Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Dr. Jennifer McGarry, Dr. Laura Burton, Dr. Sarah Woulfin

Field of Study

Sport Management


Master of Science

Open Access

Open Access


Professional development for Out-of-School time (OST) staff is a comprehensive term that can refer to a variety of education, training, and development opportunities (Bouffard & Little, 2004). As a way to develop staff, organizations spend time and resources to provide opportunities that encourage the acquisition of knowledge and growth. One theory that has been looked at for its impact on professional development is the Community of Practice (CoP) is a framework (Wenger, 1998). With its focus on learning as social participation, CoP framework defines itself along three dimensions; joint enterprise, mutual engagement and shared repertoire (Cheng & Lee, 2013; Akerson, Cullen, & Hanson, 2009; Wenger, 1998). The following research study utilizes a qualitative approach to examine ways in which the professional development of a sport-based youth development organization (Community Sport) housed at a large Northeastern public university aligned with the CoP framework. Through the use of focus groups and practitioners’ journals, the researcher collected information on the professional development of Community Sport. Through data analysis, the researcher found that the professional development of Community Sport aligned with the tenets of the CoP framework. The findings of this study discuss the ways in which the tenets of CoP were supported by the professional development of Community Sport and other insights the research gleaned from the use of CoP framework.

Major Advisor

Dr. Jennifer McGarry