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Youth Work Matters Online

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The Youth Work Matters Online course takes an in-depth exploration into the foundational research and theories of positive youth development. It allows participants to interact with other youth development professionals from around the state, region and nation. Activities include synchronized group time and individual exploration.

Participants will interact with an online community to explore, wrestle and produce resources and skills for working with young people. The content comes from real youth work experience and strong research-based material, including the basic youth needs, ecological context, assets and resiliency, and experiential learning. 

Over a four-week period, including an introductory week, participants can expect to spend 4-8 hours/ week and up to 24 hours total on this course. Past participants report that they wish they had planned ahead and designated more time to devote to the course. Setting aside intentional time devoted to online work is required to have the full professional development experience. Both interactive and self-paced learning will be experienced by:

How it works:

Participants will engage with an online community to:

Cohort-based course:

This online course is designed and delivered as a cohort-based, professional development opportunity in which the participants learn, apply and share the information together. Participants work through the same material (2-3 modules) each week as a group. This includes live (same time) webinar experiences and pre-recorded presentations, forum discussions, etc that are completed on their own time during that week.  There is an expectation of completing 2-3 modules and interacting with the coinciding forum discussions and activities as outlined by the course schedule on a weekly basis. This is different than an asynchronous, self-paced course that you experience individually on your own time, without interaction with others.

Synchronized activities (learning together!)

Although the majority of content in the course can be navigated on your own time, we will have three live 90 minute webinars on dates and times to be determined. Dates will be posted as soon as they have been decided. Try to set aside this time to participate in the webinars. All webinars are recorded to view later in case you need to miss one.

What you’ll have when you walk away:

Watch the Youth Work Matters Online course video

Technical Requirements:

Who should attend: Direct service providers, part-time staff and volunteers

Contacts: Kari Robideau and Anne Stevenson

People who have taken this course say:

"Where do I start? This course has given me the language/skills/tools to intentionally develop programming that keeps the young people central and to intentionally enhance dual learning between adults and youth with process, dialogue, and decision making."

"This workshop made me take a look back in many different ways on how I interact and how I can work with youth. I think it helped me open up and see youth in a different perspective by making me remember what it was like to be young again. I also thought there were a few great pieces on working with adults and thinking about how we can program differently.  It moves me from assuming the responsibility of having to plan activities/programs in order to provide opportunities for the youth to experience leadership (service). One obstacle to overcome is the emphasis that has been put on numbers. So much pressure has been put on 4-H PCs to grow the program in this way. I will be more intentional about selling "quality" to the stakeholders rather than "quantity". There is a risk in this, but if we don't take it, we are doing a disservice to the youth and the stakeholders, because we will not produce the results that we are claiming."

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