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4-H Professional and Volunteer Development

4‑H is committed to delivering high quality positive youth development throughout the entire 4‑H system.

4-H defines professional development as high quality, research-based, educational resources and learning opportunities that build the competency, capacity, and connections of 4-H staff, volunteers, stakeholders, and emerging adults/professionals. The Division of Youth and 4-H works to assure a trained 4-H workforce (paid and volunteer) by collaborating, connecting state partners, convening a professional development working group and highlighting quality resources available to the Cooperative Extension system.

Recent activities include reviewing professional competencies, conducting a national professional development resource review, and conducting annual professional development e-academies.

4-H Professional Development

4-H PRKC 2017 – Growing Together
We are pleased to present to you Growing Together: 4-H PRKC 2017. This is the Professional Research, Knowledge and Competency Framework for 4-H professionals. The 4-H PRKC consists of six domains that create the framework for professional competencies that are vital to the success of the 4-H professional.

4-H Volunteer Development

Quality volunteer systems connect young people with caring adults, leading to positive outcomes for youth.

Volunteer systems include: (1) managing a volunteer program and (2) creating and conducting volunteer development opportunities and resources Over 500,000 volunteers enroll in 4-H on an annual basis. Volunteers are 4-H’s direct connection with youth. It is vital that these volunteers are prepared to provide an impactful 4-H program.

The Division of Youth and 4-H leads volunteerism specialists from state 4-H programs in creating and promoting connections and resources and provides leadership in defining what volunteerism means and how change needs to continue to happen.


Program type
Emphasis Area Program
Program Specific Resources
4-H PRKC 2017 Fact Sheet (pdf - 184.16 KB)
4-H PRKC 2017 Guide (pdf - 294.74 KB)
4-H PRKC 2017 Self Assessment (pdf - 294.44 KB)
4-H PRKC Primary References (pdf - 74.06 KB)

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