NYS Signature & Flagship Programs

A question that has come up many times over the past several years, both in conversations with the 4-H Statewide Action Group (SWAG) and in conversations with 4-H Educators and Executive Directors, goes something like this. Are there certain 4-H programs, projects and curriculum that we should prioritize at the County level? There are so many options and local traditions. How do we know what we should be adopting locally and encouraging our staff and volunteers to grab unto? The State 4-H Office and a sub-group of the SWAG have been working on this question since late last summer and we are ready to share a new idea and approach to this question; Signature and Flagship Programs. We will be sharing more at the upcoming Spring In-Service in April, but for now please visit the HUB for more information on the concept, and help us identify our initial list of NYS 4-H Signature and Flagship Programs

About Signature & Flagship Programs

The identification, designation and support of Signature and Flagship Programs is designed to provide support to three core NYS 4-H strategic goals: 

· Strengthening the connection between local CCE 4-H programs and the research base of Cornell and the land grant College System. 

· Encouraging adoption of program strategies that align with our mission areas and statewide plan of work and provide training and technical support to local 4-H educators and volunteers. 

· Provide marketing and branding support to innovative, contemporary programs that will attract new audiences to 4-H.

What is a Signature Program? 

Signature Programs align closely with long standing priorities of Cornell Cooperative Extension and 4-H reflecting current research and best practices within the field of Positive Youth Development. Signature programs are established and successful strategies with developed leadership and support structures at the local, regional, statewide and often at the national level. Signature programs can be found in a majority of NYS CCE County 4-H programs and have structures in place for evaluation, staff/volunteer training, risk management review, and curriculum updates that respond to identified challenges, new research and best practices. 

What is a Flagship Program? 

Flagship programs are newer, emerging programs that align with statewide and national 4-H core program areas of STEM, Civic Engagement, Healthy Living and Ag and Food Systems. Flagships should demonstrate the potential to reach new and diverse youth audiences and have support systems in place that help 4-H staff and volunteers receive the technical and educational training they need to deliver the programs in their communities. Flagship programs may come and go as community issues and support structures change, or they may evolve to become recognized as NYS 4-H Signature Programs. 

How will we select Signature and Flagship Programs? 

The next step in the process is to encourage applications from all levels of CCE to identify the initial list of Signature and Flagship programs. The nomination process is quick and easy and available here.

What Criteria will be used to evaluate the nominations? 

· Congruency with one or more of the NYS 4-H Mission Mandates areas of STEM, Healthy Living, Civic Engagement, Ag & Food Systems. 

· Evidence that the program incorporates the principles of Positive Youth Development in program delivery and training for staff and volunteers. 

· Evidence and/or description of the Program Logic or /Planning Model utilized to develop the program. Describe the inputs, outputs, activities and the short, medium and long term objectives and anticipated program impact. 

· Outline the knowledge and/or research/ evidence base for the program and any Cornell or other Research partners and supportive systems involved in its development (Program Work Teams, Smith-Lever Capacity Funds, State 4-H Office, or others) 

· Description of the Evaluation Plan and reference to any existing program impact reports, data or empirical studies related to the program. 

· Sharing of processes and structures for stakeholder input, including 4-H educators, community members, and any opportunities for youth engagement in program design and evaluation. 

· Overview of planned or existing structures in place to support program implementation and professional development. 

· Provide relevant links to supporting web sites, curricula, or other important documents. 

· Description of any external funding sources that support program implementation. 

If you have any questions about Signature or Flagship programs please contact Andy Turner at ast4@cornell.edu and please consider making a nomination today.

The leaders of Programs that are nominated for Signature or Flagship status will be asked to fill out a one to two page online form. The following criteria will be utilized by the State 4-H Office in evaluating the nominations.