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Extension > Youth Development > Training and events > Online learning > Youth Work Matters Online: A self study

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Youth Work Matters Online: A self study

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Whether you are a parent, neighbor, church member, teacher or concerned citizen, your work with youth matters. We all have a responsibility to help young people grow and develop positively. Our role as caring adults makes a difference in their lives. Our work with youth - both volunteer and professional - needs to come from an informed, intentional way of understanding their lives and the ways we support and promote their growth.

During this course you will have an opportunity to learn more about youth development. Each lesson is designed to give you the opportunity to think and reflect on the work you do with youth. These come from a solid grounding in research and many years of daily work with youth by youth workers across the country.

This is a self-study course.

There are three "go at your own pace" (without a facilitator) modules. The course is designed to take a total of 2-4 hours to complete, with an average of 30 minutes on each module. The additional time participants spend on application activities will vary. Remember, the more you invest yourself in this learning experience, the more you will get out of it!

This course is free, but registration is required.


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Module 1: The Basic Components of Good Programs

  • Lesson 1 - Youth Development Philosophy: Learn the positive approach
  • Lesson 2 - Basic Youth Needs: Make sense of fundamental needs in everyday life
  • Lesson 3 - Young People in Context: Identify youth interactions with the world around them
  • Lesson 4 - Community Connections: Build supportive links to programs and resources

Module 2: The Critical Role of Adults in Youth Programs

  • Lesson 1 - Supporting Youth
  • Lesson 2 - Youth and Adult Partnerships
  • Lesson 3 - Interpersonal Dynamics

Module 3: The Key to Quality Youth Programs

  • Lesson 1 - Ages and Stages of Youth: Appreciate differences between age groups
  • Lesson 2 - Intentional Outcomes: Know where your program is going and why
  • Lesson 3 - Experiential Learning: Make the most out of every experience
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