Private Organization Accreditation

Debt Education and Certification Foundation (DECAF), a private non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, provides high-quality financial education and counseling, with nationwide outreach throughout the U.S. DECAF is HUD-approved, and recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas.


Harry Hunter, MSW, MBA, Ph.D.

Volunteer Roles: Peer Reviewer; Team Leader

Peer Reviewer for the month of January 2013, Dr. Hunter has been volunteering for COA since 2005, conducting five site reviews.
read more>>


Children and youth who participate in Out-of-School Time programs gain the personal, social, emotional, and educational assets needed to support healthy development, increase well-being, and facilitate a successful transition through childhood and adolescence, and into adulthood.

PA-OST 13: Programming and Activities: Homework Help and/or Tutoring

Children and youth receive support that enables them to complete their homework and succeed in school.

Note: Agencies that provide only homework help will complete PA-OST 13.01 through 13.03. Agencies that provide only tutoring will complete PA-OST 13.03 and 13.04.

NA Homework help and/or tutoring is not a core element of the programs run by the agency.

Rating Indicators
Full Implementation, Outstanding Performance
A rating of (1) indicates that the agency's practices fully meet the standard and reflect a high level of capacity.  
  • All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, with rare or no exceptions; exceptions do not impact service quality or agency performance. 
Substantial Implementation, Good Performance
A rating of (2) indicates that an agency's infrastructure and practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement. 
  • The majority of the standards requirements have been met and the basic framework required by the standard has been implemented.  
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality or agency performance.  
Partial Implementation, Concerning Performance
A rating of (3) indicates that the agency's observed infrastructure and/or practices require significant improvement.  
  • The agency has not implemented the basic framework of the standard but instead has in place only part of this framework.   
  • Omissions or exceptions to the practices outlined in the standard occur regularly, or practices are implemented in a cursory or haphazard manner. 
  • Service quality or agency functioning may be compromised.   
  • Capacity is at a basic level.
Unsatisfactory Implementation or Performance
A rating of (4) indicates that implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all.  
  • The agency’s observed service delivery infrastructure and practices are weak or non-existent; or show signs of neglect, stagnation, or deterioration.  
Please see Rating Guidance for additional rating examples. 

Table of Evidence

Self-Study Evidence On-Site Evidence On-Site Activities
    • A description of the system for facilitating communication among teachers, parents, and program personnel
    • Daily schedules for past month
    • Documentation of collaboration among teachers, parents, and program personnel, if applicable
    • Attendance records (showing totals for each day and weekly averages)
    • Logic model (or equivalent framework)
    • Qualifications of personnel (or others) providing activities (e.g., in personnel records)
    • Interview:
      1. Program Administrator
      2. Site Director
      3. Program Personnel
      4. Children, youth, and families
    • Observe program activities
    • Review files of children and youth

  • PA-OST 13.01

    Personnel collaborate with school day staff to develop a system for facilitating communication among teachers, parents, and program personnel regarding:

    1. homework assignments given;
    2. materials needed to complete assignments;
    3. the amount of time expected to be spent on homework; and
    4. the ongoing progress and needs of children and youth.

    Interpretation: Many agencies and schools have children and youth maintain Homework Planners to record their daily assignments.  These planners can also be used as tools to help children and youth prioritize their assignments, manage their time, and assess their progress, as addressed in PA-OST 13.03.
    COA recognizes that it may be challenging for agencies to establish systems for communicating with school-day staff regarding homework, especially when agencies serve students who attend different schools.  However, agencies are expected to demonstrate that they have at least made an effort to develop systems for facilitating communication with school staff.

    Note: See PA-OST 8 for more expectations regarding collaboration and partnerships.

    NA The agency does not offer homework help.

  • PA-OST 13.02

    Personnel play an active role during homework time by:

    1. checking in with children and youth to make sure they understand their assignments;
    2. modeling a positive attitude towards homework;
    3. encouraging children and youth to do their best;
    4. assisting children and youth who need help; and
    5. monitoring homework quality and completion.

    Interpretation: When extensive one-on-one assistance is necessary a child may be in need of tutoring, as addressed in PA-OST 13.04.

    Note: Please note that the more general expectations included in other PA-OST core concepts can also help to promote success in this area.  For example, agencies should also: (1) establish a consistent schedule for homework time, as referenced in PA-OST 5.02; (2) provide needed supplies, as referenced in PA-OST 16.04; (3) create an optimal space for completing homework, as referenced in PA-OST 16.01 (i.e. a space that is dedicated to homework completion and includes areas for both quiet study and group collaboration); and (4) consider how group sizes and ratios, as addressed in PA-OST 19.01 and 19.02, may impact the homework environment. 

    NA The agency does not offer homework help.

  • PA-OST 13.03

    Children and youth are helped to develop organizational and study skills that support school success, including skills related to:

    1. organizing materials;
    2. managing time, including setting goals and making plans for accomplishing work;
    3. accessing needed information and resources;
    4. reviewing materials and taking notes, including skimming, active reading, and summarizing; 
    5. preparing for and taking tests; and
    6. evaluating their own work and progress.

    Interpretation: Homework can provide an opportunity to learn and practice the organizational and study skills referenced in the standard.

  • PA-OST 13.04

    Children and youth in need of extra help are connected with tutors who provide special assistance and instruction in specific subject areas.

    Interpretation: Tutors may be paid or volunteer, but should be knowledgeable about and trained in both the subject area in question and strategies for helping students. Agencies may identify children in need of extra help through collaboration with school day staff, or through their own observations and monitoring.

    Note:  See PA-OST 20 and 21 for more information regarding personnel qualifications and training.

    NA The agency does not offer tutoring.

Copyright © 2019 Council on Accreditation. All Rights Reserved.  Privacy Policy and Terms of Use