4-H Professional, Research, Knowledge and Competencies 2017

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Dr. Richard Clark

4-H professional staff provide more than six million young people each year with meaningful positive youth development experiences. An extensive body of knowledge informs each 4-H program, and the professionals who lead them. The 4-H Professional Research, Knowledge, and Competency (PRKC) framework offers 4-H professionals a scholarly guide for professional development.

PRKC Framework 2017 Growing Together is the title of the 2017 4-H PRKC guide which provides a roadmap for the 4-H youth development work-force. The PRKC guide uses a four -level taxonomy including domains, topics, components, and competencies to help 4-H professionals in every aspect of their work, from program planning and evaluation, to volunteer
development, diversity training, and organizational effectiveness. The document also offers guidance on essential subject matter necessary in youth development as well as competencies that describe the skills and behaviors people need to be effective youth development professionals. The full framework can be found on the USDA website.

The PRKC covers multiple areas of focus for proessional development:

  • Youth development: utilizing the knowledge of the human growth and development process to create environments that help youth reach their full potential.
  • Youth program development: planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that achieve youth development outcomes.
  • Volunteerism: building and maintaining a volunteer program management system for the delivery of youth development programs.
  • Access, equity, and opportunity: interacting effectively and equitably with individuals and building long-term relationships with diverse communities.
  • Partnerships: engaging youth in community development and engaging the broader community in youth development.
  • Organizational systems: using systems effectively to build capacity of the organization and its people to work with and on behalf of young people.