Education

Commitment to
improving educational opportunities for all ages

Photo of participants at the 4-H Legislative Day

Teens serve as ambassadors for Missouri 4-H at the February 2016 Legislative Academy in Jefferson City.

With the resources of a premier research university behind it, MU Extension has plenty to offer. What began 100-plus years ago with our specialists making “house calls” has evolved into an organization that touches every corner of the state, rural and urban alike. Our commitment to improving educational opportunities in the state of Missouri isn’t limited by age or geography — with programs for grade schoolers, retirees and everyone in between.

On average, each 4-H club engaged 26 youths and 10 adults with more than 375 hours of service last year. Altogether, the combined efforts of all Missouri 4-H clubs reported more than 95,000 hours of volunteer service time — valued at $39 million.

Missouri 4-H, a major extension outreach program, is deeply engrained in communities across the state. Each local 4-H club boasts a robust corps of adults who volunteer their time and effort to contribute to the success of a wealth of 4-H programs. On average, each 4-H club engaged 26 youths and 10 adults with more than 375 hours of service last year. Altogether, the combined efforts of all Missouri 4-H clubs resulted in more than 95,000 hours of volunteer service time — valued at $39 million. Many volunteers were 4-H’ers themselves and are eager to help with the programs they enjoyed growing up, which is why 4-H boasts such a deep and committed volunteer force.


4-H attracts a diverse membership, including a growing number of kids with special needs, because it offers diverse programs from traditional agriculture to STEM-related topics like robotics or entrepreneurial and leadership skills.

Riley is among a growing number of youth with special needs benefiting from involvement in 4-H.

Missouri 4-H is just one aspect of how MU Extension addresses the educational needs of the state. Continuing education and lifelong learning are cornerstones of many extension programs. Take the Fire and Rescue Training Institute. MU FRTI specialists travel to provide training for emergency first-responders across the state. With volunteer firefighters comprising 72 percent of the state’s fire service, that training can be a real life-saver.

It isn’t just MU FRTI that’s making a difference in continuing education either. MU Extension’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute is committed to providing enriching educational experiences for adults age 50 and over to keep them active and engaged in their later years. The The Missouri Training Institute offers continuing education to help businesses across the state strengthen management and performance capacity.

Feedback is a crucial component of successful and valuable continuing education. It lets MU Extension know where there are unmet needs and how to address them. When those taking advantage of the Labor Education Program let on that traveling to attend courses in person was burdensome, MU Extension responded by partnering with the University of Missouri–Kansas City and the University of Missouri–St. Louis to move those courses to an online learning format. It’s all part of the process of making sure our services and programs serve the people of Missouri as efficiently and effectively as possible.