The 4-H Connection to Career Education: A Model for Collaboration

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In the U.S.A. and many other countries, people are familiar with the 4-H model of youth development. The 4-H provides opportunities to develop knowledge and skills in over 80 different subjects called projects. One project area relates to careers. Publications have been developed by land grant universities to support projects in career education. Career education is seen as an important part of youth education and in some states, such as Arkansas, all eighth grade students are required to enroll in a semester long course called Career Orientation (CO). Eighth-grade students in public schools are at the crossroads. During this time they develop a plan for completion of high school credits to meet graduation requirements, and that will prepare for success beyond high school. Resources for career education are abundant but teachers face a critical decision point with selection of age appropriate resources that align with the frameworks standards for CO, since no specific textbook is required in this state. A survey in 2006 of Arkansas CO teachers confirmed their interest in a “one-stop” curriculum source. This project sought to provide a systematic set of resources that would meet the state standards and would be age appropriate and available to everyone through their local Extension office. Two Extension faculty developed a set of resources that aligned with the state frameworks and followed the recommended mode of delivery which focuses on activity based or “hands-on” learning as a means of career exploration. The program has been called “4-H COnnections”. It is a collaborative effort between 4-H programs offered through land grant universities and the career orientation program administered through the Department of Workforce Education. This program has been used as a model for other states and has won a national Extension award for collaboration and innovation.


Keywords: Careers, Career Resources, Career Education, Career Orientation, 4-H, Extension Service, Hands-on
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Debbie DeRosseti

Extension Agent, Craighead County, University of Arkansas
Jonesboro, Arkansas, USA

Ms. Debbie DeRossitte holds a BSE from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a Masters in Vo-Tech Administration from Arkansas State University-Jonesboro. She is certified in Career Orientation and has taught CO in the public school. She has been with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service for five years. She is currently the Family and Consumer Science Agent in Craighead County Arkansas. Her knowledge of career education and of Extension resources helped facilitate the development of this program.

Earlene Brecheen

Extension Agent, Van Buren County
Clinton, Arkansas, USA

Mrs. Earlene Brecheen taught public school in Arkansas for 28 years. She is also a certified Career Orientation teacher and spent the last 12 years of her career in education teaching Career Orientation in the eighth grade. Upon leaving public school education she has worked for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service as a county level Family and Consumer Science agent for the last 12 years. She holds a BSE and MSE Degrees from the University of Central Arkansas. She is currently the Family and Consumer Science agent in Van Buren County Arkansas. Her knowledge of Career Orientation and of Extension resources helped facilitate the development of this program.

Dr. David Agnew

Associate Professor, College of Agriculture, Arkansas State University
State University, AR, USA

Dr. David Agnew is Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at Arkansas State University in the U.S. where he has been on faculty for 17 years. He taught at the secondary level for five years in Tennessee and has been on faculty at Montana State University and the University of Nebraska. He is currently involved in preservice preparation of secondary teachers of agriculture, and the certification of adult educators and career educators. Dr. Agnew is also Co-Director of Arkansas Food Land and People. He has conducted research and has presented and published in the areas of agricultural literacy, leadership and career education.

Ref: L08P0480