WHAT IS AN OUTREACH PROGRAM?
According to Billie E. J. Housego (1999), “Teachers in innovative, alternative schools and programs have attempted, for more than 30 years, to meet the needs of students who either cannot or will not pursue their education in traditional high schools.”
In Alberta, a few educators began as early as 20 years ago to attempt to meet the needs of these students.
Housego (1999) states, “The term outreach, which applies to community outreach and outreach counselling and refers generally to ‘efforts to increase the availability and utilization of services, especially through direct intervention and interaction with the target population,’ has been in use since 1974.”
- Educational Resources Information Centre Thesaurus, 1997, p.86
The use of the term “outreach” in Alberta emerged in the mid 1990s. It was preceded by the term “storefront” school, and a number of Outreach Programs still retain “storefront” in their name. In the 2008/2009 school year, Alberta Education provided funding to 127 Outreach Programs.
(Exerpt from Alberta Education's Outreach Program Handbook 2009)