2022 Edition

Out-of-School Time Services (CA-OST) 14: Programming and Activities: College and Career Readiness

Youth receive support and assistance that prepare them to enter and succeed in college and the workforce.
NA College and career preparation is not a core element of the programs run by the organization.




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.
Note: Please note that the more general expectations included in CA-OST 9 also apply to the activities addressed in this core concept.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, 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; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
No Self-Study Evidence
  • Curricula for previous six months
  • Programming/activity plans for previous six months
  • Daily schedules for past month
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Youth and families
  • Observe program activities
  • Review files of youth


CA-OST 14.01

The organization 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.
Examples: The focus and breadth of content may vary across organizations. For example, organizations may strive to expose youth to a wide range of careers across fields, or be more specifically focused on a particular discipline (e.g., STEM). Similarly, organizations may invite guest speakers, take youth on field trips to visit workplaces or college campuses, or arrange mentorships and internships for youth.


CA-OST 14.02

Youth are helped to gain a better understanding of college and workplace norms, cultures, and expectations.


CA-OST 14.03

The organization helps youth develop and practise the soft skills that can help them enter and 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.


CA-OST 14.04

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.
Examples: Youth may need assistance with many aspects of the application process, including, but not limited to: meeting deadlines; taking the SATs; gathering recommendations; and obtaining financial aid or scholarships.


CA-OST 14.05

Youth have opportunities to participate in activities that allow them to develop and practise technical skills in particular fields.
NA The organization does not offer opportunities to develop and practice technical skills in particular fields.
Examples: Opportunities to develop and practise technical skills may be provided either on-site (e.g., through project-based activities such as those addressed in CA-OST 9) or off-site (e.g., through arrangements such as internships, apprenticeships, or job-shadowing opportunities).


CA-OST 14.06

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


While practices addressed throughout both this core concept and CA-OST as a whole 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.
Examples: In addition to providing support during the initial transition to college or the workforce, some organizations may even provide ongoing support in an effort to help youth persevere through obstacles and accomplish their goals.