Capturing Youth Voice to Assess Learning in Urban Youth Development Programs

Jennifer A. Skuza, Jessica P. Russo


This article describes a two-part evaluation method that was designed to assess the nature of the learning experiences and the learning environments in urban youth programs by capturing the often absent voice of youth. It also presents evaluation results after delivering educational youth programs in an urban setting for one year. While youth across five program sites indicated their programs had strong program planning and delivery that provided intentional learning environments, the most common challenge across programs was a need for improved participation of both youth and adults. The evaluation findings convey the perspectives of young people on their experience as learners in youth programs. Practitioners may use such data in future planning as they employ strategies to improve the overall quality of their programs.

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