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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Posted: 12/18/2015
Extension Specialist, 4-H - College and Career Readiness - A15--520

The University of Illinois Extension State 4-H office is seeking an innovative, resourceful, and creative individual for the Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development position.  This position integrates program leadership, partnership, scholarship, and public engagement into its everyday practice. 

The Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development will focus on college and career readiness.  It is an academic (non-tenured) staff member of the State 4-H Office of the University of Illinois Extension within the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois.  The State 4-H Office is affiliated with the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, and provides leadership to the 4-H Youth Development Program delivered through University of Illinois Extension staff and offices throughout the state. This position integrates program leadership, partnership, scholarship, and public engagement into its everyday practice.  Working in collaboration with Extension faculty, staff and partners, this position will lead and consult on applied research, collaboration with diverse stakeholders, program design for youth, and training efforts aimed at enhancing the capacities of adults working with youth.

One full time position is available.

Location: Extension State 4-H Office, Champaign, IL 

This is a security-sensitive position. Comprehensive background checks, including but not limited to a criminal conviction information check, a CANTS (Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System) check, and a review of the Registered Sex Offender list, will be conducted.

Specific responsibilities of the Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development are as follows:

·         Develop partnerships with faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, other institutions of higher education (2 yr and 4yr) and employers across Illinois to identify current gaps, needs and opportunities in preparing youth for college and careers.

·         Involve diverse stakeholders and youth in the design and implementation of 4-H college and career readiness programs offered through a wide variety of access systems, including community clubs, special interest clubs, school enrichment programs, after school programs, camps, community workshops, and on-line websites.

·         Utilize technology and other learning tools to create wider opportunities for college and career exploration.

·         Develop and implement formative and summative evaluation strategies to inform Illinois 4-H college and career readiness programs.

·         Identify, design, and teach professional development experiences for Extension staff, volunteers, and other partners located throughout the state related to research-informed best practices in college and career readiness programs, as well as training related to working with diverse audiences of youth.

·         Seek grants and donors that will support college and career readiness research and program development for youth.

·         Serve as Illinois liaison for state and national committees related to college and career readiness.

·         Collaborate with other 4-H staff and volunteers to create and support 4-H teen leadership opportunities as an important mechanism for college and career preparation.

·         Identify and support opportunities for collaboration and interdisciplinary work with other teams within University of Illinois Extension.

·         Provide programmatic leadership for the annual 4-H Illini Summer Academies event that is implemented in partnership with various departments at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

·         Work as part of a State 4-H Office team to support statewide events such as State Fair and connect to other aspects of the state 4-H Youth Development plan of work as needed.

·         Comply with all University of Illinois Extension Affirmative Action/equal opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of position responsibilities.


The individual in this position reports to the University of Illinois Extension Assistant Dean and Director, 4-H Youth Development, and is a member of the State 4-H Office staff.   The position is affiliated with the University of Illinois Extension in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.



·         Master’s degree with significant coursework in a discipline or program related to youth development, education or a related field.

·         Experience designing college and career readiness programs for youth

·         Experience working with diverse youth audiences

·         Evidence of cultural competency

·         Knowledge of experiential learning and positive youth development

·         Experience building and working within cross-institution partnerships

·         Evidence of strong oral and in written communication skills

·         Evidence of strong interpersonal and teamwork skills



·         Ph.D. in a discipline or program related to youth development, education or a related field

·         Experience with program evaluation

·         Experience working with youth in formal and informal settings

·         Experience providing professional development and training for adults

·         Experience recruiting and managing volunteers

·         Demonstrated ability to write, manage and fulfill grant and special project requirements

·         Flexibility, resiliency, and the ability to operate with minimal guidance

Additional Information

The position is a full-time, benefits-eligible, non-tenure academic professional position appointed on a 12-month service basis. The expected start date is as soon as possible after the closing date. Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Generous vacation and sick leave. State Universities Retirement System. Group health, dental, vision, and life insurance.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE:  To apply, go to and click Apply Now.  Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume addressing your qualifications as they align with the job description.  In addition, step one of the online application will require the names and contact information of three professional references. Transcripts may be requested at a later date.

To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by January 11, 2016.

For further information please contact Dr. Madonna Weese, University of Illinois Extension State 4-H Office, 217-333-0910, For technical assistance with the online application process, call 217-333-6747 or email

Illinois is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. Illinois welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (