The Institute for Youth Success (IYS) at Education Northwest trains staff members and volunteers at nonprofits, churches, and schools that want to become evidence-based and outcome-driven in their youth programming.
We can schedule your staff and/or volunteers for an on-site training. You can also browse and register for the frequent trainings in throughout our region on our training calendar. Also, check out this free, monthly webinar series on mentoring.
This is the full catalog of sessions we offer. For a snaphot of the services we offer as a training provider, see our page on IYS Trainings for Youth-Serving Programs.
I've never had that quality in a training experience — ever!
— A Training Participant
Trainings for Volunteers
Building Youth Academic Identity Through Developmental Relationships. In this workshop, participants learn how to build a youth’s academic identity using positive, purposeful interactions. Participants practice building developmental interactions, supportive communication, and strategies to nurture a growth mindset. This workshop is also offered with a STEM focus — teaching adults how to nurture a youth’s STEM identity.
Helping Youth Find their Spark. This one-hour training helps adults learn how to uncover a youth’s “spark” and encourage its development. Participants learn how much more successful youth with “sparks” are in school and life and gain tools for becoming a “spark champion.”
The Essentials: A Curriculum for Training People who Mentor Young Black Men. Based on a curriculum developed in partnership with leading researchers in the fields of mentoring, youth development, and social justice, this two-day training is relevant to mentors working with young men of color and is specifically tailored to empower young black men in one-on-one and group mentoring programs. This culturally responsive workshop is designed and facilitated in partnership with communities of color.
Trainings for Staff of Youth Programs or Schools
Active Learning (Youth Work Method Series). This interactive workshop introduces the “ingredients” of active learning, explains the role that active learning plays in the experiential learning cycle, and helps participants create more powerful learning opportunities for youth.
Ask-Listen-Encourage (Youth Work Method Series). Do you communicate with youth in a way that makes them feel supported and heard? This interactive workshop introduces various communication techniques that help you build more supportive, youth-centered relationships. Participants learn how to ask more effective questions, to listen actively, and to offer youth encouragement rather than praise.
Building a Growth Mindset. While youth-program designs and outcomes may be diverse, research shows that a growth mindset infused into staff beliefs and program practices positively affects the academic achievement of youth served. In this two-hour workshop, youth-program staff learn the difference between a fixed and growth mindset, how to assess their own mindset, and tips to building a growth mindset in themselves and the young people they work with.
Building Community (Youth Work Method Series). Do you know what it takes to build an emotionally and physically safe space for youth? Building an emotionally safe community of peers and adults is essential for youth to learn and develop as individuals. This interactive workshop introduces participants to a variety of activities designed to support the community-building process.
Cooperative Learning (Youth Work Method Series). Do the youth in your program have opportunities to work together in groups, teaching and learning from each other? Cooperative learning is an excellent way to nurture youth leadership, build community, and keep things fun. This interactive workshop equips participants with grouping strategies and ways to think about building cooperative learning into any program offering.
Dealing With Difficult Situations. In this workshop, we discuss a range of issues that could arise in the context of youth services. Participants learn how individual perceptions influence responses in challenging situations; how to identify and respond to delicate topics, issues of concern, and crises; and tips to building mindfulness and purposeful interactions youth.
Homework Help (Youth Work Method Series). Homework Help is an essential component of many youth programs, but too often it’s a time for youth to work quietly while the adults supervise. This interactive workshop introduces participants to the relationship ABC’s (Ask and listen, Be involved, and Connect) as well as the concept of “focus.” These elements help participants reconsider Homework Help as another opportunity to build relationships and nurture positive growth — beyond just getting the work done.
Introduction to the Active Participatory Approach (Youth Work Method Series). Youth programs can be optimized for youth needs, motivation, and engagement. The Active-Participatory Approach to youth work was designed to address these goals. This youth-centered approach is the foundation for the Youth Work Methods Series.
Planning and Reflection (Youth Work Method Series). Are you engaging youth in the critical life skills of planning and reflection? Are you ready to be more intentional about including planning and reflection strategies in your daily routine and activities but are not sure where to start? This workshop introduces participants to powerful methods that promote youth engagement in planning, implementing, and evaluating activities and projects.
Planning with Data. Assessment and evaluation can supply a wealth of valuable data about the quality of a youth program. But assessment just provides the data — a list of numbers and words. Learning from data and using it effectively are a must for an efficient quality-improvement system. That’s what this workshop is all about. This training prepares participants to develop effective program-improvement plans and to take this planning process back to their program settings using the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI) framework.
Protecting Youth from Sexual Offenders. We believe that every youth program should be intentional about how they are protecting children from sexual offenders. A background check is not enough. Our training is based on the book, SAFE: Screening Applicants for Effectiveness. During this six-hour training, we review critical content designed to assist youth-serving programs in strengthening their assessment and monitoring practices to screen out potential child molesters and ensure a commitment to child safety. We explore the reasons why programs should turn away volunteers the tools programs employ to decide if a volunteer should be allowed to work with children as a representative of your agency. We discuss trends and answer difficult questions about red flags and gut checks.
Quality Coaching. This is a training for nonprofits preparing to use the Youth Program Quality Intervention (YPQI). The Center for Youth Program Quality developed a three-part process to strengthen program quality: assess, plan, and improve. Designed for youth-program managers, this session teaches the skills necessary to support staff. Participants learn what quality coaching is, how to conduct observation and reflection, and how to communicate effectively with staff.
