Giving students school credit for the learning they do outside the classroom opens new opportunities and paths for young people

Kids have dreams for their futures. Credit-for-learning afterschool programs help them achieve goals while earning credit for graduation. In this video, students and staff from two afterschool programs in Providence, Rhode Island, share how credit-for-learning is helping young people reach their full potential.

Want more? Check out this quick, half-minute video with highlights from credit-for-learning programs.

What does a credit-for-learning program look like? Successful credit-for-learning programs incorporate student voice and choice, often through strong community-school partnerships, areas in which afterschool and summer learning programs excel. From earning STEM credits in a boat-building class to learning the art of filmmaking from a local industry professional, youth are able to dive deeply into their interests and explore potential career paths, while earning credit towards graduation.

Credit-for-Learning: Make Learning Outside of School Count (November 2021)

Creating new and engaging learning opportunities for middle and high school students can help them find their inspiration, gain skills that will benefit them in and outside of the classroom, and play an active role in designing their own learning journey to reach their full potential. This issue brief, complemented by in-depth afterschool program profiles, explores the ways in which afterschool programs can provide older youth with opportunities to explore their interests and participate in activities that also allow them to earn credits toward their graduation requirements. 

The resources in this toolkit will help you advocate for these opportunities with key policymakers at both the state and local level.

I want to get credit-for-learning policy adopted in my community or state

  • Talking points: These talking points will give you an overview of credit-for-learning, help you raise awareness about credit-for-learning programs within your local community, and allow you to engage in discussions with potential funders for this initiative.
  • Building a state campaign: A state campaign for credit-for-learning opportunities can help educate state policymakers and other key individuals about the benefits of these programs, resulting in laws or regulations that allow their implementation. This resource will walk you through elements of creating a successful state campaign.
  • Learn Everywhere Student Participation Maps: These participation maps from the Yes Every Kid Foundation can help parents, students, policymakers, and program providers view participation and eligible policies in their states.

I need to source funding for my credit-for-learning program

  • Potential funding resources
    • Utilizing ESSER funds and other federal funding sources. List of potential federal and state funding sources.

I want to start a credit-for-learning program/expand my program's current offerings

What can credit-for-learning look like in your community?

Do you have a credit-for-learning program? We'd love to learn more about it! Reach out to skidd@afterschoolalliance.org.