Semester of Graduation

Fall 2023


Master of Science (MS)


Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation

Document Type



As youth leave primary education and enter college or a career path, preparing those youth to ensure success has fallen, in large part, upon formal and non-formal youth educators. Encouraging students to apply and complete college has been a focus of education professionals for many years. Historically, gauging college and career readiness (CCR), academic institutions have relied on academic performance in areas of English Language Arts and Mathematics (Mattern, et. al, 2014). The use of academic focused measures instead of student-based evaluation had its drawbacks. While core education is important, measuring soft skills needed for the workforce and college environment will allow education professionals the insight needed into truly preparing youth to enter the world following high school graduation.

To better understand the impact of the 4-H Youth Development Program on college and career readiness, this study aimed to assess Louisiana 4-H 8th – 12th graders’ perceptions of college and career readiness. A review of the literature revealed that many youth are not properly prepared for college or a career, and that a definitive definition of college and career readiness is not available.

Analysis of the results revealed that 8th – 12th grade Louisiana 4-H members are not receiving the specific guidance needed to prepare for job interviews, develop a resume’ or apply for college scholarships. Results demonstrated a need for career and college readiness programming focusing on developing resumes, preparing for job interviews, and financial assistance.



Committee Chair

Cater, Melissa W.