4-H Life Skills Model

Click on image to open larger format.

Life skill outcomes were chosen as measurements of quality because Family Living and 4-H Youth Development programs focus their work on teaching youth and adults the life skills necessary to become Capable, Competent and Caring Citizens. The life skills model "Targeting Life Skills" (TLS) from Iowa State University was used as a model to create this system.

The Targeting Life Skills (TLS) Model consists of 35 life skills. These life skills were identified through a process of reviewing and integrating numerous life skills models. Those life skills or competencies that consistently emerged as being necessary for individuals to attain success in life were used (Hendricks, 1999).


Programs that incorporate the TLS Model help individuals reach their full potential through a positive approach to life skill development. The model provides a format incorporating major points of program planning:
  • Delivering information and skill practice at the appropriate developmental level for the target audience
  • Writing specific learning objectives for life skill development that are measurable
  • Completing an instructional plan that creates experiences based on experiential learning theory to achieve life skill development
  • Identifying observable/measurable indicators of change using these indicators to effectively evaluate program impact/goal. (Hendricks, 1999)
To learn more about the TLS Model and to order support materials, see the TLS Model Web site.