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New 4-H project prepares young people for higher education

The Issue

Research shows that high school graduates who select majors that are congruent with their interests, are able to match educational plans with requirements of desired careers, attend an institution that is a good match and develop realistic goals are more likely to be successful in achieving their educational and career aspirations. As such, young people need opportunities to explore and develop their educational and career interests as well as goal management skills.

What Has ANR Done?

UC Cooperative Extension educators developed and implemented 4-H Pathways to Your Future: Destination UC, an education and career exploration project designed for youth in grades 7-12. The project included curriculum, guest speakers and experts from the community, as well as UC campus tours. Forty-nine youth from 4-H community clubs in Merced, Monterey and Shasta counties participated in the Pathways project.

The Payoff

4-H Pathways project gives young people experiences and skills needed for postsecondary success

As a result of participating in the project, young people reported significant increases in their ability to connect academic and career aspirations to their interests, skills or talents; understanding of different pathways to higher education; identification of their pathway to higher education; understanding of how to prepare for UC; plans to attend UC; exploration of different careers; and the ability to set and manage goals. The Pathways project has the potential to serve as a UC educational outreach program for 4-H and other similar youth-serving programs. The findings are promising and indicate that the Pathways project addresses those areas of educational and career preparation that improve postsecondary success.

Clientele Testimonial

“I really enjoyed the ‘Pathways to the Future’ program. It helped me very much on how I need to prepare to go to college. I also learned about how to actually look at colleges.” – Amber, 4-H member from Merced County


Supporting Unit: Youth, Families & Communities

Shannon J. Dogan, Associate Director of 4-H Program & Policy, (530) 754-8518, sjdogan@ucanr.edu
Martin H. Smith, 4-H Science Literacy Specialist, (530) 752-6894, mhsmith@ucdavis.edu
Darlene McIntyre, 4-H Program Representative, (209) 385-7403, dlmcintyre@ucanr.edu
Cynthia Barnett, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, (530) 224-4900, ccbarnett@ucanr.edu
Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, (831) 759-7360, lschmittmcquitty@ucanr.edu