Standards for child and youth development programs

2020 Edition

Supplement for OST Programming: College and Career Readiness (CYD-OST-CCR) 1: Programming and Activities: College and Career Readiness

Youth receive support and assistance that prepare them to enter and succeed in college and the workforce.
2020 Edition




Youth who participate in College and Career Readiness activities are prepared to succeed in college and the workforce.
Related Standards:
Note: Please note that the more general expectations included in CYD-OST 8 also apply to the activities addressed in this supplement. See CYD-OST 8 for more information.
The program’s practices fully meet the standard, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards.
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • A description of programming and activities, including:
    1. type and nature of programming/activities;
    2. opportunities provided to youth during programming/activities;
    3. role of personnel
  • Curricula (for previous quarter)
  • Programming/activity plans (for previous quarter)
  • Daily schedules for past month
  • 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. Youthand families
  • Observe program activities
  • Review files of youth


The program motivates youth for success by:
  1. helping them examine and discover their individual strengths, interests, values, and aspirations;
  2. explaining the potential impact that higher education and career readiness can have on life outcomes;
  3. providing opportunities to learn about different options and paths related to higher education and employment; and
  4. helping them understand the steps involved in pursuing a particular path, including how instruction and activities at school or the program can contribute to progress toward goals.


 Different programs may provide different opportunities to learn about options related to higher education and employment.  For example, while one program might invite guest speakers to the program and take youth on field trips to visit workplaces or college campuses, another program might arrange mentorships, internships, or apprenticeships for youth.  Programs may also differ in the breadth of their focus.  For example, while one program might strive to expose youth to a wide range of careers across fields, another might be more specifically focused on STEM disciplines.  
Note: Programs that use mentors to help youth learn more about different life options should also complete CYD-OST-MENT.


Youth are helped to:
  1. gain a better understanding of college and workplace norms, cultures, and expectations; and
  2. develop the interpersonal skills needed to successfully communicate and collaborate with others at school and work.


Youth should be helped to develop the interpersonal skills they need to demonstrate global awareness; understand social norms and cues; treat others with fairness and respect; listen actively and deeply, without interrupting; effectively convey their points of view; and resolve conflicts and disagreements.  Learning to regulate emotions and empathize with others supports the development of the interpersonal skills needed to get along and collaborate effectively with others, as noted in CYD-OST 4.07.  
Note: The interpersonal skills referenced in element (b) of the standard will likely be developed through practices addressed in CYD-OST, such as those covered in CYD-OST 4.  


The program includes an explicit focus on helping youth develop and practice the soft skills that can help them to succeed in college and the workforce, including skills related to:
  1. managing time;
  2. setting goals and making plans;
  3. accessing needed information and resources;
  4. solving problems;
  5. thinking critically;
  6. making decisions; and
  7. evaluating their own work and progress.


Youth interested in higher education are helped to:
  1. identify institutions that meet their needs and interests;
  2. take steps that may increase their chances for admission; and
  3. complete the application process.


Youth may need assistance with many aspects of the application process, from meeting deadlines, to taking the SATs, to gathering recommendations, to obtaining financial aid or scholarships.  
Note: When youth develop and strengthen the soft skills addressed in CYD-OST-CCR 1.03 they will also be better equipped to navigate the college application process.


Youth have opportunities to participate in activities that allow them to develop and practice technical skills in particular fields.


Opportunities to develop and practice technical skills may be provided either on-site (e.g., through project-based activities such as those addressed in CYD-OST 8) or off-site (e.g., through arrangements such as internships, apprenticeships, or job-shadowing opportunities).
NA The program is not designed to offer opportunities to develop and practice technical skills in particular fields.


Youth receive the assistance and social support they need to navigate the transition to college or the workforce.


While practices addressed throughout both this Supplement and CYD-OST are intended to prepare youth for success in college and career (e.g., by promoting social-emotional development, academic advancement, and knowledge of college and career opportunities), this standard is intended to address the support provided during the transitional period when youth actually enter college or the workforce. Some programs may even provide ongoing support in an effort to help youth persevere through obstacles and accomplish their goals.