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Program Development Assistance and Training

Program Development Assistance and Training (PDAT), the training and technical assistance component of Serve Colorado, coordinates local, regional and statewide training opportunities for national service programs in Colorado. Program development, training and technical assistance for Corporation for National Service (CNS) funded programs is a continuous process. PDAT funds may be used to support the training and technical assistance (T/TA) needs of AmeriCorps*State, National Direct, Tribes and Territories, NCCC, VISTA, Senior Corps, and Learn & Serve programs. Non-national service participants are welcome to participate at their own expense on a space-available basis, with prior Serve Colorado approval.

All national service programs must develop annual training plans for members and staff, and update those plans through periodic needs assessments. When a need is identified, programs may secure a trainer using local resources or contact Serve Colorado to explore the potential for accessing PDAT training or resources. National and state policies govern various aspects of PDAT funding, such as cross-stream participation, cost limitations and other considerations.  

The annual PDAT plan is established in October. Suggestions for trainings or cross-stream activities are accepted year-round; however discretionary funding is limited once the plan is approved.

Training Philosophy

The philosophy behind PDAT-sponsored training is practical -- the content of a training program should be based on strengthening the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to implement the project for which training is being provided. The training events should:

         Result from collaborative work of program staff, community agencies, trainers and members

         Provide perspectives and skills that facilitate successful entry into the host community and allow successful implementation of the project

         Provide members with the basic skills that allow them to serve productively and transition out of the programs when their service is completed

         Integrate the preparation, action, and reflection cycle characteristic of effective service learning

         Enable members to understand the value of their service as a contribution to the greater community

         Include mechanisms for evaluation, feedback and recommendations for improvement

Examples of Approved PDAT Activities

Activities include a range of educational, experiential, service learning, and technical assistance options, such as:

         Local workshops or on-site consultation to develop strong programs with clear mission, goals and objectives, healthy teamwork, and smooth, professional management, fiscal and administrative systems

         Development of training manuals for improving participant and program staff skills, including interpersonal and practical site-specific skills necessary to Get Things Done in communities

         Peer exchanges to strengthen management and service delivery models

         Travel funds for program staff to attend national provider or state sponsored conferences

         Computer bulletin boards for sharing effective statewide practices 

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