Identification of Priority Skill Areas for Volunteer Professional Development

Car Mun Kok, Dorina M. Espinoza, Steven M. Worker, Charles Go, JoLynn C. Miller

Abstract


Youth development programs often rely on volunteers to deliver programming to young people. Our study explored the skills and competencies volunteers self-identified as important for their roles. We analyzed qualitative responses to 2 open-ended questions asking University of California 4-H volunteers to identify priority skills to aid in their volunteer development. Using inductive thematic analysis, we developed a coding scheme to analyze 1,144 responses. Participants reported the need for professional development in content-specific areas, program management basics, and child development. Volunteers also reported desiring training in educational practices, organizational skills, specific volunteer roles, and communication skills. The modalities through which volunteers were willing to develop these skills were peer-to-peer learning; online, in-person, classes and conferences; and continuous education. Given the importance of adult volunteers to youth development programs, it is essential that volunteers’ professional and skill development be supported by both effective and preferred approaches.


Keywords


volunteer skill development; volunteer professional development

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2020.876

Copyright (c) 2020 Car Mun Kok, Dorina M. Espinoza, Steven M. Worker, Charles Go, JoLynn C. Miller

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