 40% of adult Oregonians to hold a bachelor’s or advanced degree, 40% to have an associate’s degree or a meaningful postsecondary certificate, and all adult Oregonians to hold a high school diploma or equivalent by the year 2025.


The skills, content, knowledge and abilities that students develop through course work and other educational experiences in school and outside of school.


A process in which certification of competency, authority, or credibility is presented. The accreditation process assures consumers that programs meet a professionally recognized level of quality.


Academic achievement refers to the level of schooling youth have successfully completed and the ability to attain success in their studies. Academic achievement can also mean academic performance and is demonstrated in grades, standardized test scores, college attendance, etc. See also “proficiency.”


The achievement gap refers to the disparity in academic performance between groups of students. The achievement gap is reflected in grades, standardized test scores, course selection, dropout rates, college completion rates and other success and performance measures. See also, “Equity Lens.”


 Programs and activities for 5-18 year-olds that take place when they are not in school, including before/after school, evenings, weekends, summer, and holidays. Also known as Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs).

A field of professionals and volunteers who provide before school, afterschool, summer, and other types of learning and development programs for children and youth ages 5-21 years. AYD programs are supported by schools, public agencies, childcare, for and not-for-profit entities, and community-and faith-based organizations. AYD programs are transformational for many disengaged youth who have not been served in traditional settings, placing priorities on high quality programs and racial equity in AYD field.

A person who is employed in the field of afterschool.

An interactive process between students and instructors that measures a performance or skill, with the goal of offering feedback and fostering growth and improvement. Differs from evaluation in that there is no judgment or grading of the skill.

An asset-based approach sees youth as resources and agents of change, rather than problems to be fixed or passive consumers of services. The asset-based approach identifies factors youth need to achieve healthy adulthood, and sets program goals in terms “building assets” rather than “reducing risks.”

Refers to young people for whom the probability of successfully transitioning to adulthood and achieving economic self-sufficiency is low, based on social and emotional factors such as chronic poverty, drug use, poor school attendance and performance, rate of food insecurity, etc.

Rate of school attendance as calculated by the Oregon Department of Education.


A practice that promotes high quality standards of afterschool programming. It is research based and evaluated to show a positive impact on child and youth outcomes.


Private sector, governmental, and foundation leaders who can provide financial and marketing leadership at the local and state levels in support of afterschool programs. Champions bring resources, influence, and advocacy to bear for programs across the state.

The Oregon Chief Education Office, chaired by the Chief Education Officer, oversees an effort to create a seamless, unified system for investing in and delivering public education from early childhood through high school and college, so that all Oregonians are well prepared for careers in our economy.

What children and/or youth are expected to know and be able to do as a result of participating in an activity, lesson, program, or event.

 A Federal program that provides healthy meals and snacks to children and adults receiving care in group day care homes, emergency shelters, at-risk afterschool care centers, and childcare centers. It plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it affordable for many low-income families.

A methodology for addressing social issues articulated by John Kania and Mark Kramer that involves cooperation and commitment from various sectors, working toward a common goal.

The level of preparation a student needs in order to enroll and succeed without remediation in a credit-bearing course at a post-secondary institution that offers a baccalaureate degree or transfer to a baccalaureate program. Also includes high-quality certificate programs that enables students to enter a career pathway with potential future advancement.

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is an education initiative in the United States that details what K-12 students should know and do in English Language Arts and Mathematics at the end of each grade.

Persons from communities of a particular racial representation, including African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian, Pacific Islander, and mixed races.

 A self-identified collective of individuals, aligned with one or more local jurisdictional boundaries for the purposes of data indicator assessment and tracking.

Grants designated for programs, services, and initiatives in communities.

 A community school has 1) a philosophy of providing integrated services that meet the academic, health, and social needs of children, youth, families, and the community; 2) a physical location where these integrated services are provided; and 3) the group of organizations collaborating to provide the services. Schools Uniting Neighborhoods (SUN) Service System is an example of this type of program in Oregon.

Rate of school completion as calculated by the Oregon Department of Education.

Respecting and protecting the privacy of information related to the children, youth, families, and colleagues in a program.

Refers to learning through interaction with and interpretation of environments. Contextual learning is anchored in the context of real-life situations and problems.

Activities or programs that display enough support over time to allow the participants to build content and skills mastery. Participants also have access to guidance and support to learn about the real-world applications of the skills they are learning and what they must do to acquire these skills.

The children, youth, and families who access afterschool programs and activities in local communities.

Core competencies are knowledge and skills that can be measured to assess effectiveness of a professional.  They can be used to develop professional development plans.  The afterschool field has identified nine core competencies for afterschool programs and professionals.  These competencies are:

  • Activities, Curriculum and Environment
  • Youth Development and Engagement
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Families, Communities and Schools
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition
  • Highly Skilled Personnel

The agreed upon information that professionals in the field of afterschool need to know in order to be effective and provide high quality services. The Core Body of Knowledge outlines the training and education that is essential for on-going professional development by identifying, defining, and setting standards for introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels of knowledge in 10 Core Knowledge Categories:

  • Diversity
  • Families & Community Systems
  • Health, Safety & Nutrition
  • Human Growth & Development
  • Learning Environments & Curriculum
  • Observation & Assessment
  • Personal, Professional & Leadership Development
  • Program Management
  • Special Needs
  • Understanding & Guiding Behavior

Professional development that is presented by a qualified trainer outside of the college system.

The ability to learn and integrate background histories, traditions and learning styles in relationship to race, culture, ethnic background and language preference.  Every individual is rooted in culture.  Components of culture (a) Culture has an influence on the beliefs and behaviors of everyone, (b) Culture is passed from generation to generation, (c) Culture is dynamic and changes according to the contemporary environment (d) Home language is a key component to identity formation.

Creative and art-oriented activities that connect to the cultural experiences, diverse learning styles, and self-expression of all students.

Refers to an ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures and socio-economic backgrounds, particularly in the context of non-profit organizations and public agencies who work with persons from different cultural/ethnic backgrounds. Cultural competence comprises four components: (a) awareness of one’s own cultural worldview, (b) understanding of cultural differences, (c) knowledge of different cultural practices and worldviews, and (d) cross-cultural skills. Developing cultural competence results in an ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people across cultures.

The ability of an organization or program to be effective across cultures, including the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of individuals and families receiving services.

The ability of individuals, groups, or organizations to be responsive in continuously identifying and addressing embedded racial inequities in policies, programs, and practices to ensure alignment to the key beliefs in the State of Oregon Equity Lens; including the ability to honor and respect the beliefs, language, interpersonal styles, and behaviors of diverse service recipients.


The practice of public agencies and schools sharing individual student information with afterschool and youth development programs in order to individualize learning strategies and focus supports to improve youth outcomes.

The ability to effectively and critically navigate, evaluate, and create information using a range of digital technologies.

Number of students enrolled in a given district as calculated by the Oregon Department of Education.

Diversity refers to the wide range of dimensions around which people in our society differ. These dimensions include race, culture, language, gender, religion, class, age, gender identity or expression, and mental/physical ability. Honoring Diversity in afterschool programs means seeing differences as opportunities, not as problems. It involves understanding, respecting, and incorporating the wide range of experiences young people bring to afterschool programs. It means creating inclusive environments where people of all backgrounds feel welcome and valued.

A dropout is a student who withdrew from school and did not graduate or transfer to another school leading to a credential.


The inequitable distribution and allocation of resources needed to address the educational, health, and social service needs of the most vulnerable populations due to disproportionate representation at policy and decision making venues.

The collection of institutions, public and private, that operate within the framework of the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Education Investment Board.

Engagement refers to elements that allow children and youth to develop their interest and motivation over time in creative ways. Engagement can be displayed through a variety of methods (e.g., behavioral, emotional, cognitive, vocational).

Enrichment activities expand on students’ learning in ways that differ from the methods used during the school day. They often are interactive and project-focused. They enhance a student’s education by bringing new concepts to light or by using old concepts in new ways. These activities are fun for the student, but they also impart knowledge.


Includes all persons whom are responsible for and involved with the child/youth and who the child/youth identifies as having a long-term impact on their lives, including but not limited to parents, guardians, custodial siblings, and grandparents.

The shared responsibility in which schools and other community agencies and organizations are committed to reaching out to engage families in meaningful ways, and in which families are committed to actively supporting their children’s learning and development. Effective family engagement reinforces learning in multiple settings — at home, in prekindergarten programs, in school, in afterschool programs, in faith-based institutions, and in the community.

Defined as the limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate or safe foods, or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.

Children of households whose income is at or below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines. Often abbreviated as FRL

Leaders, teachers, assistants and aides who work directly with children and youth to implement program elements and/or activities.


