Jessica Newman is a researcher focused on promoting positive youth development in and out of school. Her work focuses on the practices that promote social and emotional learning and youth development, with an emphasis on out-of-school time programming. Newman provides research, evaluation, and technical assistance across a variety of national, state, and local afterschool and expanded learning initiatives with a focus on promoting continuous quality improvement through evaluation and ongoing professional development. She specializes in the development and dissemination of research-to-practice tools that support the implementation of high-quality programming for both in- and out-of-school time initiatives.
Newman currently leads the development of a statewide continuous quality improvement process for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) program in Oregon and an evaluation of the School’s Out New York City (SONYC) initiative, operated by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development. The goal of the SONYC evaluation is to understand program implementation and outcomes of this citywide middle school afterschool initiative. Newman has provided consultation to large, national youth-serving organizations, OST intermediaries, membership organizations, and foundations such as YMCA of the USA, Every Hour Counts, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the National AfterSchool Association (NAA). She is co-author of the fourth edition of the popular afterschool resource, Beyond the Bell®: A Toolkit for Creating High-Quality Afterschool and Expanded Learning Programs and has authored a number of resources, tools, articles, and chapters covering topics from afterschool program quality to promoting youth social and emotional development.
Prior to joining AIR, Newman served as the senior research specialist at the University of Illinois, Chicago in partnership with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She played a strategic role in the development and dissemination of Effective Social and Emotional Learning Programs (Preschool and Elementary School Edition), a review of nationally available, universal social and emotional learning programs (2013). She also conducted a review of policies and student learning standards across the United States to determine the extent to which social and emotional learning was promoted and supporting a cross-organization working group dedicated to social and emotional learning and assessment. She holds a master of arts in applied developmental psychology from George Mason University.