Imagine an after-school program where children are engrossed in puzzles and high-fives while learning math. Engineering is taught with plastic spoon baseball.  An environment where children learning English as a second language have a safe place to practice that respects their cultural identity through the utilization of Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Four new courses have been developed to foster these environments in After School and Out-of-School (ASOST) programs, in a collaboration between UMass Boston’s Early Education and Care (EEC) department and BOSTnet — a foremost provider of online and face-to-face training for the ASOST field in MA. ASOST, the informal care that children receive before and after school, is an important part of the educational system that reinforces the skills children are learning in public schools.

Group leaders and administrators in ASOST programs may take the courses to develop the skills they need to enhance their programming. Each course is tuition-free and can be delivered as Continuing Education Units (CEUs), professional development hours or self-study. Learners can self-pace through course materials while using a checklist to track and document their learning. The courses are available on UMass Boston’s OpenCourseWare collection, a free and open educational resource for faculty, students, and self-learners worldwide. Two of the courses are geared toward group leaders and two for administrators, to support English Language Development (ELD) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Mary Lu Love from the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) at UMass Boston provided the scope of work to develop the courses. Elise Scott and Susan Vinovrski from BOSTnet aligned the content with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks that are used in the public schools, best practices, and core strategies for the ASOST environment, as well as key items required in the Quality Rating Improvement System assessments such as Assessment of Program Practices Tool and School Age Environmental Rating Scale.

Click on the titles below to view the courses.

For group leaders:
Bridges to STEM Learning for Grades K-8 
Language Development for Grades K-8

For administrators:
Developing a STEM-Empowered Program  
Embracing Diversity and English Language in Your Program

Learners interested in earning CEU should contact BOSTnet.