Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers


Introduction to 21st Century Community Learning Centers

The U.S. Department of Education defines the 21st CCLC program this way: a federal initiative that supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. In this course, explore the program's purposes and goals, as well as the impacts it has had on students, families and community members across the country. You'll learn about the laws, regulations and guidance around 21st CCLC programs, and how to design and plan a successful program if awarded the opportunity.

Career Pathways for Students

The nature of work is evolving. Career awareness, exploration and preparation experiences help students develop the knowledge and skills to succeed no matter what path they choose after high school: college, trades, military, workforce or a combination. Explore ways to engage families, schools and community partners. Design activities that are age appropriate, inclusive, culturally relevant and informed by best practices.  


Expand your traditional view of science, technology, engineering and math by incorporating the arts for a more comprehensive educational approach. Your 21st CCLC program is the perfect setting for experiential, interdisciplinary, inquiry-based projects where creativity and collaboration mimic real-world careers ranging from fashion design to space exploration. This course offers the skills and knowledge you’ll need to guide students on the journey.

Student Voice and Choice

The feeling of being heard is at the heart of true student engagement. In this course, you’ll gain the tools and tips you need to prepare your program, capture student voice and use your new data to implement programming that honors student choice.

Including Students With Disabilities

This course will equip 21st CCLC practitioners with the strategies they need to build an inclusive environment – one where all students feel welcome and engaged, including students with disabilities.

Supporting English Learners

This course will equip 21st CCLC practitioners with the critical knowledge and skills necessary to create a supportive, high-quality and effective learning environment for English Learners.

Civic Learning and Engagement

Find strategies to deliver effective civics education, including how to set the foundation for civic learning and engagement activities and best practices for student engagement. Get tips, tools and examples to prepare your program for success.


Literacy is at the heart of building essential skills to prepare students to be successful in college, careers, and life. Explore a wide range of strategies for developing and reinforcing literacy skills in your 21st CCLC program.

Creating a Positive Learning Environment

In this course, you’ll walk through ways to help you create and sustain an environment where students, their families and program staff feel safe and supported, which will translate to increased engagement.

Social and Emotional Learning

Financial Literacy

In this course, you’ll build the knowledge and skills necessary to make financial literacy part of your program.

Strategic Partnerships

Partnerships are key to ensuring long term success and sustainability. This course will walk you through the key strategies you will need to employ to ensure mutually beneficial partners to support your program.

Human Resources

This course takes program directors through the human resources elements of recruitment, hiring, onboarding and training staff. This treasure hunt for the right staff will provide participants with strategies to develop and manage a human resources plan that addresses typical challenges such as recruiting and retaining quality staff, and balancing educational and business administration responsibilities.

Family Engagement

Constructive relationships between 21st CCLC programs and families contribute to better results for students. Learn to forge strong links to students’ families, to involve them in 21st CCLC, and to support them in overcoming challenges. 

Managing Your 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program

This course describes the importance of having a program management plan in place. You will explore the history of project management and see how project management practices can support the success of your 21st CCLC program. You'll learn about the critical tasks involved in effective project/program management and how to initiate, plan, execute, monitor and control, and close your 21st CCLC program.

Project-Based Learning  

Project-Based Learning is a student-directed learning strategy that emphasizes active learning and allows students to explore topics that interest them.   Learn how to facilitate projects, see students collaborate to take charge of learning, and help young people make a difference in their world.  Explore each phase of the process and take project-based learning one step further with civic learning & engagement, helping students to pursue social change and participate in civic life.

Continuous Education

Learning during out-of-school time can boost academic engagement and achievement during the school day.  Learn about key concepts such as building a shared vision for learning, coordinating curriculum and supporting partnerships with school-day staff.

Summer Learning

Use this course to help you understand how to implement a high-quality, 21st CCLC summer learning program. You will walk through an overview and history of summer learning, how to plan for an impactful experience and the continuous improvement process. The Implementation Strategies section is designed to take you step-by-step in how to effectively design your summer learning program to fit your students' needs. Jump in and learn how to curb summer learning loss! 

Citizen Science

Including citizen science into your programs can provide your students with the opportunity to collaborate with professional scientists on real-world problems by gathering and analyzing data through hands-on research. Learn how citizen science fits into out-of-school time learning, how to select citizen science activities for your students and your program, and how to prepare for and implement a citizen science project.