Volunteers are fundamental to many successful Extension programs. Research indicates that nearly one third of volunteers will choose not to continue volunteering based on poor management practices.  Achieving the Extension Mission through Volunteers is an online cohort course for the novice and experienced Extension professional working with volunteers to enhance and deliver Extension programs.  This course is designed to highlight best practices in volunteer development and management and to help build staff and organizational capacity around volunteer management and development regardless of the program area. 

Course Structure

During this 7-week course members participate in pre-recorded sessions, readings, activities, 3 live webinars and a video call, interact with a wide variety of resources and hear from experts. It will take participants approximately 5 hours each week to complete the course.


The course is taught in six modules over six weeks and includes three live webinars.

Week 1
Introduction: Explore the course site and join discussions with cohort members
Week 2 
Module 1: Volunteerism in Extension
Module 2: Trends and Motivations
Week 3
Module 3: Identifying and Recruiting Volunteers
Week 4
Work week: Catch up on and dive deeper into the content we've covered up to now.
Week 5
Module 4: Selecting and Matching Volunteers
Week 6
Module 5: Supporting Volunteers
Week 7
Module 6: Communicating Public Value


  • Increase volunteer management competencies.
  • Build knowledge and skills related to identifying, recruiting, selecting, and supporting volunteers.
  • Understand their own volunteer development approach, the organization’s philosophy related to volunteerism and current trends in volunteerism.

Technical Requirements

Participants must have:

  • High-speed Internet
  • Current version of Flash Player
  • Mozilla Firefox Online Browser (to view course site)
  • Computer Speakers

Optional:  webcam and mic

Payment and registration

Payment for each registration must be made at the time of registration. Payment accepted by credit card only.

Cancellation policy

No refunds will be issued for cancellations after registration closes, unless we can fill your slot. Cancellations prior to close of registration will be fully refunded. If you have questions or need to cancel your registration, please call 612-624-1999.


  • Course content questions - Kari Robideau, robideau@umn.edu, 218-236-2013
  • Registration questions - Colleen Byrne, byrne015@umn.edu, 612-624-1999
  • Questions regarding technical issues - UM Technology Help, help@umn.edu, 612-301-4357
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrollment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrollment opens.
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