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PEPNet has recognized programs in two ways: through completion of self assessment and improvement planning, and through a peer-reviewed application process.

Self Assessment and Improvement Planning

PEPNet Builders are programs serving young people between the ages of 14-25 that have:


These programs are recognized by the National Youth Employment Coalition (NYEC) and receive the PEPNet Builder designation for their commitment to continuous improvement. They receive a certificate of recognition and will be listed as PEPNet Builders on NYEC's website and in an announcement in the NYEC members' newsletter, YouthNotes.

The PEPNet Builder status recognizes programs for their dedication to self assessment, program improvement and quality practices. Programs are encouraged to highlight their Builder status in communications with funders and other stakeholders to underscore their commitment to quality programming.

Click here for a list of PEPNet Builders.

Application Process

A PEPNet Promising Program is a program that went through the PEPNet Application Process and was found by peer reviewers to meet the criteria for Purpose and Activities and at least two of the remaining four former PEPNet criteria categories. This designation represents certification of promising approaches and the demonstration of a commitment to quality programming and continuous improvement. Promising Programs have not been designated since 2003, the last time PEPNet held its application process, which is currently being updated. Click here for a list of PEPNet Promising Programs.

A PEPNet Awardee, the most prestigious PEPNet designation, is a program that went through the PEPNet application process and was found by peer reviewers to meet PEPNet's criteria in all the five former criteria categories. PEPNet Awardees are recognized for their quality practices and generally considered to be some of the strongest youth programs. NYEC designated 96 Awardees from 1996-2003.

PEPNet has mined the efforts of the Awardees in order to share specific practices and strategies that work. PEPNet currently highlights over 1000 practices from the work of 66 Awardees designated from 1999-2003, through the Online Index to Quality Practicesthe PEPNet Institute conference and other venues.

NYEC has not designated Awardees since 2003, the last time it held the PEPNet Application process, which is currently being updated.

The rigorous, peer-reviewed Application Process, started in 1996 with support from the U.S. Department of Labor, has been on hiatus since fall 2003 while NYEC has worked on the PEPNet Enhancement Project. NYEC plans to develop a new recognition or accreditation process and is currently investigating different award and accreditation models and review techniques. NYEC is seeking funding to launch a new process in the future.

Click a link below to learn more.