YouthBuild programs serve participants with multiple barriers to future employment success – the lack of a high school diploma due to struggles with traditional classroom learning is one of the largest.  Universal Design for Learning is one approach to help teach learners with diverse learning styles and comfort levels. 
This strategy helps to deeply engage and contextualize the teaching subject in an applied learning environment and can help to strengthen credential attainment and measurable skill gain outcomes for YouthBuild programs. ~Jenn Smith,National YouthBuild Director, U. S. Department of Labor

YouthBuild educators and staff have become masters of flexibility in their classrooms and on vocational sites due to their focus on teaching youth who haven’t done well in traditional education settings.  Staff members often develop multiple avenues to learning to give participants the best opportunity for skill-building success.
 
The Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework is an approach that addresses the individualized needs of all learners.  According to CAST, a nonprofit education research and development organization focused on UDL, UDL is “a framework to improve and optimize teaching and learning for all people based on scientific insights into how humans learn” (CAST, www.cast.org) This model of education practice focuses on giving all students equal opportunity to learn by creating a flexible learning environment that allows students to access and engage with the material.  This includes using multiple variations of learning materials, creating space and structures to engage students’ interests and motivations, and allowing multiple options for demonstrating content knowledge.

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