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Extension Specialist - 4-H Youth Development

Apply now Department: 3670010210 NW Research Ext Center Colby
Job no: 512422
Employment type: Academic / Faculty - 12 month, Staff Full Time (Unclassified - Regular)
Location: Other
Categories: Education / Instructional, 4-H Youth Development, Extension Agent / Educator
Pay Grade: 001

About This Role:

The Western Kansas Research-Extension Centers and Department of 4-H Youth Development seeks a dynamic and innovative professional to provide leadership and programmatic direction for 4-H Youth Development in Northwest Kansas, specifically 9 local Extension units, comprised of 23 Kansas counties. The Extension Specialist will carry out the mission of the 4-H Youth Development Program and KSRE under the direction of the Western Research and Extension Centers Head, with contributions from the Department Head of 4-H Youth Development and the Western Local Unit Extension Director. This position may office in Colby or Hays, KS or remotely. 

The successful candidate will work with professionals and volunteers to develop developmentally progressive activities and experiences at the local unit and regional level that connects to state, national, and international learning opportunities. The Specialist will have responsibility for guiding program evaluation from local extension units related to their program area and for communicating the impact of 4-H Youth Development programming to local Kansas communities. Primary regional specialist responsibilities may include, but is not limited to:

  • Support local extension agents and staff through:
    • professional development on latest research and trends in positive youth development
    • Program Development Committee engagement and program priorities/needs assessments
    • local 4-H club and project support
    • regional educational events and contests
    • expand reach and program effectiveness in underserved populations
    • grant management, resource development, partnership and coalition building
  • Collaboration with Local Unit Regional Extension Director on matters of local 4-H program governance and program quality, i.e. policy interpretation, volunteer management, conflict management, etc.

In addition to supporting local units in Northwest Kansas, this position will also serve as a key member of a team of 4-H Youth Development Specialists who collaboratively work with the strategic content priorities of STEM & Agriculture, Communications, Culture & the Arts, Healthy Living, and Community Vitality to develop and deliver high quality education programs and workforce readiness initiatives.  It is preferred that the successful candidate will also provide statewide leadership for the strategic priority related to:

  1. Healthy Living, Food, Health & Wellness

Assigned to liaison Healthy Living related departments with K-State’s College of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Sciences including the Food Science Institute


  1. Outdoor Education and Natural Resources, Shooting Sports Education, Wildlife and Habitat Stewardship

Assigned with Outdoor Education and Natural Resources related departments with K-State’s College of Agriculture, Education. Specifically, with the Department of Horticulture and Natural Resources (wildlife and fisheries), Kansas Forest Service, and Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

Specialists will be expected to contribute to the broader mission of Research and Extension and integrate responsibilities, where appropriate, to address the grand challenges, including water, global food systems, health, vital communities, and leadership for tomorrow.

Why Join Us:

Kansas State University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – vacation, sick, and holidays. To see what benefits are available, please visit: 

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and promotes inclusion.  The University actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others.  The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in youth development, education, human development, non-profit and leadership studies, or a closely related discipline.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively (oral, written, and understanding skills).
  • Demonstrated commitment in working with diverse populations, equity and inclusion, and civil rights, with a special emphasis on removing barriers from participation and reaching diverse populations.
  • Demonstrated competence in building relationships and working effectively with individuals, groups, colleagues, and the ability to develop and lead partnerships and collaborations.
  • Demonstrated leadership and skills in clarifying performance expectations in working with boards and coaching employees via remote supervision.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to speak and communicate bilingually (Spanish preferred) and evidence of cultural sensitivity
  • Solid experience or coursework in developing and delivering education programs in a non-formal setting
  • Experience with workforce readiness initiatives particularly related to health, food systems and STEM-related careers.
  • Demonstrated record of competitive grant writing, fund development and marketing
  • Experience in working with and supervising volunteers
  • Teaching experience in community settings
  • Demonstrated use of computer and technology in managing and/or delivering educational programs.

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  1. Letter of application, no more than three pages, that addresses the applicant’s vision, qualifications , and personal leadership philosophy as it relates to youth and volunteer development.
  2. Curriculum vitae,
  3. Names, phone numbers and email addresses of three (3) professional references, and
  4. Copies of transcripts for all degrees and coursework

Contact Information: For more information about the position, please contact - Search Committee Chair Amy Sollock at or 785-259-2256.  

Review of Applications Begins:

Screening of applicants begins on April 4, 2022, and will continue until the position is filled. For best consideration, please apply by April 4th.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.

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Applications close:

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