What are the standards and indicators?

What are the standards and indicators?

The Indiana Afterschool Standards outline the path and specific steps that lead to quality programs, based on research and best practices in the education and youth development field. They are based on the National Afterschool Association Standards. Each of the 38 standards includes 4-5 indicators.

A standard or best practice is a method that is widely accepted as being the effective way of accomplishing a desired outcome.

An indicator is a characteristic of a program standard that is observable and subject to measurement and can be used to describe one or more aspects of the program quality.

The Indiana Afterschool Standards are organized into five categories including:

  • Human Relationships
  • Indoor/Outdoor Environment
  • Programming and Activities
  • Safety, Health, and Nutrition
  • Administration

Power Standards are the most important standards for program quality, health and safety and are highlighted in the self-assessment.

Standard 1 Staff relate to all children and youth in positive ways.
Standard 8  Staff support families’ involvement in the program.
Standard 13  Programs are intentional about supporting and accelerating student learning.
Standard 19  The safety and security of all children and youth are protected.
Standard 27 The program develops and implements a system for promoting continuous quality improvement.
Standard 30 Staff are professionally qualified to work with all children and youth.

Specialty Standards are an addendum to the Indiana Afterschool Standards and define unique elements of program focus in the following areas:

  1. STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
  2. Youth Mentoring
  3. Summer Learning
  4. College and Career Readiness

How do we rate our program quality?

The IN-QPSA uses the following rating scale to help your organization and/or program site(s) demonstrate quality.

4 = Excellent/Exceeds Standard

Exceeds Standard means that the program is exceptional or outstanding in this area because it implements nearly all or all of the Standards-Based Practices for this indicator. The relevant Standards-Based Practices are demonstrated in clearly observable ways.

3 = Good/Meets Standards

Meets Standard means that the program executes many of the Standards-Based Practices. The rater can generate examples of how and when the program executes these specific practices. This is an area the program executes well.

2 = Some Progress Made/Approaching Standard

Approaching Standard means that the program is working toward executing Standards-Based Practices, but is currently only implementing a few of them. The program may benefit from targeted assistance in order to implement more of the Standards-Based Practices.

1 = Must Address and Improve/Standard Not Met

Standard Not Met means that the program is not currently implementing any of the Standards-Based Practices and requires significant support in this area. There is a need for significant support to get on track to address this indicator.

NA = Don’t Know/Not Applicable

This rating indicates that the program is not familiar enough with this indicator to rate performance or is just not sure how to rate it at this time. This rating could also mean that the indicator simply does not apply to the site or program.

Observable Evidence Statements

Use of the following evidence statements may require some revisions to the scoring instructions currently available in the User’s Guide. For example, implementation of MOST of the statements under each indicator might warrant a rating of a “3”, but implementation of ALL of the statements would warrant a rating of “4”. These things will need to be ironed out as we move ahead…


Who can access and view the self-assessment data?

  • Organization can access and view the aggregated organizational report. This is a summary report of the average scores of all program sites. An organization cannot view individual program site reports without permission.
  • Program Site can access and view its individual program site report and action plan.
  • Indiana Afterschool Network can access organization and program data in order trouble-shoot and provide technical support. IAN will not view or share individual data without a specific request by an organization or program. IAN does not provide oversight, validation, or accreditation.
  • External Evaluators, Consultants, and Trainers can access and view data only with the permission of the organization or program.

NEXT: What you can do with the IN-QPSA?