Volume 45 - Number 2 - 2004 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2004.02001



The purpose of this study was to determine how 4-H Youth Development Agents in Kentucky perceived their level of competence and the frequency of use in each of the four categories and 18 phases outlined in the GEMS Model of Volunteer Administration. The difference between the level of competence and the frequency of use yields a need score which provides a framework for determining which phases of volunteer administration should be emphasized in staff development to increase agents' knowledge or performance. These phases include: (Generate) needs assessment, writing job (position) descriptions, identifying, recruiting, screening, selecting; (Educate) orienting, protecting, providing resources, teaching; (Mobilize) engaging, motivating, supervising; (Sustain) evaluating, recognizing, retaining, redirecting and disengaging. The three phases of greatest competency were found to be Providing Resources, Recognizing and Engaging. Conversely, agents reported Disengaging as their least competent phase. Respondents also indicated that they most frequently Provide Resources, Recognize and Engage volunteers. 4-H Agents also least frequently use the Disengaging phase. The Borich Model (1979) was utilized to calculate the need score for each phase where by (Competency - Use) * Competency = Needs Score. The five phases with the highest need scores included Providing Resources, Recognizing, Supervising, Recruiting and Engaging. The findings indicate that 4-H Agents' perceived level of competency to be greatest for the Mobilize category, followed by Educate, Generate and Sustain. An identical rank was calculated for frequency of use. The Mobilize category was also found to be ranked the highest for the calculated need score, followed by Sustain, Educate and Generate.

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