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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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Posted: 05/19/2020
Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development (College and Career Readiness)


University of Illinois Extension

College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)


Everything we do is designed to improve the quality of life of the people in the state of Illinois, across the nation, and around the world. We discover, develop, translate, and disseminate knowledge to address societal concerns and train the next generation of experts and leaders in a way that empowers them to expand the boundaries of science to higher levels of understanding and influence.

Be a part of our story. Through learning partnerships that extend knowledge and change lives, University of Illinois Extension provides educational programs aimed at making life better, healthier, safer, and more profitable for individuals and their communities. Illinois Extension has operated continuously for more than 100 years connecting the citizens of Illinois to their land-grant university by providing educational programming around the state. University of Illinois Extension is based in the College of ACES and works with all colleges and units of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development will focus on college and career readiness for 4-H Youth in Illinois. This position serves as a regular, full-time, 12-month academic professional with primary responsibility for providing leadership to the 4-H Youth Development Program delivered through University of Illinois Extension staff and offices throughout the state. 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 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, evaluation design, staff training, and resource development aimed at enhancing the capacities of adults working with youth.

One full time position is available.

Location: State 4-H Office

(Position will be housed at the State 4-H Office – Champaign, IL. Other locations may be considered)

The University of Illinois is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action employer that recruits and hires qualified candidates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or veteran status. For more information, visit

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

Specific responsibilities of the Extension Specialist, 4-H Youth Development (College and Career Readiness) are as follows:

Program Development and Delivery

· Involve diverse stakeholders and youth in the design and implementation of 4-H college and career readiness programs and event experiences 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 and engagement experiences.

· 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.

· 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.

Professional Development / Technical Assistance

· 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.

Partnership Development

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

· Liaise with Extension Educators at Discovery Partners Institute, Chicago High School for the Agricultural Sciences, and the Jackie Joyner Kersee Foundation Center to develop, promote, and evaluate college readiness, personal development and leadership, and career preparation programs.

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

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

Research and Development

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

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

Other Information

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

· Work as part of a State 4-H Office team to support statewide events such as State Fair and connect to other aspects Illinois’ 4-H vision and mission as needed.

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

· Occasional local, regional and statewide travel; personal transportation required.

· 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

Administrative Relationship

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



· Master’s degree in Youth Development or related field from an accredited institution of higher education. 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 design of college and career readiness programs.

· Experience working with diverse youth audiences.


· PhD from an accredited institution of higher education in youth development or related field.

· Experience with grant writing and implementation.

· Experience in 4-H youth development programming.

· Experience with youth program evaluation.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

· Team development skills, ability to work in an interdisciplinary environment, and sensitivity to limited resource audiences.

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 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 June 15, 2020.

As a qualifying federal contractor, the University of Illinois System uses E-Verify to verify employment eligibility.

The University of Illinois conducts criminal background checks on all job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent offer. The University of Illinois must also comply with applicable federal export control laws and regulations and, as such, reserves the right to employ restricted party screening procedures for applicants.

For further information about the position please contact Deanna Roby-Vorgias at For technical assistance with the online application process, please email