The 4-H Challenge program uses the 4-H Common Measures 2.0, to describe a youths’ experiences, evaluate 4-H programming and inform professional development practices. It is designed for youth in grades 4 through 12 who have participated for at least 6 hours of program time. Students voluntarily opt-in to participate in the survey, which is administered at the conclusion of the school year and summer 4-H Challenge related programs, projects or grants.
The instruments selected for this evaluation are made up of separate modules: Demographics, 4-H Experience, Healthy Living: Physical Activity, Science, and Citizenship. Combining these modules into a set of self-report surveys allows us to reach our goals of evaluating 4-H programming, informing program improvement efforts and addressing overall program impact.
2018 is the first year that the Chelan Douglas County Extension 4-H Challenge program will implement this evaluation in measuring student growth in citizenship, science and healthy living. Collecting information regarding the demographics of participating youth and their 4-H experiences will give us opportunity to reflect and make informed decisions to the populations and service areas we employ 4-H Challenge within Chelan and Douglas Counties. Beyond Common Measures, efforts are taken to assess effectiveness in participant lives. Observations are collected in what students are doing with their lives as a result of their participation and feedback from parents, teachers and counselors helps determine positive behavior changes.
In their own words…
According to his case director, since participating in the Challenge Program Juan, a 7th grader from Children’s Home Society, has expressed a greater desire to improve his grades and curb his behavioral problems, and regularly talks about wanting to go back to the Challenge Course.
6th grade teacher, Shannon Fouler, expressed amazement as she observed Maria, a hard working but very shy Hispanic girl, repeatedly step into major leadership roles throughout their day on the low challenge course.
A high school student in the 4-H Forestry Ed. program, summed up her challenge course experience saying, “I have learned a lot about teamwork, respect and about my body. I did things I thought we would not be able to achieve, made great friends in just days and learned that I was capable of so much more than I ever thought before. I did not expect to be called a good leader. It made me feel so good about myself and really helped my self-image. I would recommend this program to everyone. It was incredible.”
For more information about the 4-H Challenge program and our Evaluation System, please visit the https://4-h.org/professionals/common-measures/ website .