Publications & Resources

The Afterschool Hours: Examining the Relationship Between Afterschool Staff-Based Social Capital and Student Engagement in LA’s BEST

Jan 2007

Denise Huang, Alison Coordt, Deborah La Torre, Seth Leon, Judy Miyoshi, Patricia Perez and Cynthia Peterson

The relationship between afterschool staff and students is very important for encouraging and promoting longevity in school. The primary goal of this study was to examine the connection between perceptions of staff-student relationships and the educational values, future aspirations, and engagement of LA’s BEST students. To this end, we developed a set of research questions which would help us examine the association between strong staff-student relationships—characterized by mutual trust, bonding, and support—and student variables such as academic engagement and future aspirations. To address these evaluation questions, staff and student surveys were piloted and developed by CRESST and widely administered to both afterschool staff and students. Descriptive statistics were computed for the survey data; Hierarchical linear models (HLM) and structural equation models (SEM) were fitted to examine the variables. Afterschool programs have become much more than childcare providers for working parents or safe havens within violent communities. They have blossomed into powerful learning centers for students with lasting and far-reaching effects. These programs possess an asset that gives them the ability and opportunity to influence students to develop a belief system that will ultimately impact their academic and social futures—that asset is social capital.

Huang, D., Coordt, A., La Torre, D., Leon, S., Miyoshi, J., Pérez, P., & Peterson, C. (2007). The afterschool hours: Examining the relationship between afterschool staff-based social capital and student engagement in LA’s BEST (CSE Report 712). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).