Measuring OST Success with APAS

kidsrunningschoolHow can you determine if your OST program is working in the ways that you hope it will? Data can be a powerful indicator of what youth are gaining from your programs and what areas can be strengthened.

The Afterschool Program Assessment System (APAS) is a research-based, field-tested suite of three flexible assessment tools that can be used individually or together to enhance program quality and youth outcomes. OST leaders, staff, and researchers use APAS to measure and build on success in these key areas:

  • Program quality
  • Youth engagement
  • Youth outcomes
  • Long-term growth

APAS Tools


APT measures the important aspects of program quality like learning and skill building, program organization and structure, and social environment.

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SAYO-S&T uses staff and teacher surveys to collect data about specific youth outcomes that are aligned with your program goals.

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SAYO-Y collects youth perspectives and opinions in three dimensions: program experiences, future expectations, and sense of competence.

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How does it work?

continuous quality improvement cycleThe APAS System follows a continuous improvement cycle that supports program quality improvement efforts by allowing for focus on small, targeted, gradual changes.

1. Set goals and select outcomes

2. Document and track, collect pre-APAS data

3. Reflect on findings and develop an action plan

4. Make program changes

5. Reassess, collect post-APAS data

Who is it for?

The APAS System works best for well-established programs (1 year or older) that offer a variety of programming to 25 or more youth participants who attend on a regular basis. It is recommended for programs serving youth in grades K-12 where youth attend at least 100 hours across a full school year or intensive session such as a summer learning program or summer camp.

Join OST professionals around the country who are using the APAS System.




    "NIOST has been an anchor for numerous school age care projects we do, including ASQ (After-School Quality) and Links to Learning. They are a nationally respected organization that Pennsylvania has partnered with for over 20 years."

    – Betsy O. Saatman, TA Specialist/SAC Initiatives, Pennsylvania Key

    "NIOST was a core partner in supporting the development of quality improvement systems across the nine cities that participated in The Wallace Foundation Next Generation Afterschool System-Building Initiative. The NIOST team worked well with other technical assistance partners in the initiative, always willing to pitch in and collaborate with others to make our professional learning community meetings a team effort. I truly hope the Foundation has an opportunity to partner with them in the future."

    – Priscilla M. Little, Initiative Manager, The Wallace Foundation


    "NIOST has been a leader in the out-of-school time field for as long as I can remember, and I have relied on their research, tools, and advice to improve my practice throughout my career. Their staff members are good partners and good listeners, and their influence across the country is palpable."

    – Jane Quinn, Vice President and Director of National Center for Community Schools, Children's Aid Society

    "Georgia Hall, Ellen Gannett, and the NIOST team have been instrumental in driving the healthy afterschool movement. Their dedication to quality practice, informed policy, and collective impact is instrumental in our effort to create healthier communities."

    – Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

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The National Institute on Out-of-School Time

A program of the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

Wellesley Centers for Women
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203 USA
Directions to NIOST

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