International knowledge, skills, and perspectives that are woven into afterschool activities such as games, reading, and art, or cooking.


Currently, Oregon has several targeted initiatives to serve historically underserved students which includes students of color, students in poverty, students with disabilities, and English language learners.

A child or youth who lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.

Tutoring or assistance with qualified staff in a designated space and time with links to school, teachers, students, and families.


Youth not living in group quarters who have not been enrolled in school for three months and are not in the labor force.

Community level data points that track measures of social progress.

Personal level data points that track measures of individual progress.

Creating learning and experiential opportunities targeted to support identified needs of children and youth in AYD programs.


The rate of law enforcement reports to juvenile departments alleging one or more felony or misdemeanor acts.


Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English can be limited English proficient, or “LEP.”

A variety of materials available for reading, such as books, newspapers, magazines, books on tape etc. in the languages of the children and youth in the program. Also includes program activities that assist children and youth in developing literacy skills.


Refers to a developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable person offers a less experienced or less knowledgeable person guidance, support, and encouragement in order to help them develop in a specified capacity.

A program that successfully implements one or more best practices, meets the standards of a high quality afterschool program, and serves as an example for other programs to learn from.

Enthusiastic hard work and persistence in the face of challenging coursework.


Youth age 16 to 24 who are neither enrolled in school nor participating in the labor force.

A student graduates on-time if he/she receives a high school diploma within four years of starting 9th grade.

Refers to the ways in which race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English proficiency, community wealth, familial situations, or other factors contribute to or perpetuate lower educational aspirations, achievement, and attainment for certain groups of students.

A final product or end result for children and youth, such as academic, social, or health etc.

Refers to the non-school time periods for school-age children and adolescents, during which there is often a need for school-age child care and other types of expanded learning opportunities. You can also use afterschool or expanded learning opportunities.


The agencies, organizations, and other community members who work together to provide financial support and other resources that work towards a common goal.

A philosophical approach to working with young people that includes empowering the youth to be a resource to their communities; working with youth rather than for them; and involving young people in all stages of decision-making.  Goals and outcomes are based on the capacities, strengths, and developmental needs of the young people.

Youth aged 16 to 24 who are at risk of disconnecting from the education system, already disconnected from the education system, or are at risk from being able to transition successfully to the labor force.

The advancement of skills or expertise through continued education.

An action that a program has done that, based on repetition and experience, has shown to provide a positive outcome.

Someone at a high level of supervision.  This person may not necessarily work directly with children and youth, but oversee those who supervise programs directly.


Provides a common set of expectations and standards to define and measure the quality of early learning settings. The Quality Standards promote and support comprehensive facility quality and help ensure that quality practices are having a direct impact on individual children’s progress.

A set of agreed-on benchmarks that after-school programs identify as being important to their success. They also serve as guides to continuous improvement and accountability.

Qualitative evaluation methods yield narrative data – often describing experiences, perceptions, or opinions – that are less easily summarized in numerical form.  Content analysis is the most common way of analyzing qualitative data.  Qualitative data add detail, depth, and meaning to quantitative data.

Quantitative evaluation methods yield numerical data that are typically analyzed using statistical methods.


Prejudicial opinions about particular groups because of their race.

The fair allocation of opportunity and resources, regardless of race and ethnicity, and no more than a fair share of society’s burdens within systems and settings that support rather than undermine positive development. Put into practice, this would mean that all people, including youth and adults of color, have: genuine voice in policy agenda-setting and decision making; real opportunity in the opportunity marketplaces of employment, housing, and education; equal opportunity to build wealth and invest in the future; no disproportionate concentration of environmental hazards, involvement in the juvenile justice system, poor health conditions, and other negative factors; and access to systems and settings that incorporate the features that maximize positive development, as identified by developmental scientists.

Proven by data, children and youth of color are more likely to experience high unemployment, poor educational opportunities, and less access to adequate health care because of the color of their skin.

The discriminatory practice by law enforcement, public agencies, businesses, community groups, and elected officials of targeting individuals for suspicion of crime, of unequal hiring practices, and of educational tracking based on an individual’s race, ethnicity, religion, or national origin.

Research that: (1) employs systematic methods that draw on observation or experiment; (2) involves data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn; (3) relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data; (4) is evaluated using experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest; (5) ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication; (6) has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review.


