Femi Vance, a researcher at AIR, has expertise in youth program quality, social and emotional learning, evaluation capacity building, and equity and access to programming, and skill building in youth programs. She has over 15 years of experience working in and on behalf of youth programs for underserved populations including youth from low-income families and racial and linguistic minorities.
At AIR, Dr. Vance’s primary responsibilities include providing training and technical assistance to youth programs, and designing and conducting qualitative and mixed-methods research and evaluation studies related to youth development, professional training programs, and education reform initiatives. Dr. Vance is a trained external assessor for the School-Age and Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA) and has used the Academic Skill Building and Social and Emotional PQA.
Currently, Dr. Vance serves as the continuous quality improvement lead for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program in South Carolina and Nevada and is responsible for providing training and technical assistance to states and grantees so support their continuous improvement. In this role, she also developed tools and resources for states and grantees to conduct local evaluations. Dr. Vance is also a content expert, trainer, and researcher for the Charles Stewart Mott-funded 5-State Afterschool Network. She develops resources to advance afterschool system-building, creates and delivers trainings on quality, and brings research to bear on a range of afterschool topics such as professional development, quality standards, and youth outcomes.
Dr. Vance strives to translate her research into practice. She is a co-editor of a recent edited volume Changemakers! Practitioners Advance Equity and Access in Out-of-School Time Programs where she makes connections between research and practice on topics such as power dynamics in partnerships, a strength-based approach to family engagement, and critical youth development. She has presented on equity and access in domestic and international conferences including the 2019 Bridge hosted by School’s Out Washington.