Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Division of Agriculture (SAFES)
Christopher J. Eck
Joseph L. Donaldson
Since 1902, 4-H Youth Development programs have been implemented by Cooperative Extension Agents or Educators for teaching, influencing, and leading youth to new life skills that can shape and influence their futures. The motto of 4-H is “learn by doing” and is practiced with a hands-on learning approach. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, 4-H programs and clubs around the nation were confined to home or distance learning and no group interaction, some even still confined to virtual-only events. This study analyzes how 4-H, specifically in South Carolina, was implemented without meeting in person. 4-H participants and their parents in South Carolina appreciated the efforts put forth by the 4-H Agents, Specialists, Educators, and Volunteers during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Quantitative data revealed there was a change in knowledge after participating in the virtual and take-home activities. The data also revealed that participants who were not already 4-H members were planning on joining their local chapter of 4-H in the upcoming program year. Qualitative data and interviews revealed two main themes: communication (before and during COVID-19) as well as positive and negative 4-H Agent/Volunteer leader impacts on involvement and retention. Future recommendations include, but are not limited to, gathering more input from 4-H youth and their families to understand needs and ensure programs are relevant and appealing to all eligible persons, plus instruction be delivered to Extension professionals to consistently create surveys using 4-H Common Measures.
Hood, Lauren Burdine, "Were the "Best Made Better" Without In-Person Programming? Content Analysis of Extension 4-H Programming During the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Carolina" (2021). All Theses. 3613.