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Madison Count 4-H students react to UT Knoxville offering college credit for project portfolios



Every year hundreds of 4H-ers spend a ton of time working on project portfolios- including many from Madison County.

“A lot and it's been ever since I was four working on the farm to now," said 16-year-old Blane Lafferty.

17-year-old Quin Carter said, “It's just a lot a lot of hours.”

"It's work that's accumulated over several months," added 15-year-old Elisha Gaugh, "I've been working in this area in general for a very long time, but my most recent portfolio has been just work that's happened over the last year or so.”

“Overall month... it's like definitely late nights," said 16-year-old Jaiden Graves.

Madison county 4H leader Dr. Kane Reeves said, “Up to 100 hours or more. A lot of the work that they do is they're doing they're showing that leadership and citizenship within their communities. So a lot of them don't even think of it as hours or something that they can up.”

Now the 4-Hers can get an extra reward for all of their hard work: college credit- from the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

“We really looked and examined the work that they're putting in that that our 4hers put in. And this is both during school as well as after hours and all of the different contests and the work that goes into preparation. And there really are doing things at a collegiate level," Senior VP of the UT Institute of Agriculture said.

4-H high school students can now apply for college credit in 10 project areas.

Those projects include coursework in the Department of Animal Science or the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications.

Up until now, students could use their portfolios to compete for scholarships, but under the new program, they can work towards college credit as well.

This opportunity is exciting to 4Hers,

“like nobody else is doing that. So I just feel like it's is, is great to be young and have different sources at a young age," said Graves.

“very exciting," Lafferty added.

“I think it's a very exciting thought," Gaugh said, "and I certainly think that that just goes to show what we in four h certainly stand for. Of course, our motto is to make the best better. And over time, our chief goal is to help our 4hers with their future goals and their educational aspirations.”

Dr. Reeves hopes other colleges will join UT Knoxville and offer college credit to 4 -Hers, “To be in high school and still receive college credit for something that I did and I had to go to college to get is pretty awesome.”

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