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Kris ASAP photo
Kristopher Green interned at Asphalt Green in New York City.  —Photo courtesy of ExpandED Schools

Strategies to develop a high-quality apprenticeship experience for high school youth

The After School Apprenticeship Program (ASAP) is a promising after-school strategy that engages teens in experiences that excite them, connects them with career experts, and builds real world skills that prepare them for college and careers.

Info The goals of ASAP are to:

1. Demonstrate an after-school model for high school students that is scalable and aligned with other high school models.

2. Provide high school students with out-of-school-time experiences that keep them engaged and motivate them to stay in school.

3. Provide high school students with out-of-school-time experiences that cultivate their interest in and prepare them for college and careers.

Using the After School Matters (ASM) apprenticeship model, ASAP was developed by ExpandED Schools (formerly TASC), Boston After School & Beyond and the Providence After School Alliance, in partnership with the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS) and with technical support from ASM. Recognizing that high school students vote with their feet and therefore require different strategies, activities and supports than elementary and middle school students, CBASS looked to After School Matters, the nation’s largest and most demonstrably successful apprenticeship program for teens, to inform the development of the ASAP multi-city demonstration project. ASAP was piloted with 40 participants in spring 2008 by ExpandED Schools (formerly TASC), in partnership with two community based organizations, and in 2009, ASAP expanded within New York, added initiatives in Boston and Providence, and with 15 community partners reached more than 220 youth in sports and arts disciplines.

Launched in 2008, ASAP offers teens stipended eight-week apprenticeships where they learn a craft alongside a master practitioner, followed by six-week paid summer internships where students apply the skills that they have acquired working with younger kids as coaches, umpires, lifeguards and arts instructors. ASAP goes beyond job placement to provide teens with leadership training, exposure to careers, and introduces the next generation of leaders to the education and youth development fields.

While it is often difficult to identify quality after-school models for high school youth, we believe that the ASAP initiative is successful in engaging teens and can be easily adapted to other localities. The following results from our three city pilot demonstrate that an apprenticeship strategy not only appeals to teens, but also, has great promise and potential for scalability:

  • ASAP generated high demand, with more than twice as many applicants as available slots.
  • ASAP, with an 89% attendance rate, achieved higher attendance rates than other after-school programs serving similar students.
  • ASAP led to future employment opportunities for participants, with one third of youth receiving offers for continuing employment with community partners and apprenticeships in lifeguarding and baseball umpiring leading to official certification.
  • Staff viewed the program as a success and believed that the extensive training their apprentices received helped prepare them for the summer internship and improved their communication, job readiness and leadership skills.
  • Two-thirds of the participants considered ASAP as a positive turning point in their life and 72% of participants said they would participate in ASAP again.
  • Initiatives collectively leveraged over $300,000 in public and private funds from the Pinkerton Foundation, New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, RCN-BecoCom, Inc. and summer workforce development grants to support the ASAP program.
  • Programs can achieve a replicable ASAP model of less than $4,000 per student, and can tap into existing funding streams.
  • Core elements can be maintained while customizing the model for adaptation in new communities.

We are eager to learn more about jurisdictions that are developing similar apprenticeship programs, and our partners are available to provide targeted technical assistance to support adaptation of the model. If you would like additional information, please contact Emily Morgan, National Policy Coordinator, CBASS, at emorgan [at] or (646) 943-8737.


You can download a toolkit featuring implementation tools and key lessons learned from the ASAP initiative here.


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