About Wyman’s Proven Teen Outreach Program® (TOP®)
Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) promotes the positive development of adolescents through curriculum-guided, interactive group discussions; positive adult guidance and support; and community service learning. TOP is delivered by trained adult facilitators across a nine month period to groups of teens (called “TOP Clubs”). TOP is designed to meet the developmental needs of middle and high school teens and can be implemented in a variety of settings, including in-school, after-school, through community-based organizations or in systems and institutional settings, including residential facilities. The TOP Curriculum is focused on key topics related to adolescent health and development, including building social, emotional, and life skills; developing a positive sense of self; and connecting with others.
Best Practices Listings & Summary of Results
Wyman’s Teen Outreach Program (TOP) has been implemented successfully with diverse communities and in both urban and rural environments. Independent research reviews by federal agencies and organizations have recognized TOP for its evidence-base.
How TOP Works
TOP’s unique approach youth development includes:
- Engaging curriculum
- Weekly peer group meetings
- Social emotional skill-building (emotion management, goal setting, communication, teamwork, empathy, problem-solving, etc.)
- Positive adult guidance and support
- Opportunities for teens to sharpen their newfound skills during community service learning
The content is divided into three books: “Building my Skills,” “Learning about Myself” and “Connecting with Others” to empower teens to build a foundation of healthy behaviors, life skills and a sense of purpose. Each book includes lessons that support the developmental levels of teens from 6th to 12th grade: Foundational-level lessons, Intermediate-Level and Advanced. The curriculum also includes an accompanying Facilitators Guide.
TOP Curriculum topics include:
- Healthy relationships (for example, how to advocate for one’s self)
- Communication and assertiveness
- Critical thinking and external influences
- Decision making and personal reflection
- Values clarification to explore their own values
- Health, wellness and self-understanding
- Community service learning
The flexibility of TOP allows for implementation and integration into a variety of settings, including:
- Through community-based organizations
- In systems and institutional settings (i.e. residential treatment, foster care or juvenile justice)
Replication Model & Pricing
As one of Wyman’s most successful, scalable and evidenced based programs, TOP helps teens acquire the skills needed for positive outcomes and successful transitions into adulthood.
Wyman recognized the potential impact in replicating TOP on a national scale and committed to building a National Network of partners and providers who could deliver the program – and potentially other evidence-based practices – with fidelity to teens nationwide.
To realize this vision, Wyman employs a comprehensive relationship-based replication partnership approach. When organizations partner with Wyman to replicate TOP in their own communities, they experience intensive program training and start-up support, periodic program reviews and audits, access to a proprietary data collection and monitoring system, and on-going technical assistance by Wyman staff to ensure each partner is experiencing a high-quality implementation of the program. In partnering with Wyman, organization become a member of a National Network of organizations delivering TOP—a community of practice through which they may interact with peers who are also committed to delivering excellence.
Requirements for Fidelity
Our fidelity with flexibility model helps our partners adapt TOP to a variety of environments while achieving impressive outcomes.
Requirements for Implementation:
- The Partner creates and uses a written Quality Assurance Plan (QAP), which is updated annually.
- Ensure clubs are guided by facilitators who have completed TOP training.
- Maintain a ratio of at least one TOP facilitator per 25 teens (1:25). Many facilitators prefer a ratio of 1:10, 1:15 or 2:25.
- TOP Clubs are planned to include weekly peer group meetings throughout the program cycle.
- Club Program Cycle should be no less than 32 weeks.
- 100% of Clubs deliver a minimum of 25 meetings during a club program cycle.
- TOP Clubs are planned to include sufficient support and opportunities for teens to achieve the required 20 hours of Community Service Learning.
- 75% of teens who have completed TOP complete at least 20 hours of CSL during the club program cycle.
- TOP Clubs are planned to include at least 12 lessons from the TOP Curriculum.
Adaptations of TOP
TOP can be adapted to fit the unique needs of special populations, like youth in foster care, and settings, such as residential facilities. Prior discussion and approval with Wyman is required. To take the next step, contact us.
Our Research & Learning Team reviews and approves TOP adaptation applications based on several factors, including whether they are responsive to young people’s needs, and likely to maximize outcomes for young people.
Support Provided to Partners
- Wyman’s intensive “Train the Trainer” model teaches partners how to deliver the Teen Outreach Program with fidelity. It supports partner’s ability to develop deeper skills in training staff, monitoring and coaching for quality, and in overall strategies and approaches to delivering a high-quality, holistic Positive Youth Development (PYD) program.
- Annual Facilitator Institutes and Coordinator Learning Exchange opportunities deepen partners’ expertise and practice.
- Monthly e-newsletters share programmatic updates, tips, funding opportunities and partner spotlights.
Delivery & Evaluation
- The TOP Curriculum focuses on three core content areas that work together as protective factors, reducing the impact of risk and promoting positive youth development: skill building with book Building my Skills, developing a sense of self with book Learning about Myself, and making connections with book Connecting with Others.
- The proprietary data collection system, Wyman Connect, enables partners with the ability to easily monitor program progress, to generate instant reports that should be used for program evaluation and quality monitoring, grant writing, and other related purposes.
- Teen Pre and Post-Surveys, as well as access to reports to measure program impact.
Coaching for Quality
- Wyman’s National Network Team provides expert support and technical assistance via phone calls and webinars throughout the year, as well as audits and feedback of the program in-action if requested.
- Annual program reviews help partners identify and address issues quickly, and ensure continuous quality improvement at the point of program delivery.
- Replication partners are able to connect directly to Wyman representatives, and benefit by receiving updates to curriculum, share lessons learned and program delivery tips, access information on funding sources and other resources, and download a library of useful materials to support implementation.
- National Network partners are part of a community of practice through which they may interact with peers who are committed to delivering excellence. As a result, they learn from their participation in the National Network and are able to develop workable solutions to issues and challenges through their interaction with their peers across the country.