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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Posted: 02/26/2019
Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development (Youth Leadership and Recognition)

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

University of Illinois Extension

Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development – 108450

The Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development, Youth Leadership and Recognition will focus on youth leadership programs along a pathway of county to state to national/international experiences. This position serves as a regular, full-time, 12-month academic professional staff member of the State 4-H Office of University of Illinois Extension within the College of Agriculture, Consumer, and Environmental Sciences (ACES). The State 4-H Office provides leadership to the 4-H Youth Development Program delivered through University of Illinois Extension staff and offices throughout the state. This position will integrate program leadership, partnership, scholarship, and public engagement into its everyday practice. In collaboration with Extension faculty, staff and partners, this position will lead and consult on statewide youth leadership and recognition programs and the state-level youth conferences and events that are part of this program implementation.

One full-time position is available.

Location: State 4-H Office, Champaign, IL

Additional positions may become available in other locations.

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer. Minorities, women, veterans and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit To learn more about the University’s commitment to diversity, please visit

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:

Leadership Program Development and Delivery

· Assess the needs for out-of-school time youth leadership programs in a systematic and analytical manner.

· Develop non-formal youth education programs in the areas of youth leadership that support the 4-H mission to provide hands-on learning, equip youth with skills and experiences for mastery, create opportunities for related career exploration, and empower youth to use what they learn to influence and impact others.

· Develop, communicate and execute a strategic plan for the 4-H youth leadership program growth and program quality; includes vision for programs delivered by county 4-H staff and volunteers, as well as state events.

· Evaluate both short and long-term impact of 4-H youth leadership program initiatives.

· Participate in identification and use of research as it relates to leadership programs in collaboration with University of Illinois faculty and Extension staff across different disciplines.

State/National Youth Experience Development and Delivery

· Identify research-based best practices to develop and deliver the State 4-H Youth Leadership Team program and continually evaluate the practices and design for impact and improvement.

· Develop and deliver the State 4-H Awards & Recognition program and continually evaluate the practices for impact, inclusion and improvement.

· Design and implement state and national leadership learning experiences and evaluate the impact of the program implementation. Those include but are not limited to, Teen Leadership Conference, Junior Leadership Conference, and National 4-H Congress.

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

Professional Development Programming

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

· Keep informed of research best practices in the field of positive youth development and work with others to provide technical assistance and training to Extension staff and volunteers.

Partnership Development

· Serve as Illinois liaison for state and national committees related to work around youth leadership and youth-adult partnerships.

· Establish professional relationships and participate in campus-based partnerships to inform and support 4-H youth leadership programs delivered across the state.

· Establish community and industry partnerships to support 4-H program goals.

Research and Development

· Research and apply for target grants that will support youth leadership programs, including teen leadership experiences with teaching, mentoring, advising, advocating, planning and promoting. Includes budget management, staff supervision and program evaluation.

Other Information:

  • Assume additional related responsibilities to enhance and further the mission of University of Illinois Extension.

· Local, regional and (limited) statewide travel required.

  • Comply with all Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity policies and guidelines in all aspects of Extension work; assist Unit staff with data collection for Affirmative Action, Gender, and Targeted reports as needed.

· To perform the functions of this position, the employee will be required to perform work both within an office and outside in the communities that are served, and must have the capability to travel from one location to the other in a timely fashion. Employee is responsible for securing personal transportation. A valid driver’s license is preferred. Some work will be required during evenings and/or weekends. When working, the employee may be exposed to a variety of environmental factors to include, but not limited to, hot or cold weather, exposure to noise and allergens, and uneven ground. In performing the functions of this position, the employee may be subjected to various mental and physical demands as well to include, but not limited to, independently traveling to and performing work at different locations, lifting and moving items that may occasionally weigh up to forty (40) pounds and frequently weigh up to twenty (20) pounds, and twisting, pushing and pulling movements. More detailed information regarding the functions of this position (including the physical, mental and environmental requirements of the position) may be obtained from Human Resources for the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) by contacting  


The Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development is administratively responsible to the Assistant Dean and Director, 4-H Youth Development, and is a member of the State 4-H Office staff.


· Master’s degree in youth development or related field. Candidates with a Master’s degree in progress may be considered for interviews, but degree must be completed by hire date. Demonstrated work experience in youth-adult partnerships. Demonstrated knowledge of and experience in youth leadership programs. Experience working with diverse youth audiences.


· Ph.D. in youth development or a related field. Experience with grant writing and implementation. Experience with 4-H youth leadership programs. Experience with youth program evaluation.


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.


To apply, go to Log in to your account and upload a cover letter and resume, as well as the names and contact information of three professional references. Resume dates must be in month/year format and employment history, at a minimum, should include all work dating back to the completion of your undergraduate degree. Positions that were less than full-time/100% must be noted as being part-time. Transcripts may be requested at a later date. To receive full consideration, all requested application materials must be submitted via the online system by the close date of March 20, 2019.

For further information please contact Amy Leman at For technical assistance with the online application process call 217-333-6747 or email