Factors Affecting 4-H Professionals Making Significant Changes in Their Volunteer Programs
Author(s)Gast, Gerald Gilbert
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Thesis (Ed.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
The main question addressed in this exploratory research involved the relationships between change in the 4-H professionals' perceived functionality of the volunteers' role behavior, perceived change in the volunteers' job satisfaction, related learning activities, and other variables identified as potentially facilitating or limiting 4-H professionals making significant changes in their volunteer programs.
A questionnaire was mailed to a randomly selected national sample of 624 4-H professionals who were members of the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents. The response rate was 73.7%. Chi-square was the principal test used in analysis.
The main findings included: (1) In comparison to the less experienced 4-H professionals, the experienced 4-H professionals were more successful in giving volunteers responsibilities and in having volunteers obtain ownership of the 4-H program. (2) The situation of the volunteers was an important variable when 4-H professionals made their significant change in their volunteer program. (3) The 4-H professionals who were faced with anomalous situations, and identified the situation as a difficulty, were generally unsuccessful in improving their volunteer programs. (4) The 4-H professionals who were faced with an anomalous situation in their volunteer programs, and did not receive learning assistance from others, were likely to be unsuccessful in improving their volunteer programs. (5) 4-H professionals indicated that volunteers who assumed ownership of the 4-H program in positive ways were likely to receive satisfaction from what they were doing as volunteers in the 4-H program.
The major conclusions and implications focused on those who will provide 4-H professionals with training that can be used in conducting volunteer programs. These trainers will need to become more aware of the volunteers' situation before providing assistance to the 4-H professionals. Trainers will need to assist the 4-H professional to become capable of identifying anomalous situations in the volunteer program and then have them seek learning activities which will assist them in solving these problems.