4-H advancement programs consist of a series of steps that provide a framework for progressive learning within a specific project area. Advancement programs encourage 4-H members to learn at their own speed based on their interests and abilities. Advancement programs are self-paced, and age and skill-level appropriate. Advancement programs can also be a tremendous help to members as they set their goals each year. Advancement programs are useful to Junior Leaders and more experienced 4-H members who wish to work with younger or less experienced members. In addition, advancement programs support continual project growth, which is an important aspect when applying for 4-H College scholarships.
Once a member completes an advancement step, their 4-H leader signs off on their advancement. Once a leader has signed the advancement the record should be brought to the Extension Office and the member will receive a certificate to include in their record book.