Nebraska 4-H Youth Development

Career & College Success Programs

teens listening to adult wearing a hard hat
young adults listen to man wearing a hardhat

Nebraska 4-H Youth Development Program Priority

College & Career Success

In a world of rapid change, young people need the right mix of knowledge, skills, and experiences to effectively transition from education into the workforce. Youth need to be aware, explore, and intentionally prepare for their next steps in life. Today’s careers have multiple entry and exit points, and it is important for young people to recognize how to navigate effectively to reach their fullest potential. Through College and Career Readiness programs, youth will develop the knowledge, skills, and mindsets through experiential learning opportunities to explore potential postsecondary education and career options.

Nebraska 4-H prepares youth to make informed decisions about their careers and college paths. 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. 

Participation in 4-H can help youth connect the dots between their current educational experience through postsecondary education and training in the workforce. Preparing today’s youth for tomorrow’s world includes connecting youth with caring adult mentors and business and industry professionals who help them gain confidence, take ownership of their learning and make informed decisions regarding their personal career path. College and Career Readiness programs can help lead young people to gainful employment, providing sustainable wages and opportunities for advancement to meet the demands of our ever-changing global workforce.

Through these programs, youth practice critical life skills, including


Social Skills


Stress management








and many more

Signature Programs


Connecting the Dots

Grades 9-10

Connecting the Dots is a full-day program delivered through an interactive college/career simulation workshop featuring military, postsecondary, and business and industry experiences.

Connecting the Dots


Next Chapter

High School

Next Chapter at Nebraska includes 4 chapters per year delivered through classrooms, afterschool, clubs, retreats, and virtual programs.

Next Chapter


Tech Changemakers

High School - Adults

4-H Tech Changemakers offers multiple 45-minute to 1-hour sessions for high school students and adult job seekers. The program is delivered via in-person or online digital employability skills training.

Tech Changemakers

Additional Statewide Programs

Career Chat Live

Career Chat Live is a live, online career exploration experience for middle school students. Each session focuses on a new set of careers and feature real-world workforce professionals as guest speakers. The program is offered in partnership with EducationQuest Foundation

Career Chat Live

Big Red Camps

Big Red Summer Camps are residential, career exploration experiences held each June at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. During the week-long camps, youth will work with faculty to explore the topic of their particular camp, like filmmaking or crop science. Topics vary each year. The program is open to youth going into grades 9-12 during the upcoming school year.

Big Red Camps

Mapping Your Success

This train-the-trainer program is designed to help counselors and teachers equip their high school students to take initiative in building a path to career and college success.

Mapping Your Success

Launching Nebraska-nauts

Launching Nebraska-nauts was an in-flight education downlink experience connecting students across Nebraska to astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Resources from the live event are available for educators.

Launching Nebraska-nauts

Real World Money

Target audience: 5-8th grades

Real World Money is a half-day or full-day program delivered through an interactive financial literacy simulation workshop.

pilot: Making the Connection

Target audience: 5-8th grades

Delivery: Project-based challenge with business and industry mentors

Timeframe: synchronous half-day

pilot: Stepping into Success

Target audience: 9-12th grades

Delivery: Online course with ability to earn digital badges

Timeframe: synchronous, asynchronous

For questions about this program or the information on this page, please contact: