Tennessee is the Volunteer State
Volunteers are a vital part of the Extension program. You, as a potential volunteer, are a key component of “bringing the University to the people” across all of Tennessee and through a variety of program areas, both youth and adult. Tennessee Extension volunteer programs include, but are not limited to 4-H Youth Development, Health and Wellness Ambassadors, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Master Gardener programs. The University of Tennessee Extension is one of four units that provides instruction, research, and public service through the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture.
How to be a Tennessee Extension Volunteer
Listed below is the step-by-step process to become a Tennessee Extension Volunteer. To understand more about Tennessee Extension and about the important roles played by volunteers, you may view the Tennessee Extension Online Orientation Module (this is Step 4 in the process). A volunteer handbook is also available as a resource.
Step 1: Examine the volunteer opportunities that are available by reviewing the open volunteer position descriptions on your county’s website, or by contacting your county office directly. Contact information for the County Extension Offices are found here.
Step 2: Contact your County Extension Office to discuss your level of involvement. Tennessee Extension Volunteers are designated as Level 1, 2, or 3. The level number is not a ranking, but is an indication of the level of involvement with minors. This level is determined by having a discussion with your County Office about your roles and responsibilities.
Step 3: Complete the Tennessee Extension Volunteer Application, based upon your volunteer level designation (1, 2, or 3). See below for details:
Level 1 Volunteer: Complete Section 1 (Items A – E only) and read Section 2. Section 3 is optional.
Level 2 Volunteer: Complete Section 1 (all items) and read Sections 2 and 4. Section 3 is optional.
Level 3 Volunteer: Complete Sections 1 and 5 (all items) and read Sections 2 and 4. Section 3 is optional.
Step 4: View the Tennessee Extension Online Orientation Module (required one time only) if you have not done so already. No login required.
Step 5: (Level 3 Volunteer Only) Complete Child Protection Training either online in K@TE or face-to-face training presented by an Extension Agent (every two years). Click “request” then complete registration.
Step 6: (Level 3 Volunteer Only) Read and sign the TN Law on Mandatory Reporting of Child Abuse (one time only).
Step 7: (Level 3 Volunteer Only) Complete the Online Level 3 Volunteer Training (one time only). Click “request” then complete registration.
Step 8: Complete program specific training that is required for your specific role. The Extension Agent in your county will direct your specific training to adequately prepare you for your role. Some examples of program specific training include Health and Wellness Ambassadors, Master Gardeners, 4-H Shooting Sports Instructors, 4-H Camp Leaders, and others.
Volunteers Vision Statement – Tennessee Extension provides a climate that fosters mutual respect and positive working relationships between volunteers and staff.
Volunteers Mission Statement – Tennessee Extension actively recruits and retains a culturally diverse volunteer workforce and enables learning and growth of volunteers to advance the mission of UT Extension.
Volunteer Toolkit for Extension Personnel (decision trees, Extension Volunteer Handbook for Extension Staff, etc.) can be found at https://volunteerism.tennessee.edu.