Montana State 4-H volunteer leader college : does it make a difference?
Bradbury, Ricarda Marie
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The purpose of this study was to measure the degree to which leaders who received training through the Montana 4-H Volunteer Leader College (VLC) had an affect on the life skills development of members in their 4-H clubs. Data was collected using a written survey. Leaders and members from 4-H clubs in Montana comprised the sample. Descriptive statistics, two-tailed t-tests, and chisquare were generated for analysis. After analysis, the following conclusions, recommendations and implications were made: Conclusions: (1) 4-H members surveyed were demographically similar. Leaders in the treatment group had been involved more years as 4-H leaders. Leaders from the treatment group reported receiving higher levels of training from 4-H extension. (2) Membersα perceptions of their life skills or leadersα perceptions of their ability to provide members with life skills were not influenced by training through the VLC. (3) A greater occurrence of officer training and a difference in officer selection was reported by members of the treatment group. (4) Community involvement, as summarized by leaders, seemed to be more varied and occurred more often in the treatment group. Higher levels in this area were also perceived by members in the treatment group. Recommendations: (1) Further study was recommended to determine if mandatory training of volunteer leaders for life skills development provided different impacts than volunteer training, Additionally, further research was needed to determine the effect officer election and training strategies employed by leaders had on level of community involvement of clubs. (3) Assessment of the VLC was recommended, with consideration given to the National 4-H Strategic Plan. (4) A quasi-experimental design using larger treatment and control groups from throughout Montana should be conducted. (5) Changes to the survey instrument should be included in further research. Implications: (1) Overall, the perceived life skills possessed by Montana State 4-H members were high, regardless of leader training. (2) Alternative explanations were available concerning specific leader practices of officer training and selection and community involvement.