Scholars at the Wellesley Centers for Women have studied the ability of public schools to prepare young children for lifelong learning and have shaped local, state, and federal policies. Our groundbreaking research, policy development, and training programs set the standards for out-of-school time, and continue to inform the field in new areas, including physical activity programming.
State Monitoring Activities with Tracking, Synthesis and Analysis, and Technical Assistance in Implementing a Successful State
Ongoing Since 2017
Principal Investigator: Georgia Hall, Ph.D.
In partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE), and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE), researchers at American Institutes for Research and theNational Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at the Wellesley Centers for Women are undertaking a study that explores how high-quality out-of-school time (OST) programs can promote participants’ literacy development and the role social and emotional learning (SEL) may play in supporting the development of literacy-related skills.
The primary objective of this project is to manage the continuation of the well established Afterschool Matters Initiative, which includes several publications and a Research Grantee program, in addition to planning for the national expansion of a related action/research writing initiative.
APAS is an assessment system that helps programs link quality and youth outcomes together in a comprehensive and integrated fashion. It was developed to help address the accountability challenge that faces afterschool programs.
This study will test the Afterschool Program Practices Tool's (APT) stability and accuracy as a measure of afterschool program quality.
This project provides a comprehensive picture of the quality of Boston's Early Care and Education programs for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers, in both centers and family child care homes.
NIOST will provide expertise on OST field-building, research support, and technical assistance delivery of the Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Campaign.
The CLLIP Research and Evaluation Project is designed to assess the impact of a literacy intervention for low-income poor performing school districts in the state of Ohio.
Project identifying ways to improve the regional and statewide efficiency of the distribution of state supported child care, examining the needs of eligible families in the context of the availability of the support, and considering the balance of quality early education and work supports
The goal of this project is to produce a reliable and valid measure of teachers’ educational beliefs and knowledge of child development and ECE pedagogy that can be used to validate the effectiveness of professional development programs and interventions, as well as, to provide valuable feedback in applied settings regarding ECE teachers’ professional development needs and classroom appropriateness.
NIOST develops a STEM digital badge to connect student assessments with CitySpan.
The Work, Families & Children research group (WFC) at the Wellesley Centers for Women serves as a research partner to James Bell Associates in an evaluation of the Children’s Investment Fund’s Early Education and Out-of-School Time (EEOST) Capital Grant Program in Massachusetts.
Provide site visits to programs seeking MA-QRIS Levels 3 and 4.
Ongoing since: 2018
Open Circle is adapting its elementary school social and emotional learning curricula and interactive and experiential professional development for integration into Grades 5- 6 at Equity Lab Charter School during the 2018-2019 school year, the first step toward an expansion into middle school.
NIOST collaborates with BridgeUp: STEM to study the delivery of Computational Science (CS) and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences in the context of the education, science, and research resources of the AMNH to a cohort of New York City high school girls.
Ongoing since 2014
This project data aims to demonstrate that full participation in federal meal programs results in kids eating three meals a day.
Peggy McIntosh offers presentations, workshops, and consulting on: white privilege and privilege systems in general, diversifying organizational thinking, gender-fair and multicultural curricula, diversifying teaching methods, and feelings of fraudulence.
Funding will support refining plans for growing and scaling Open Circle to serve large school districts across the U.S.
Pilot survey to assess uptake of the NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards
This group of inter-related research projects seeks to understand the state of early care and education in Massachusetts and make recommendations for quality outcomes.
The Massachusetts QRIS Validation Study, led by Joanne Roberts, Ph.D., in collaboration with UMass Donahue Institute, involved the collection of quality observations and child assessments in ECE programs participating in the QRIS system.
This is a study of the relation between fathers’ high levels of involvement in childrearing and various family outcomes: quality of the marriage, the mother's report of social support, the quality of the mother-child relationship and of the father-child relationship, and the quality of family interactions when the children are in elementary school.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) in partnership with Education Development Center, Inc., the National Summer Learning Association, and Walter R. McDonald Associates will form and operate the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE)
NIOST supports the healthy development of children, families, and communities, and advances the OST field through our research, training, advocacy, and tools.
The National SEED ProjectSM is a peer-led professional development program that creates conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward greater equity and diversity.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time will lead research aspects in Career Pathway's San Diego and Long Beach sites.
Georgia Hall and Jean Wiecha edit a special issue of New Directions or Youth Development (NDYD) to promote awareness on how OST programs reduce the risk of obesity and chronic disease.
NIOST will evaluate a new online learning program.