Reframing Conflict (Youth Work Method Series). What role do you play in conflict situations with the youth in your program? Do you know how to turn a conflict situation into an opportunity for growth? This interactive workshop introduces participants to the High/Scope step-by-step model for reframing conflict as well as general principles of conflict resolution.
Strategies to Train Adult Learners. In this training, we dive into adult learning styles — looking at ways to create an engaging learning environment and tips and tools to effective facilitation. (We recommend two hours to cover this content. We also integrate this material into our Train the Trainer How to Build Youth Academic Identity Through Developmental Relationships session.)
Structure and Clear Limits (Youth Work Method Series). How do you prevent chaos in a youth environment without stifling youth’s positive energy? Youth need structure and clear limits in order to feel safe. This interactive workshop helps participants analyze the level of structure in their programs and practice identifying and maintaining clear limits.
Train the Trainer: Building Youth Academic Identity Through Developmental Relationships. Looking for concrete strategies to promote the healthy development of young people? During this train-the-trainer workshop for youth-program staff, we review principles of adult learning and training basics. The second half of the training takes practitioners through our training curriculum, Building Youth Academic Identity Through Developmental Relationships, in which we offer tips and tools to help adults learn how to build a youth’s academic identity using positive, purposeful interactions. Rooted in experiential learning, participants practice a range of communication and feedback strategies in the context of working with youth. This workshop is designed for staff working directly with youth as well as those managing volunteers supporting youth facing multiple barriers to success.
What Is New in Youth Development? If you are new to youth development (or have been involved for a while and are looking for some inspiration), join us for this fun, interactive training as we take you through the fundamentals of youth development and talk about emerging new concepts in the field.
Youth Voice (Youth Work Method Series). Are you providing young people with authentic, meaningful choices throughout your program? Does your program reflect the input of youth involved? Research shows that quality programs incorporate youth input on activities and the organizational level. This workshop is focused on providing meaningful choice within activities and opportunities for youth input within the youth program itself.
Trainings for Staff at Mentoring Programs
Best Practice Training Clinic. Usually a 2-3 day training experience, our clinic includes a series of trainings developed around fundamental mentoring best practices. These trainings are appropriate for new mentoring program employees and seasoned staff looking to improve best practices. The series typically begins with an overview of best practices related to traditional mentoring services such as recruitment, matching, match-support, and closure. Days 2 and 3 (when the training is a three-day event) apply to general youth-development services, including a review of best practices in screening and training adults. Each workshop is full of tips, tools and resources. Participants can attend all trainings or pick and choose from the sessions — Mentor Recruitment, Matching Youth & Mentors, Match Support, or Closing Matches, Screening Mentors for Youth Safety, Training Mentors — based on their interests. The cost of participation is $200 for three days and includes lunch each day.
Building a Diversified Funding Base for Mentoring Programs. During this half-day training designed for mentoring program managers, we review the principles of fundraising, types of fundraising activities, fundraising strategies, and how to build your own program-specific resource-development plan.
Healthy Closure: Transitioning Youth & Adult Relationships. Transitions are a particularly important time in adolescence. This training for program managers emphasizes strategies to ensure healthy closure when a youth program comes to an end. Practitioners learn the differences between dysfunctional and functional relationship endings, the importance of healthy closure, and tips to building a program-specific closure policy.
How to Be an Effective Mentor. This training for mentors covers the ins and outs of how to be a great mentor. This training includes boundaries and expectations, developmental versus prescriptive mentoring, supportive communication skills, and the 40 Developmental Assets.
Matching Youth and Volunteers: Building the Foundation for Quality Mentoring Relationships. This training, intended for program managers and direct-service staff, details how to build effective matching strategies to support lasting, quality mentoring relationships. Practitioners learn research-based, core elements of effective matching as well as techniques to utilize shared and similar interests along with personality traits as primary matching strategies.
Providing Quality Match Support. During this three-hour training, we cover components to high-quality match support. From intake, to ongoing support and monitoring, to documentation and providing constructive feedback, we’ll share best practice tools and strategies to support high-quality, and culturally competent programmatic support.
Screening Applicants for Effectiveness (SAFE). We believe that every youth program should be intentional about how they are protecting children from sexual offenders. A background check is not enough! Our training is based on the book SAFE: Screening Applicants for Effectiveness. During this six-hour training, we review critical content designed to assist youth-serving programs in strengthening their assessment and monitoring practices to screen out potential child molesters and ensure a commitment to child safety. We’ll explore why programs should turn away volunteers, and what tools programs possess to decide if a volunteer should be allowed to work with children as a representative of your agency. We’ll discuss trends, and answer some of those difficult questions about red flags and gut checks.
Tips for Creating an Effective Mentoring Program. This training highlights our top 13 tips, best practices, and important areas for consideration when creating a new mentoring program and can also be delivered as a condensed one-hour webinar.
Understanding the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring, 4th Edition. This training or webinar reviews the latest edition of MENTOR’s Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring™, which has substantial additions including new evidence-based practices.
Volunteer Recruitment and Retention. This training helps programs determine their target volunteers, understand volunteer motivation, learn how to make the pitch, and organize all of these ideas into a good recruitment plan. Ideas regarding volunteer expectations, appreciation of your volunteers, and ongoing recruitment are also discussed in this interactive training.