The topic of promoting youth development in a community context is enriched when the role of higher education in preparing youth workers is considered. The American Humanics Program at Arizona State University (ASU) offers a 20-year history that positions it uniquely at the intersection where scholars, nonprofit managers, and universities meet in promoting youth development. Two unique themes are revealed: the way in which practitioners are intentionally involved in the educational process and the student development philosophy that guides the delivery of curricular and cocurricular programs. A descriptive analysis reveals how the competency-based program is conceptualized and delivered as an interdisciplinary and experientially based program for undergraduate students. Ways in which practitioners and academics work together to advance practice are explored. Issues and challenges facing universities that desire to become fully engaged institutions are examined based on the ASU program model. Suggestions to advance the field of practice are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies