Research has shown that the quality of a program depends on the quality of the staff members. It is for this reason that the Youth Development Credential was created. As a candidate works toward the credential, they will embark on a rewarding professional experience as they:
- have the opportunity to reflect on their work with youth
- improve their knowledge and skills that are satisfying for themselves and beneficial for the youth in their care
- grow as a professional in a recognized field that continues to offer career opportunities
- earn a professional credential from a recognized statewide professional organization for school-age youth
How do I earn my credential?
1. Order the Application and Assessment Packet ($25.00) by emailing email@example.com. Due to changes in our system, you will be sent an invoice that you may pay by credit card or check. If you have a purchase order, you will be prompted to enter that information.
2. Secure the help of a YDC Advisor to mentor you through the assessment process. Be sure to review the advisor’s certification, and if you are unable to locate an advisor contact MASN. Candidates and advisors should discuss and agree on the fee that will be paid to the advisor prior to starting the process.
3. Complete the required 120 clock hours of training. (1 college credit hr = 15 clock hrs.) Training Log with Sample
4. Create a professional resource portfolio. Professional portfolio dividers * See below if doing a “distance assessment”.
5. Have parents complete an opinion questionnaire. Family Questionnaires Summary Sheet
6. Have the YDC Observation Instrument be completed by your advisor. Practice Observation Booklet (Must use and submit the original document sent with the Assessment Packet.)
7. Submit all documentation to MASN.
8. Request to schedule the Youth Development studies review (written examination) and oral interview ($325) by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There are two options for the assessment portion of the process – in person and online. (Please see the online assessment information below.)
What are the eligibility requirements?
To be eligible to apply for the Youth Development Credential, the candidate must meet the following requirements:
- Be 18 years old or older
- Hold a high school diploma or GED
- Have 480 hours of experience working with school-age youth within the past 5 years
- Have 120 clock hours of formal school-age education and/or training within the past 5 years
What are the Competency Goals in which I must be proficient?
1. Establish and maintain a safe, healthy learning environment.
2. Advance physical and intellectual competence.
3. Support social and emotional development and provide positive guidance.
4. Establish positive and productive relationships with families.
5. Ensure a well-run, purposeful program responsive to participant needs.
6. Maintain a commitment to professionalism.
Note: The six competency goals contain thirteen functional areas.
What are the training requirements?
Candidates must document a total of 120 clock hours, with no fewer than 10 hours in specified content areas. Clock hours can be earned in a wide variety of ways, including but not limited to college classes, workshops granting CEUs, Resource & Referral Agencies, and other approved agency training.
Since training often covers content that relates to more than one functional area, the training requirements are categorized into eight commonly used training content areas. Completing the minimum number of training hours in each content area will ensure a broad base of content knowledge leading to better practice in the thirteen functional areas.
1. Planning a safe, healthy environment to invite learning.
2. Steps to advance children’s physical and intellectual development.
3. Positive ways to support children’s social and emotional development.
4. Strategies to establish productive relationships with families.
5. Strategies to manage an effective program operation.
6. Maintaining a commitment to professionalism.
7. Observing and recording children’s behavior.
8. Principles of child growth and development.
Candidates may accumulate the hours from a single training provider or from a combination of providers. Each agency/organization must provide verification of the candidate’s education in the form of a transcript certificate or letter. All of the training hours must be completed under the auspices of an agency or organization with expertise in school-age care and/or teacher preparation.
* What if I would like to take the assessments online?
In order to meet the needs of a diverse workforce in programs in remote locations, distance (online) assessment is available. If you are using the distance assessment process, there are a few additional steps for you and your advisor to complete.
- You will still create a Professional Resource Portfolio (step 4 above), and your advisor will review and submit the Advisor Professional Resource File Evaluation for Distance Assessment document.
- After all materials have been received, you will be given a login/password to complete the Youth Development Studies Review (written examination) and set up a conference call to complete the oral interview (step 8 above).
What if I need special accommodations?
Candidates may request special accommodations if they feel they have conditions that would challenge them in the completion of the YDC as it is required. The YDC Special Accommodations Request Form must be submitted with official medical documentation at least one month prior to submitting the application for assessment. Candidates will be notified whether the request is granted or denied.