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University of Minnesota Extension

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The backbone of positive youth development programs is research. The Extension Center for Youth Development conducts and shares out-of-school time research and evaluation with policy makers, stakeholders, program leaders, youth work practitioners, decision makers and researchers to address important issues related to the field of youth development.

We deliver:

  • Original research of our own and in partnership with others
  • Evaluation studies to measure effectiveness and outcomes
  • Public symposia on youth development research and ideas
  • Networking opportunities with youth development stakeholders in Minnesota, the United States and around the world

Extension > Youth Development > Research

Equity, culture and diversity

Learn ways to develop cultural competencies and create conditions for everyone to participate, prosper, and reach their full potential.

Social and emotional learning

Social and emotional learning skills make good citizens, good learners and successful people.

Program evaluation

Does your program make a difference?

Youth programs

Engaging youth in positive afterschool programming is a vital part of youth development.

Youth work

Giving young people the best opportunities to thrive and learn means a need for continuing professional development for youth workers.

Volunteer development

Learn ways to implement and evaluate volunteer development in your youth program.

Program quality

Quality does matter and directly affects the development of youth.


In Youth Development Insight, our faculty bridge research and practice. They offer their views on what's happening in the field, with an eye to evidence-based research.

Learning theory and environments

Researchers and practitioners have contributed to an array of knowledge about how to maximize outcomes, with positive youth development as a core philosophy.

Online learning

Online is one of the places in which youth and adults can learn.


Studies show that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) programs enrich learning.

Citizenship and leadership

Developing leadership skills involves building civic and social responsibilities.

Healthy living

Adolescence is a time of emotional and physical change and growth.


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