Program Success StoriesThe pleasure that is obtained from observing direct success among our clients or communit y as a result of our Extension program efforts is most gratifying. These successes may take many forms and may be focused on a single individual, group, or larger population. However, the underlying theme in any success story is the positive impact on an individual or society that occurred as a result of our program efforts.
Developing Cost and Benefit EstimatesThis is the age of accountability. Each day we see more and more demands by the public and their elected representatives to quantify the results of their investments in Cooperative Extension. It is no longer sufficient to quote numbers of participants in programs or educational materials produced. We must be in a position to document specif ic outcomes and compare them to financial investments in the program. Cost-benefit analysis is a technique for comparing program outcomes to inputs.
Proactive and Reactive Educational ProgramsExt ension education, otherwise known as informal education, depends on numerous steps and processes for successful planning and implementation. Participation is often voluntary, and intended audiences enter or exit informal educational programs based on indi vidual motivation and needs.
Collecting Accountability InformationAccountability is required for Extension programs and funding needs. This information must be provided in ways and means desired by the respective audiences. Program impacts and success stories provide information that is crucial for accountability purposes. In order to provide appropriate information to audiences at the local, state, and national levels, a planned program assessment process should be implemented for obtaining the needed information.
Extension AccountabilityThe dictionary uses the words "explainable" and "responsible" to describe accountability. The re are other words which can apply as well. These may include reporting, accomplishments, successes, or similar words that reflect a willingness and desire to let others know what beneficial impacts Extension educational programs are achieving. Public programs that are tax supported should and are being made accountable for the funds that are used to support them. These programs must have sufficient public benefits that make them worthy of continuing public financial support. In judging public benefit, "People impacts" are key factors in program accomplishments. This may have always been a consideration, but increasingly, program accountability must focus on assuring that targeted audiences are informed of "people impacts" as well as other progra m successes as desired by a specific audience. information.
Developing Learning ModulesDelivering learning opportunities to targeted audiences is a continuing process for the Extension educator. These learning opportunities may be provided using face-to-face delivery methods, non face-to-face methods, or a combination of both methods. Decisions about which delivery mode is used is generally made by the Extension educator.
Orientation Guide for Newly Elected County Commissioners or a Newly Appointed County ManagerAssuring that elected and appointed officials have an understanding of the Cooperative Extension Service and its mission is critically important to the future of the Extension Service. It is imperative that these officials who are local funding partners of the Cooperative Extension Service understand Extension and the impacts its program have on local citizens.
Extension Program Cost AnalysisCost accounting is an important function of program accountability. Cost accounting allows program administrators to make assessments as to allocation of scarce resources. Often, cost calculations can demonstrate program efficiencies or help in determining budget allocations.
On Farm DemonstrationsDemonstrations have served Extension well for many years in educating agricultural audiences. There are both positive factors as well as some disadvantages that should be considered in deciding to use this program delivery method. In addition to the advantages and disadvantages of this delivery method, there are several items that can be stated as Do's and Dont's to be considered when using on farm demonstrations as a means of Extension program delivery.
Program Delivery MethodsOne of the unique features of nonformal education is the large array of methods that can be used for delivering educational programs. The selection of delivery methods for a program delivery system should be based on the needs and preferences of the targeted audience and the specific educational purpose. Some delivery methods have multiple uses and can be employed effectively at more than one stage in a program delivery system. A program delivery system is a planned and organized structure of individual program delivery methods that have been chosen for a specific educational purpose and are appropriately integrated to accomplish an educational objective. This fact sheet describes 72 different program delivery methods and explains their primary application as a part of a delivery system.
Extension Education Learning SystemAn Extension Education Learning System is a dynamic, non-formal system for developing and implementing programs. The individual components are the organization's mission; situation analysis; target audiences; needs assessment; program objectives; content; learning strategies; and the non-formal learning system, which includes inputs, evaluation and adjustment. Key supporting components of inputs include experience, reinforcement, and integration. Other components vital to the total system include collaboration with learner groups and learner motivation. A descriptive model of the learning system is presented below (click on each component to go directly to that section) along with separate discussions of each system component.
Determining Extension Program Economic Benefit Value
Valuing impacts or results of Extension programs is often difficult. However, with appropriate information in hand, one can do a reasonably accurate job of estimating program values. In this fact sheet, one or more of the factors listed may be useful as a general guide for estimating the economic value of program impacts.
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