Youth Work Matters Online is for people who work with or on behalf of youth. The course takes an in-depth exploration into the foundational research and theories of positive youth development. It allows participants to interact with other youth development professionals. Activities include synchronized group time and individual exploration.  

The course covers three aspects of youth work:

  • The field of youth development
  • How to support youth needs
  • Your role as a youth worker

The content comes from real youth work experience and research-based material.

How it works:

Each week (Monday through Sunday) a new set of modules will be available for cohort participants to work on as their schedule permits. Setting aside time to work through course content each week is essential to this learning environment. Although the activities in each module (pre-recorded presentation, discussion boards, readings, etc.) can be completed on the learner's own time, it is expected that all participants keep up with the content for that week. Participants are encouraged to plan ahead and put designated time for the course on their calendar. Participants should expect to spend 3 to 4 hours a week on the course, though not necessarily in one block of time.

There are also opportunities to learn together at the same time in this course during three live webinars. Note: All webinars are recorded to view later, in case you need to miss one.

Participants will experience both interactive and self-paced learning by:

  • Interacting with module presentations
  • Participating in live webinars
  • Engaging in discussion boards with other youth workers
  • Exploring articles, videos and websites supporting course content


Module 1: The Field of Youth Development
Module 2: Knowing Youth in Context
Module 3: Supporting Youth Needs
Module 4: Intentional Program Design
Module 5: A Role Like No Other


Upon completion of Youth Work Matters Online, participants will have:

  • A working understanding of how to weave positive youth development into their practice with youth.
  • An understanding of how positive youth development reframes how we work with young people.
  • Knowledge gained from networking with a cohort of other youth workers.

Additional information

Cost: $100

CEUs: All participants who complete this course will receive a certificate showing completion of 15 course hours. 


User Name or Password helpHELP@umn.edu (612) 301-4357

Content Questions: Kari Robideau, robideau@umn.edu (218) 236-2013

Registration Questions: Colleen Byrne, byrne015@umn.edu (612) 624-1999

Refund/cancellation policy: If the Center for Youth Development cancels this training, you will receive a full refund. If a participant cancels his or her registration at least one working day before the class start date, we will refund the full registration fee. No refunds will be given for cancellations on or after the class start date. If you have questions or need to cancel, please call (612) 624-1999.

Enroll Now - Select a section to enroll in
Section Title
Youth Work Matters: 2022
Online, instructor led
Feb 07, 2022 to Mar 07, 2022
Delivery Options
Instructor Led Online  
Course Fee(s)
YWM Course Fee non-credit $100.00
Section Details

Time needed for this online course: Throughout the Youth Work Matters course, participants report that they wish they had planned ahead and designated more time to devote to the course. Expect to set aside time to average an equivalent of one day per week for the content of this class to have the full professional development experience.

Youth Work Matters 2022 schedule 

All times listed are Central Standard Time (CT) (GMT - 6 hours)

Week 1: Feb. 7-13: Course Introduction

Week 2: Feb. 14-20: The Field of Youth Development

Modules 1 & 2

Wednesday, Feb. 16 - Live webinar: "Course introduction"
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. CT

Week 3: Feb. 21-27: How to Support Youth Needs

Modules 3 & 4

Wednesday, Feb. 23 - Live Webinar: "Intentional Program Design"
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. CT

Week 4: Feb. 28-Mar. 6: Your Role as a Youth Worker

Module 5

Wednesday, Mar. 2 - Live Webinar: "Your Role as an Evaluator in Youth Programs"
10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. CT

Last day of course moderation is Monday, March 7.

Youth Work Matters program page

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