Higher Education Programs


Becoming Entitled for the School-Age and Youth Development Credential

The Gateways to Opportunity School-Age and Youth Development (SAYD) Credential highlights the quality, importance, and dedication of school-age & youth development professionals in Illinois. The SAYD Credential validates that school-age and youth development practitioners have the knowledge and education to provide quality programs.

School-Age and Youth Development Credential

  • SAYD Entitled Application Introduction - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Entitled Application - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Competencies by Credential level and suggested role - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Competencies within Content Areas inclusive of Benchmarks - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Content Areas - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Toolbox - Coming Soon
  • SAYD Competency Framework - Coming Soon


Student/Workforce Potential

Illinois has a need for quality before and after-school programs. Developed in partnership with Teen REACH and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS), the SAYD Credential highlights provider qualifications and experience. There is currently insufficient coursework that leads to the Gateways School-Age and Youth Development Credential to meet the needs of providers throughout the state.

Excelerate Program

ExceleRate Illinois helps you prepare children for success in school and in life.

It also provides standards, guidelines, resources and supports to help you make sensible changes that lead to better quality outcomes for children.