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University of Minnesota Extension

Youth Work Matters: Self-guided online course

Whether you identify as a full or part-time youth worker, teacher, volunteer, parent/guardian, neighbor, or a faith community member, your work with youth matters! We all have a responsibility to help young people grow and develop positively. Our role as caring adults makes a difference in their lives. Our work with youth - both volunteer and professional - needs to come from an informed, intentional way of understanding their lives and the ways we support and promote their growth.

This self-guided course gives you an introduction to using the positive youth development approach for working with young people. Each lesson is designed to give you the opportunity to think and reflect on the work you do with youth. These come from a solid grounding in research and many years of daily work with youth by youth workers across the country.

How it works

  • Go at your own pace (without a facilitator) through three modules that take about 30 minutes each. Additional time spent on application activities will vary.
  • Learn on your own time. Unlimited 24-hour web access to the self-guided course.
  • Videos and activities help you take concrete ideas back to your program.
  • Certificate for completing the three-hour training is available at the end of the course.

You will

  • Learn the basic components of positive youth development programs
  • Understand the critical role of adults
  • Identify the key components of quality youth programs

Who should participate

Full or part-time staff, volunteers and any adult who works with youth that would like an introduction to the positive youth development approach




The suggested fee is $25, sliding-scale pricing is available.


User name or password help: help@umn.edu or 612-301-4357
Content questions:  Kari Robideaurobideau@umn.edu
Registration questions: Department of Youth Development, cyd@umn.edu or  612-624-1999

Interested in participating?

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