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The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. Providing them with positive opportunities to learn and grow is the task of adults in many areas, especially in youth-service organizations. A master's degree in youth development helps qualify individuals for positions in non-profit organizations, Boys and Girls Clubs, correctional facilities, cooperative extension, 4-H, faith-based groups, and more.

This 36-credit hour online master's degree in youth development includes strengths-based curricula to train professionals to more effectively help youth become competent, well-adjusted adults. Mixing theory with practical application, students of this degree will gain the knowledge and skills to create, facilitate, and evaluate programs promoting healthy youth development. The curriculum was designed through the collaboration of five accredited universities, and the degree is only available online as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (IDEA).*

Generally, professionals who earn a master's degree can earn a higher wage than those with only a graduate certificate. This online master's degree program in youth development consists of nine required core courses for 28 credits, and 8 other credits that may include an independent project or internship of 2-6 credits, and electives.

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*The Great Plains IDEA (GPIDEA) is a consortium of 13 universities offering fully online graduate-level courses and degree program options in human sciences. Each university brings a unique strength to these multi-institution academic programs. In this consortium students apply to and are admitted by one university, enroll in all of their courses from that university and graduate from that university. However, the online courses are taught by faculty in the discipline from several universities. The Great Plains Universities are: University of Arkansas, Colorado State University, Iowa State University, Kansas State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, Montana State University, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, North Carolina State University, North Dakota State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University and Texas Tech University.