Colleges and Universities are increasing their efforts to recruit and retain underserved audiences such as first generation college student and ethnic minority group and students from working-class families. Many underserved youth are less prepared for college-academically, psychologically and financially than those who come from college-educated families.
One of the most popular methods to help all youth make a smooth transition to college is an orientation course. Orientation programs vary from school to school but all are designed to introduce youth to some of the practical skill necessary for success and to expose them to college, procedures and support services. It is particularly important for underserved youth to complete an orientation course that not only addresses social adjustment issues, but also outlines the level of student effort required and support systems available for success in college (Mitchell, 2001).
According to the Search Institute (2012), members that participate in positive youth development programs like 4-H for more than a year are 1.6 times more likely to remain in high school, graduate and go on to college. Furthermore, adults with a college degree will earn 1.3 million dollars more than high school graduates over the course of a life time.
In the Cooperative Extension exist a number of programs that target underserved/minority youth career programs and guide them to have better possibilities to access a post secondary education. These 4-H programs are Youth Futures program in Missouri and Juntos program from North Carolina, both programs had been expanded to many other states with a positive impact in these youth giving them a better chance to become contributing members of their communities.