Afterschool Pathways


Experience, education, and quality supervision or mentoring support your professional development. Afterschool Professional Pathways is an essential tool for planning and tracking your professional growth that helps organize education, certificates, and credentials. Each Step of the Pathway can help you move ahead in your career. Your Certificate will recognize your accumulated skills and knowledge through education, trainings, and experience.

If you need support navigating your career requirements, please contact us for further assistance.

Upcoming Trainings

Take your skills to the next level by enrolling in a Northern Lights Training.

Afterschool Pathways Certificates and Credentials

Level: Entry-level Competencies

Vermont Afterschool Foundations Certificate

  • 16 total hours of training across the 5 core knowledge areas
  • A current Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)
  • Completed application


Level: Beyond the basic competencies

Afterschool Essentials Course: completed with a group, over a year

  • Youth Development Institute (YDI) online modules
  • Participate in 4 identified ISS-AP (Vt Afterschool, Inc.) training days
  • 6 hour Basic Specialized Care course
  • 5 hours of training in a concentration area learning
  • Formal Observation of participant at work
  • A current Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP)
  • Additional planned workshops

Recognition Bonus available from the Child Development Division or VT Afterschool, Inc. when additional requirements are met.

Level: Higher level competencies and college coursework

Credential earned thru college coursework and independent development of a portfolio


  • 3 years working as a program director or in other leadership capacity
  • Two 3-credit online courses at Community College of VT:
    – Introduction to Afterschool Education and Care*
    – Special Topics in Education: Development of the School Age Child Vermont*
  • Additional training hours across the 5 Core Knowledge Areas
  • Completed Professional Portfolio

Recognition Bonus available from the Child Development Division or VT Afterschool, Inc. when additional requirements are met.

* Afterschool, Inc. offers scholarships for these courses, which also meet Program Director steps listed below.

VAPC Application

Level: A series of six college courses or their equivalent, and a professional portfolio documenting achievement of Program Director Competencies

Step 1 – 3 courses:

  • Child Development
  • Curriculum
  • Program Management

Step 2 – 3 courses:

  • Leadership, Mentoring, Supervision
  • Human Resources Management
  • Legal and Financial Issues

Step 3
Culminating Seminar and approved portfolio

Recognition Bonus available from the Child Development Division when additional requirements are met.

Level: A 24-credit certificate from the Community College of Vermont specifically designed for afterschool and youth work professionals

The Afterschool and Youth Work Certificate is offered by the Community College of Vermont (CCV) as a way to help youth work professionals advance in their careers. The certificate can be completed fully online for a total of 24 credits.

Two of the classes in the certificate program, Introduction to Afterschool Education (EDU 1320) and Afterschool Education & Development of the School-Age Child (EDU 2065) are offered by Vermont Afterschool for FREE for licensed afterschool program staff! **Note that you must register for these courses through Vermont Afterschool.**

The Afterschool and Youth Work Certificate will provide students with essential skills to develop, support, and administer high-quality afterschool and youth programs for young people ages 5-18. Emphasis is on developing programs that use youth voice, active learning, planning and reflection, and supporting effective collaboration with families and community partners. Courses in this program may be applied to CCV’s Early Childhood Education A.A. or Behavioral Science A.S. degrees.

CCV offers many different types of scholarships for students in degree and certificate programs, including the Afterschool and Youth Work Certificate. Most of these scholarships require students to complete FAFSA and VSAC applications, and scholarships cover costs not covered by Pell and VSAC grants. Individuals working in regulated early childhood or afterschool programs in Vermont are eligible to apply for tuition assistance grants up to $1000 per student per semester for tuition only (no books or fees). Students enrolled in a Prior Learning Assessment course may request funding up to $1000 to include the portfolio review.

Courses are listed in the order in which CCV recommends you take them.

First Semester Seminar
EDU 1320 – Introduction to Afterschool Education
EDU 2065 – Afterschool Education & Development of the School-Aged Child
COM 1015 – Communication in the Early Childhood Education & Afterschool Workplace
EDU 2145 – Social-Emotional Development in Children Ages 5-18
EDU 2185 – Curriculum & Environment Development in Afterschool & Youth Programs
EDU 2042 – Early Childhood Education & Afterschool Program Management
INT 2860 – Professional Field Experience