Nebraska 4-H

Career & College Readiness

teens smiling and standing around a horse

Nebraska 4-H prepares youth to make informed decisions about their careers and college path. Programs assist young people with developing skills that will lead to greater persistence in college and employability. By participating in a college or career readiness program, youth gain awareness of higher education options, identify relationships between careers and 4-H projects, develop college and career readiness skills, aspire to and enroll in higher education, be engaged in on-campus events, and actively explore careers. 

Through career and college readiness programs youth develop important life skills, including:

  • Social skills
  • Stress management
  • Self-discipline
  • Self-motivation
  • Responsibility

PREPARING YOUTH TO MAKE DECISIONS TODAY AND FOR THEIR FUTURE

4-H programs in this area are focused on providing youth the opportunity to develop and practice good decision-making skills. Daily youth are called upon to exercise their decision-making abilities. Two places that Nebraska 4-H has focused their efforts are in the areas of Healthy Living and College and Career Readiness. The Healthy Living programs delivered by Assistants and Educators statewide are designed to build youth’s knowledge about nutrition, physical fitness, healthy relationship and overall wellness. The Career and College Readiness programs focus on informing youth about their post-secondary opportunities and providing them a chance to explore all of the factors that influence that decision. The ultimate goal in each area is to increase their knowledge and provide authentic opportunities to practice the decision making they will encounter in these areas of their life. Feature programs include:

4-H Healthy Living Programs

4-H and Food, Nutrition, and Health Extension professionals served 9,300 youth in 41 counties with healthy living programs. Respondents showed significant, positive intentions, knowledge, and behavior changes in the following areas:

  • More aware of daily fruit, vegetable, and water consumption, daily activity, and screen time.
  • Eating less fast food and giving their family ideas for healthy meals and snacks more often.
  • Follow and make changes to a recipe, use knives safely, and keep cooking areas clean for food safety.

Connecting the Dots

Connecting the Dots, an interactive career exploration simulation program, engaged over 3,500 - 9th and 10th-grade students in learning about careers of interest as well as how to "connect the dots" from 9th grade, through post-secondary, to the workplace. 

As a result of the Connecting the Dots program:

  • 90% say this program has helped them explore future career options.
  • 88% of participants have a better idea of what they might do after high school.

Connecting the Dots Program

Next Chapter at Nebraska

Next Chapter, a college readiness program and a University of Nebraska–Lincoln pre-admittance program, is offered to 8th-grade students enrolled in 4-H. Throughout high school, pre-admitted students engage in events, activities, and curriculum during which they will learn how to successfully transition from high school to college. In two years, Next Chapter has served over 2,000 youth statewide.

Next Chapter Program