Open Circle provides evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and professional development for elementary schools.
This research and evaluation study examines process outcomes and program impact for a Kindergarten to Grade 5 implementation project in 23 elementary schools within a large urban school district.
Ongoing since: 2018
Open Circle is taking steps to adapt its elementary school social and emotional learning curricula and professional development for integration into middle schools.
Implementation and dissemination of physical activity program for out-of-school time
This project will focus on the BOKS program, which aims to improve kids' academic performance and overall health using physical activity to jump start children's brains in the morning.
This project will analyze and prepare a report on credentialing and certification models related to professional development learning in afterschool staff and administration.
This research study uses quantitative and qualitative data collection methods and multiple regression modeling to examine healthy eating and physical activity opportunities in a national sample of out-of-school time programs.
The goal of this collaborative project is to invite public discourse about overcoming barriers to educational equity for girls of color in order to affect educational policy and practice. The specific goal of the project was to create a multi-media strategy in two phases in order to stimulate conversation almongst multiple constituencies.
This study evaluates the Regular AfterZone and AfterZone Summer Scholars programs.
Open Circle receives grant to expand service reach in school districts
NIOST will assist with the implementation of a new afterschool program.
Ongoing since 2018
Project Director: LaShawnda Lindsay-Dennis, Ph.D.
Funders: Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation and the Remmer Family Foundation, Inc.
This culturally responsive STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) program seeks to increase underserved girls' interest and confidence in science and math.
This project will evaluate how much high school seniors know about the labor market impacts related to their study choices and how additional information affects their application process and choices among alternative study places.
Ongoing since: 2018
Lindsay-Dennis is serving as an external evaluator to the Wellesley College McNair Scholars Program, which employs evidence-based practices to increase the number and proportion of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority women who are prepared for rigorous graduate study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
This long-term program brings together research on employment, work and family issues, and child care as a support for working families.
Ongoing since 1985
Study of working conditions and impact on health
Working Conditions and Health is a group of inter-related research projects with a common interest in understanding the relation of working conditions to the physical and mental health of workers.
The Wellesley Centers for Women received funding from the Foundation for MetroWest to conduct an evaluation of Youth In Philanthropy, a program designed to give youth the knowledge to become leaders in our community by learning the importance of philanthropy.
The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) conducted a research study on After-School Gets Moving, a physical activity training resource tool for out-of-school time (OST) professionals.
The goal of this study is to enhance rater accuracy of the Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT).
Funded by William T. Grant Foundation in 2013-2015, the purpose of Afterschool Program Practices Tool (APT) II Study was to develop and test drive a multi-pronged online reliability training designed to improve rating accuracy for youth program observations.
This study was created to better understand how children spend their after-school time, and how it may be best used to improve growth and learning. The study was stratified by ethnicity and took into account gender and social class.
The Work, Families & Children team has conducted a series of studies for the Boston Public Schools (BPS), including the BPS K1 and K2 Programs Needs Assessment, and a 2007-08 follow-up study.
Using a randomized control design, Michelle Porche will conduct an evaluation of the Boston Ready professional development intervention to test its effectiveness.
During this phase of work, National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) will design and develop two additional measurement tools—a youth survey (SAYO-Y) and a family survey (SAYO-F). These two tools will be used by Massachusetts Department of Education grantees to better understand youth needs, their program experiences and help pinpoint areas where youth may benefit from additional support.
WCW researchers participated in a study, led by Dr. Valora Washington and under the auspices of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Children’s Foundation, to evaluate the child care voucher system in Massachusetts.
This project sought to improve the availability and preservation of out-of-school time programming and to disseminate information on recruiting, training, development, and finance.
This project connected high-level leaders from different cities and states to educate them on the dynamic landscape of after-school programs. in hopes of directing the influence, funding, and high expectations of these leaders towards a "critical mass" of associated initiatives across the country.
This project led to the development of a teacher's manual that links curriculum on bullying and harassment directly to national education standards, based on Bullyproof curriculum.
One of the major developmental tasks of preschoolers is to develop empathy; this project researches and designs curriculum in order better understand and cultivate empathy at a young and critical age.
This project seeks to help scientific researchers better communicate their findings on gender as it relates to science, technology, engineering and math to key audiences: media, advocates, policy makers, public.
This study followed a random sample of hundreds of children and 100 child care centers in order to examine links between family income, the quality and cost of child-care, and infant language and social development.
The project combines out-of-school time (OST) professional advisors, the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), and NASA experts from across the agency to use research-based strategies to develop afterschool activity guides adapted from NASA Planetary Science formal education curricula.
