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Volunteer Status Options

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

Your volunteer status is used to set annual expectations, recognize milestones in a volunteer’s service and monitor an individual’s volunteer history.

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Active Statuses

Inactive Statuses

Volunteers in one of active statuses participate

in volunteer activities and accrue years/hours

of service.

  • Intern

  • Active

  • Emeritus Active

  • Temporarily Inactive (Probation)


Volunteers in an inactive status do NOT participate

in volunteer activities and do NOT accrue years/hours of service.

  • Emeritus Retired

  • Leave of Absence

  • Temporary Leave (Probation)

  • Permanently Inactive


Review the Master Gardener Volunteer Manual for details about policies and procedures for the Ramsey County Program or the Extension State Program.


Intern

Interns are new members to the volunteer program. They are considered to be volunteers-in-training and are working toward completing his or her internship of core course, and at least 50 volunteer service hours and 8 continuing education hours before December 31.


Volunteers in Intern status:

  • Are under the guidance of active volunteers during the internship.

  • Have access to all program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, education, events, etc.

  • Are eligible for most volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are encouraged to attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • May not eligible to serve in local county leadership capacity

  • Are NOT eligible to serve on the State Advisory Board.

Time (years) in Intern status will count toward years of service awards. Interns who fulfill the first year requirements minimum requirements (50 volunteer service and 8 continuing education hours) automatically change to an Active status in the year following their internship.


Active

Active volunteers are those members who completed the internship and return annually to serve as a volunteer in the program. These volunteers annually fulfills and records at least of 25 volunteer service hours and (in Ramsey County) 12 continuing education hours before December 31.


Volunteers in Active status:

  • Have access to all program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, education, events, etc.

  • Are eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are encouraged to attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • Are required to complete a background check and the safety of minors training every three years.

  • May serve in local county leadership capacity.

  • May apply to and serve on the State Advisory Board.

Time (years) in Active status will count toward years of service awards. Active volunteer who do not fulfill the minimum requirements (25 volunteer service and 12 continuing education hours) automatically change to an Temporary Inactive status in the following year.


Emeritus

Emeritus status recognizes a volunteer who has made a significant contribution to the program in the past, but now chooses to permanently limit his or her participation in the future. Once taking on Emeritus status, a volunteer is no longer eligible for awards recognizing hours volunteered or years of service. There are two Emeritus status options, including Emeritus Active and Emeritus Retired.


A volunteer seeking an Emeritus status

  • Must have accrued 10 or more years as an active volunteer OR

  • Must have reported 1,000 or more volunteer service hours as confirmed by the state database AND

  • Must be in good standing with the program

Emeritus Active

Emeritus Active volunteers commit to volunteering and reporting at least one (1) hour of volunteer service and five (5) hours of continuing education per year.


Additionally, Emeritus Active volunteers:

  • Remains an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or a member of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

  • Have access to all program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, education, events, etc.

  • Are eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are required to complete a background check and the safety of minors training every three years.

  • May attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

Time (years) in Emeritus Active status will count toward years of service awards.


Emeritus Retired

Emeritus Retired volunteers do NOT volunteer in any capacity, including plant sales, horticulture days, etc. However, Emeritus Retired volunteers are encouraged to attend social gatherings, including awards banquets and holiday parties.


As inactive volunteers, Emeritus Retired volunteers:

  • Remains an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or a member of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

  • Do NOT have access to program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, etc.

  • Are NOT eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Does NOT report volunteer service or continuing education hours.

  • Are NOT required to complete a background check or the safety of minors training

  • Do NOT attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • May attend local social gatherings, including awards banquets and holiday parties

Time (years) in Emeritus Retired status do not count toward years of service awards.


Leave of Absence

Leave of Absence is a sabbatical-like status and is designed for active volunteers in good standing to take a voluntary 12-month leave from the program for personal reasons.Leave of Absence status may be requested by the volunteer at any time of the year. The request should be directed to the program coordinator.


