Title page for ETD etd-04272011-121244


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sorenson, Mary Christina
Author's Email Address msorens@lsu.eud
URN etd-04272011-121244
Title A Qualitative Study of 4-H State and Field Faculty Use of Social Media to Communicate with Youth, Volunteers, and Stakeholders
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Machtmes, Krisannna L. Committee Chair
Fox, Janet Committee Member
Johnson, Earl Committee Member
Keywords
  • 4-H
  • Social Media
  • Facebook
Date of Defense 2011-04-25
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to explore the type of social media technology utilized by 4-H field and state faculty to communicate with 4-H members, volunteers, and advisory board members. As youth increase their use of technology for communications it is critical for youth development agents to adapt to new communication methods

Qualitative research methods were used to explore this topic. Guiding questions were developed from the empirical literature. Responsive interviewing technique was used to gather data. A purposeful sample was chosen for this study. The sample consisted of field and state 4-H Cooperative Extension Service faculty located in a southeastern state in United States. Personal interviews were conducted with individuals who utilized various forms of social media to communicate with their youth, volunteers, and stakeholder.

The results of the study found that all the respondents communicate using social media and e-mail. All of the respondents communicate with youth by text-messaging and Facebook. Youth choose to use social media to communicate with youth development agents and volunteer. Youth will use phone calls as a last resort to communicate. Volunteers communicate with respondents mostly by e-mails and phone calls. Over half of the respondents communicate with their advisory board members through mail-outs and e-mails. All state and field faculty respondents continue to send newsletters, mail-outs and meet face to face with all of their cliental.

This research indicates that faculty use various types of technology to communicate with youth, volunteer, and stakeholders.. Most of the information necessary for youth to participate in various events are available in several different formats in order to reach all youth.

Facebook was used to inform and recruit new volunteers and advisory board members.

Twitter and Facebook were also used state and field faculty to keep parents abreast of their children’s welfare during field trips and summer camp.

If Cooperative Extension is going to have an impact on the youth they must adopt the new technology and communication styles utilized by youth. All Cooperative Extension employees should be mandated to take professional development courses on utilizing technology in order to communicate with their stakeholders.

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