I. Introduction


This document has six purposes:

  1. It presents the basic philosophy, programmatic requirements, and performance objectives for members of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network.
  2. It presents briefly and coherently the best practices that experience indicates will produce a successful YouthBuild school or program and the performance outcomes that can be expected.
  3. It provides the basis for members of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network to hold each other accountable for upholding the vision, identity, and success of YouthBuild, and to provide accreditation to members who achieve the program design and performance standards.
  4. It defines the standards to be achieved by individual YouthBuild graduates who can obtain a National Honors Graduate Certificate or a Rudy Award for Perfect Attendance from YouthBuild USA.
  5. It describes the decision-making structure of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network that both defines these standards and initiates programmatic developments and collaborations among local programs.

Membership in the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network implies a commitment to achieve both the program design and performance standards included in this document. Requirements for accreditation include the achievement of these standards as demonstrated through both YouthBuild USA's Webbased Student Tracking Application (WebSTA) and a program assessment implemented by YouthBuild USA under the supervision of the membership committee of the Affiliated Network. This document does not attempt to describe the accreditation process, WebSTA, or the precise level of achievement that marks a successful review. All of that information is available in separate documents.

Acknowledgements and the History of this Document

The first version of this document was conceived in 1992 and published in 1994. When creation of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network was proposed by the first 15 directors in 1992, those directors called for a clear summation of the program elements necessary for a program to be called a YouthBuild program. Up until that time a 250-page program manual had been the primary written guide. Dozens of directors, students, YouthBuild USA staff, and YouthBuild USA board members contributed and agreed to the first concise written definition of program design and performance standards.

That document was revised in 1996. By then, a formal decision-making structure was in place for regular review of standards. The Policy Council of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network deliberated on changes recommended by the Young Leaders Council, the National Directors Council, the National Alumni Council, and the staff of YouthBuild USA, and made final recommendations that were accepted by the YouthBuild USA Board of Directors.

These standards were revised again between 1998 and 20, and between 203 and June 205, by the same process, each time orchestrated by the director of the Affiliated Network and the president of YouthBuild USA.

In response to the increase in numbers of diploma-granting schools within the YouthBuild network, and the growing attention to postsecondary education and career development, Program Design and Performance Standards was updated once again in 206 to 207 to make sure that it kept pace with innovations and best practices related to education and career development.

School coaches for YouthBuild USA's National Schools Initiative and some principals of Youth- Build schools were added to the usual review process. Many thanks go to NSI school coaches Mike Sack and Antonia Rudenstine for their leadership role in proposing additions to the existing standards. The standards were then reviewed by the National Directors Council, various alumni, key YouthBuild USA staff, and the Affiliated Network's Policy Council. YouthBuild USA's vice president for education and career development, Sangeeta Tyagi, and Anne Wright, director of the Affiliated Network, orchestrated development and review of Program Design and Performance Standards for this 207 version.

The following people participated in this process:


Suzanne Fitzgerald

Simran Sidhu

Melinda Giovengo

Tim Parsons

Greg Mumford

Bonnie Landi

Gil Barno

Rowland Watkins

John Bengel

Andy Delgado

Phil Matero


Michael Dean


Eimy Santiago

Antonio Ramirez

Annette Goodrich

Jahi Davis

Shana McBride

Brooke Marsfield

Joshua Thrift

YouthBuild USA staff

Dorothy Stoneman

Tim Cross

Lissette Rodríguez

Charles Clark

Peter Twichell

Ira Thomas

Marc Saunders

Shurie Bostick West

Alicia McKinney

Jennifer Bastress Tahmasebi

Anne Wright

Aya Sethi

Daryl Wright

Tulaine Shabazz Marshall

Helen Whitcher

NSI Coaches

Mike Sack

Antonia Rudenstine

Jerry Kolker

Sherry Washington

Pat Melton Johnson

Edith Miller