Program Excellence Academy and Extension Foundations to be Conducted in College Station April 14 to April 17, 2014

Smith-Lever logoIt has been historically recognized that professional development is essential to the success of Extension. Prawl, Medlin, and Gross (1984) reported that Extension faculty training and development is critical because the effectiveness of educational programmatic outreach efforts is linked to the abilities of the Extension agent.

Program excellence is predicated on the fundamental principle that agents have the capacity to effectively identify issues, prioritize these issues, develop sequential learning experiences designed to address these issues, evaluate program efforts and utilize the results of these evaluations to refocus and redirect programming efforts to ensure program relevance.

In order to more effectively equip agents to implement the program development process that is paramount to effective programming, new agents will participate in an innovative series of  professional development activities as part of the on-boarding process.  Extension Foundations, Program Excellence Academy Session I and Program Excellence Academy Session II  will be conducted on April 14, 2013 to April 17, 2014 in College Station, Texas. These professional development courses focuses on principles, theories, techniques, and applications for program development within educational programmatic environments. Program development strategies, focusing educational programming in relation to issues identified by clientele, and program planning to assist people and organizations succeed will be the focus of this course.

The purpose of Extension Foundations is to provide an overall understanding and appreciation for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and establish the foundation for agents to establish the skills to effectively plan, implement, evaluate and interpret an effective Extension program.  Some of the topics to be provided during Extension Foundations include;

  • Administrative Topics and Agency Overview
  • Program Area Overviews
  • Demographics Report from Counties
  • Planning Group Sessions
  • Recruiting and Training LAB and PAC Members
  • Volunteer Management
  • Issue ID and Description
  • Target Audience
  • Outcome indicators/Objective
  • TeXas Reporting.
  • Educational Design
  • LAB/PAC Simulation Sessions
  • Family and Consumer Science 4-H 101
  • Agriculture and Natural Resources 4-H 101

The basic premise of the academy will be to take the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service Program Development Model and break it down into manageable components. It is expected that by the time a county Extension agent has completed the Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Excellence Academy, the agent will be able to…

  • Define and use terminology associated with Extension Program Development.
  • Demonstrate the core competencies critical for agents as they are related to the program development process.
  • Understand the importance and necessity of planning and program development within programmatic environments.
  • Use planning and program development principles, theories, techniques, and applications to assist Texas Agrilife Extension Service achieve strategic objectives.

The topics for Session I will include the following;

  • Overview of Program Development Model
  • Personality Assessment
  • County Demographics
  • Planning Groups-Getting the Membership Right
  • LAB Overview
  • Planning Group Concurrent Session
  • Volunteer Management
  • Issue ID and Description
  • Target Audience
  • Outcome Indicators/Objectives
  • Planning and Reporting in TExAS
  • Educational Design
  • Facilitation Skills
  • Effective Meeting Management
  • Program Area Committee Simulation

Topics for Session II will include the following;

  • Learning Style Assessment
  • Dynamic Presentations
  • Overview of Delivery Methods
  • Presentation Skills and Professionalism
  • Educating Through Print and Media Sources
  • Volunteerism
  • Result Demonstration for ANR
  • Programming to Limited Resource FCS Audiences
  • Youth Development Resources
  • Evaluation Discussion
  • Evaluating Extension Programs
  • Documenting Program Results in TExAS
  • Communicating through Mass Media

District Extension Administrators and County Extension Directors should ensure that agents participating in Foundations, The Program Excellence Academy Session I or Program Excellence Academy Session II are prepared to actively participate in these important on-boarding activities.


Prawl, W., Medlin, R., & Gross, J. (1984). Adult and continuing education through the Cooperative Extension Service. Extension Division, University of Missouri, Columbia.

This Article was Posted by Drs. Darrell A. Dromgoole and Susan Ballabina, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Categories: Improve Recruitment and Retention, Uncategorized