Quality Improvement Process

Creating an effective program requires programs to continually engage in the quality improvement process.  MOARC utilizes the research-based, Assess, Plan, and Improve model from the Weikart Center for Youth Development (see their model in the image below).

AssessPlanImprove visual


In this circular model, assess is the point during which data is collected about your program.  Data can be a number of things: attendance rosters, satisfaction surveys from families and youth, a self-evaluation, external observation notes, and so much more!   Currently, we work with grant-funded programs to collect data using the following tools:

  • School-Age Walk-Thru Program Quality Assessment
  • Older Youth (including STEM) Program Quality Assessment
  • Surveys (specifically for parents, youth, staff, community partners, and school administrators)

Any program in Missouri can utilize the Weikart Center’s Program Quality Assessments. Access to internal self-assessment resources can be purchased through the Weikart Center website. For more information about external observations by trained, reliable Missouri-based observers, please contact us.


After data is collected, it is an important part of the process to then analyze the data and create a plan for change.  Analyzing is simply an opportunity to ask yourself and your staff: What does this data mean?  What does it tell us about our program?  What should we do in response to this data?  Change is often difficult for many of us, but if you begin with data, then your change is the result of a plan with a purpose.  Currently, we work with grant-funded programs one-on-one during program-level visits and site-level visits to create action plans.  Tools you can use include:


At this point in the process, you’ve gathered information about your program, met with your team to review the information and created a plan for change.  Now, it’s time to DO the plan, which includes training and coaching your staff through the process.  To support programs through improvement, we offer a range of supports, including:

  • Weikart Youth Work Methods –  The workshops in the Youth Work Methods series are aligned with the Program Quality Assessment Tool (both the Walk-Thru and STEM versions). These interactive and hands-on courses provide participants with practical skills that are geared to improve the quality of interactions with youth. Learn more about the Weikart Youth Work Methods trainings!
  • Online Trainings- The Missouri AfterSchool Network offers topic-focused, online trainings year round! These trainings are free and easily accessible, led by the Afterschool Regional Educators (AREs). Topic examples include family engagement, informal and active learning, and behavior management, and more.
  • Other Professional Development Opportunities – There are a number of ongoing professional development opportunities to explore.  We invite you to visit our professional development page to learn more.

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