Using the Delphi Technique to Determine Challenges Facing Oklahoma’s 4-H Program


  • Kristin Young Oklahoma State University 4-H Youth Development
  • Jeff Sallee Oklahoma State University 4-H Youth Development
  • Jon Ramsey Oklahoma State University Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership
  • Dwayne Cartmell Oklahoma State University Agricultural Education, Communications, and Leadership



Delphi technique, 4-H, challenges, research methods


As youth development organizations continue to evolve and grow, professionals are faced with the challenges to address the ever-changing needs of their clientele. In order to maintain the longevity of the Oklahoma 4-H program, Extension professionals must address challenges prohibiting, discouraging, or discontinuing participation of youth, families, and volunteers in the program. Additionally, state administrators should examine the challenges their staff face in efforts to execute the mission of 4-H Youth Development. A modified Delphi technique was employed in this study to determine the challenges facing Oklahoma 4-H. Two expert panels were used in this study: Extension educators and 4-H volunteers (Panel 1) and 4-H parents (Panel 2). After 3 rounds of the Delphi technique, Panel 1 identified 11 challenges and Panel 2 identified 9 challenges facing Oklahoma 4-H in the next 5 years. There were 8 identical challenges identified by both panels. These 8 challenges represent priorities for Oklahoma 4-H to address. This study could be replicated in any state to confirm the challenges facing youth development organizations. This research study indicates these findings may be widespread and affect other youth development organizations across the nation beyond the Oklahoma 4-H program.

Author Biographies

Kristin Young, Oklahoma State University 4-H Youth Development



Jeff Sallee, Oklahoma State University 4-H Youth Development

Dr. Jeff Sallee serves as an associate professor specializing in 4-H STEM programming for the Oklahoma 4-H youth development program, Oklahoma State University, Agricultural Education, Communication and Leadership department. Since 1991, Sallee has been dedicated to Extension and 4-H programs in Arkansas, Georgia and Oklahoma. Sallee focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) and has been successful at implementing service learning by applying youth voice and inquiry based educational techniques to integrate STEM elements into the Oklahoma 4-H program. Sallee has proved to be successful at incorporating STEM curriculum and programming into Oklahoma counties to develop educational projects and demonstrations, including robotics, water conservation, geospatial science, and digital media.


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Research & Evaluation Studies