This project was centered around the question of research, funding, and results: was it possible to implement gender equity in a school over just three years?
This teaching guide was developed after scholars attended the 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, and includes discussion of human rights, ethnic conflict, and biodiversity.
This project prepared a report to describe the prevalent health practices and concerns in early care and education programs in Massachusetts, as part of a larger project of the Schott Fellowship in Early Care and Education.
This project was an evaluation of an all-girls program that provides technology resources, female mentors, and a learning environment to improve girls' attitudes toward and understanding of computers.
The aim of this three-year initiative is to expand the influence of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity), to make its model of schooling inclusiveness for all children and families, including its innovative professional development practices, more widely known and available to educators in the United States.
This study examines the varying quality of child care in Massachusetts and across the nation, and its effect on children's performance and family functioning.
This was an evaluation project of Learning Circles, a group mentoring program designed to provide opportunities for girls and adult mentors to meet regularly to discuss issues relevant to their lives. The results showed that girls enjoyed the opportunity for discussing issues relevant to their lives with women who were attentive.
This study sought to examine full-day, year round child care for preschool-age children in Maine to better illuminate links between the quality and the costs of early child care in Maine.
This project sought to identify the most successful elements of afterschool programs in Massachusetts; including staff, policy making, funding, and program/activity participation.
The Capacity Study describes the current early education and care (EEC) workforce in Massachusetts and evaluates the capacity of the State’s higher education system to meet the increased demand for a qualified workforce in early education and care.
The goal of the Massachusetts Cost and Quality Study was to examine full-day, year-round, community-based center care for preschool-age children (2.9 years to 5 years) and for infants and toddlers, pre-k classrooms in the public schools and family child care programs.
Researchers focus on aspects of school readiness, including social and language development, along with other data such as hours in care, so as to better understand the ways in which a child's growth is influenced by situational factors.
This was an evaluation of a national project that fosters more positive attitudes and stronger affiliations among middle school teachers, students, and parents within school communities.
This study examined the ways in which youth participate in the League: how do they experience the democratic ideals of a debate program? How do they come to consider and participate in democracy?
This study, funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, seeks to determine the relationship between children's early experiences and their developmental outcomes.
This was an evaluation of materials/programs to help educators teach spatial relations and geometry through the use of storytelling, and its benefits for girls and boys.
The FasTracKids Research Study is a 19-month international study aimed at examining the link between participation in FasTracKids enrichment programs and child outcomes (children 4 and 5 years old). FasTracKids Enrichment Centers offer a variety of classes and activities designed to promote early learning, develop creative thinking and problem solving, build verbal communication, promote leadership and personal growth, and encourage a lifelong love of learning.
The primary goal of the Out of Harm's Way (OHW) Initiative is to address the escalating violence in a subset of middle schools in the Boston Public Schools by offering comprehensive services and care, and increasing the participation of students in after school programming. Wellesley Centers for Women and the National Institute on Out-of-School Time would perform as the project evaluator.
Pilot project in improving quality in early education and care.
This three-year evaluation project was designed to measure the outcome of SCOPE, an inquiry-based science enrichment program for upper-elementary and middle-school aged girls.
The purpose of this project is to inform the Massachusetts board of Early Education and Care (EEC) of the resources that will best serve families and communities in supporting the holistic development of children, youth, and families.
While girls do well in science and math courses in middle school, they are less likely to enroll in higher-level STEM courses in high school, thus few will choose these subjects for a college major, and even fewer will complete such a major or go on to pursue a STEM career. The increased knowledge generated by this study will inform ways to increase the participation of girls and other under-represented groups (e.g., racial and ethnic minorities, low-income youth) in sustained STEM study and employment.
The primary purpose of the study was to provide a picture of child care usage among Massachusetts low-income families.
The Wellesley Centers for Women will develop appropriate assessments, collaborate with the Office for Institutional Research and team members to collect date, conduct data analyses, prepare reports, and provide feedback from the evaluation to Science Center and College representatives.
This study will investigate the effective practices and support offered in an arts-based afterschool programs to reduce the dropout rate among high school students.
This long-term project was designed to assess gender equity educational materials which were created in relation to the development of Title IX.
This was an evaluation of a program that aimed to increase the number of middle school girls interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The Career Pathways Project will lead to a set of guidelines promoting success and strengthening the work force for afterschool providers towards stability preparation, support and commitment to the wellbeing and empowerment of youth.