It is the volunteer’s responsibility to stay in contact with his or her local program coordinator about his or her intentions to return to active status after 12 months. Leave of Absence status CANNOT be granted two consecutive years without the special approval of the local program coordinator.


A volunteer who adopts Leave of Absence status:

  • Remains an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or a member of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

  • Have access to all program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, education, events, etc.

  • May report volunteer service or continuing education hours.

  • May attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • Are NOT required to complete a background check or the safety of minors training while on leave. (When returning to the program, the volunteer has 60 days to view the training and complete a background check if the check and training elapsed in the year prior.)

Time (years) in Leave of Absence status will count toward years of service awards but NOT hours of service. Leave of Absence should not be confused with the Temporary Leave status, which involves an alleged volunteer disciplinary issue.


Temporary Leave (Probation)

Temporary Leave status is used infrequently to address a situation where it is in the best interest of the volunteer and the program that a volunteer be temporarily removed from the program. The Temporary Leave status is determined by the local program coordinator and the state staff. This is a probationary status. Resolution of the situation in question will determine conditions associated with reinstatement if it is granted.


In situations that have very serious and/or legal implications, the Temporary Leave status will be implemented immediately. This removes the Extension Master Gardener volunteer from the program until the matter is resolved.


Volunteers in a Temporary Leave status:

  • Do NOT have access to program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, etc.

  • Are NOT eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are NOT required to complete a background check or the safety of minors training

  • Do NOT attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

Time (years) in Temporary Leave status do not count toward years of service awards.


Temporary Inactive (Probation)

Active volunteers who did not fulfill or record the minimum requirements (25 volunteer service and 8 continuing education hours) before December 31 the previous year automatically receive a Temporary Inactive status. This is a probationary status.


To return to Active status, the volunteer must fulfill and report the minimum 25 volunteer service and 8 continuing education hours within the next calendar year or he/she will become Permanently Inactive and lose their Master Gardener certification. Time (years) in Temporary Inactive status do not count toward years of service awards.


Volunteers with Temporary Inactive status:

  • Have access to all program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, education, events, etc.

  • Are eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are encouraged to attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • Are required to complete a background check and the safety of minors training every three years.

  • May serve in local county leadership capacity.

  • May apply to and serve on the State Advisory Board.


Permanently Inactive

Permanently Inactive status is used to defined an individual who has voluntarily or involuntarily left the Extension Master Gardener volunteer program. He/she is no longer volunteering on behalf of the program and may not present himself/herself as a University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener.


Permanently Inactive volunteers:

  • Do NOT remain an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer or a member of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program

  • Do NOT have access to program and Extension resources, staff, websites, listservs, etc.

  • Are NOT eligible for all volunteer activities in the local county program and offered by the state program.

  • Are NOT required to complete a background check or the safety of minors training

  • Does NOT report volunteer service or continuing education hours.

  • Are NOT eligible to serve in local county leadership capacity

  • Are NOT eligible to serve on the State Advisory Board.

  • Do NOT attend monthly meetings, continuing education classes, and conferences

  • Do NOT attend local social gatherings, including awards banquets and holiday parties

Volunteers who leave the program after being Permanently Inactive may return and become reinstated as Active volunteers in the in Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program.


Returning Volunteers

To rejoin the program, the volunteer should complete the new member application between August and October and contact the local program coordinator, who will confirm with the State Office that the returning volunteer previously completed a U of M background check and the Safety of Minors training and was in good standing. (Volunteers removed from the program following an alleged volunteer disciplinary issue may not be reinstated.)


Upon returning to the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program, the volunteer will be expected to complete a background check or the safety of minors training. The volunteer must also pass the Core Class quizzes with an 80% or better rate. Failure to pass the quizzes will require that the volunteer take the Core Class again.


The volunteer will also have to submit a $100 reinstatement fee online.

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