Comparing 4-H Volunteer Training Perceptions Among 4-H Volunteers and Educators
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Adult volunteers are an integral part of the 4-H program. Volunteers assist with all aspects of the 4-H program. Adult volunteers serve as club leaders, project leaders, chaperones, and are present at all 4-H activities. The purpose of the study was to compare 4-H volunteer training perceptions among 4-H volunteers and 4-H Educators and Coordinators. In particular, this study sought to find out how volunteers value their prior trainings, what topics do volunteers request further trainings on, how volunteers seek advice on volunteer related problems, and how 4-H Educators and Coordinators support 4-H volunteers with trainings? This research was conducted by using two surveys, and was distributed and analyzed using an online survey tool, Qualtrics. 4-H volunteers and 4-H Educators and Coordinators in six counties in Northwest Wisconsin were invited to participate in this study via email. The surveys consisted of multiple choice, Likert-type scale, and open-ended questions. The questions in the volunteer survey sought to determine demographics such as length of service and type of volunteer roles as well as perceptions of volunteers regarding training. The educator and coordinator survey sought to finding demographic information on length of service, and perceptions of educators and coordinators on volunteer training. Results of this research showed that volunteers rated the prior trainings they had received as beneficial. Volunteers were also likely to attend additional volunteer trainings. The volunteers indicated that future volunteer trainings should include the topic areas of 4-H knowledge, leadership development, and teaching skills. The educators and coordinators surveyed rated the trainings taught as helpful to volunteers. This study also showed a need for additional research on the topic of 4-H volunteer training to aid 4-H Educators and Coordinators in increasing volunteer satisfaction with volunteer training.