October 23, 2023
Ohio 4-H’ers now have the ability to link their program experiences with workforce interests of the future.
Participants can earn digital badges through BuckeyeNext, an app where young people accumulate points for activities, event attendance and accomplishments during their 4-H career.
The Ohio 4-H Pathways to the Future initiative partnered with Suitable to design BuckeyeNext, which is built like a game where youth can identify the opportunities available through Ohio 4-H, organize their categories of participation and track their cumulative progress in real time.
“It provides insight about how 4-H experiences align with various skills that employers are seeking in their future workforce,” says Margo Overholt-Seckel, program manager for Ohio 4-H Workforce Development and Pathways.
Youth who participate will create a digital portfolio and transcript that demonstrates how their abilities align with the eight career readiness competencies identified by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
“BuckeyeNext is the result of hard work and hours of thinking outside the box to make record-keeping easier and provide certifications for our members,” says Jessica Adams, 4-H educator in Miami County. “Our hard work paid off when we were announced as one of three Suitable Innovator Award recipients.”
Ohio 4-H youth from 20 counties piloted the platform during the summer at the Ohio 4-H Spark Expo to track their learning experiences.
“The BuckeyeNext app is very easy and simple to use,” says Sophia Preston, a Fairfield County 4-H member. “It helps with 4-H records because you can look back and remember what all you’ve done, and the competition part pushes you to do more.”
Source: OSU College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
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