Afterschool and youth development programs offer children and youth a safe space: a non-judgmental, respectful, and nurturing environment where children and youth can freely share thinking, receive learning, and practice social skills without fears for physical, emotional, and social safety.

This term is primarily used to refer to children from 5-12 years of age.  In Oregon we use the term to include children and youth from 5 – 21 years.

Are collaborations that weave together resources and strategies to enhance caring communities that support all youth and their families and enable success at school and beyond. Comprehensive partnerships represent a promising direction for generating essential interventions to address barriers to learning, enhance healthy development, and strengthen families and neighborhoods.

A combination of structured learning and service to the community that promotes personal development and civic responsibility. Includes structured time for students to plan service projects beforehand, and time for personal reflection after the project is complete.

A combination of structured learning and service to the community that promotes personal development and civic responsibility. Includes structured time for students to plan service projects beforehand, and time for personal reflection after the project is complete.

Leaders, teachers, assistants, and aides who work directly with children and youth to implement program elements and/or activities.

Activities that help children and youth develops friendships and other relationships, as well as how a child handles conflict with peers. Social development activities support how youth learn to interact with others around them. As they develop and perceive their own individuality within their community, they also gain skills to communicate with other people and process their actions.

A process for learning life skills, including how to deal with oneself, others and relationships, and work in an effective manner. In dealing with oneself, SEL helps in recognizing our emotions and learning how to manage those feelings. In dealing with others, SEL helps with developing sympathy and empathy for others, and maintaining positive relationships. SEL also focuses on dealing with a variety of situations in a constructive and ethical manner. SEL is commonly referred as “non-cognitive skills”, “21st Century skills”, character development, etc.

Includes emotional maturity, empathy, interpersonal skills, and verbal and non-verbal communication. Social-Emotional skills are considered an important part of a child’s skills and dispositions, influencing the overall behavior of a person. Social-Emotional Skills are also referred as “non-cognitive skills”, “21st Century skills”, character development, etc.

The statewide assessments administered through the Oregon Department of Education at selected grades, designed to show a student’s progress toward meeting content standards.

Refers to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and is often used in education policy and curriculum content. STEM Education aims to increase interest and competency in STEM related careers. STEAM, with an added “A,” includes Arts in addition to the other fields.

A system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing, ways to perpetuate racial group inequity.

Student-centered learning is an approach to education focusing on the interests of the students, rather than those of others involved in the educational process, such as teachers and administrators.

Students who require accommodations or adaptations because of autism; communication disorders; deaf/blindness; emotional disturbances; orthopedic impairments; other health impairments; specific learning disabilities; traumatic brain injuries; or visual impairments, including blindness.

Subcontractors are a type of partner that provides activities or services under contract.

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) was established to ensure that low-income children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Free meals, that meet Federal nutrition guidelines, are provided to all children 18 years old and under at approved SFSP sites in areas with significant concentrations of low-income children.

High quality academic and enrichment activities that take place in the summer, and that aim to reduce learning loss over the summer months. Often targeted towards low-income students in order to reduce the academic achievement gap between high-income and low-income students.

Under the federal “supplement not supplant” requirement, 21st CCLC grantees may use grant funds only to supplement and to the extent practical, increase the level of funds that would, in the absence of federal funds, be made available from non-federal sources for the education of participating students.

A fiscal model that includes revenue and non-financial resources that meet the financial requirements to operate a program past short term funding streams.  A program is sustainable if it has sufficient resources to operate its activities.

The agencies, organizations, and individuals who administer and staff Afterschool services and programs in local communities.


These activities provide direct assistance with classroom work. Tutors or teachers help students complete their homework, prepare for tests, and work specifically on concepts covered during the school day.


As defined by the Oregon Education Investment Board Equity Lens, students whom societal systems have placed at risk because of their race, ethnicity, English language proficiency, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, differently abled, and geographic location.


The arena of paid and non-paid employment, educational endeavors, and vocational efforts, which over a lifetime become a career.


A program for young people (generally early adolescent through teen) that focuses on assisting their growth and development in one or more domains of development such as physical & motor, social, emotional, character/moral, spiritual, and cognitive.

One of the terms currently used to refer to people who work directly with children and/or youth in a wide range of afterschool programs.

The Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA)® is a validated instrument designed to measure the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs. The Youth PQA is suitable for youth in grades 4 – 12. For children in grades K – 6, the School-Age PQA is developmentally appropriate.

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