Connecting the Dots: Improving Extension Program Planning with Program Umbrella Models
This paper builds on the Extension program planning framework presented by Seevers, Graham, Gamon, and Conklin (1997) in an effort to enhance and improve program planning in Extension. Using the 4-H Youth Development Program as an example, the paper considers the importance of program theory of change and theory of action in program planning, and the need for the translation of research into practice in order to elucidate the theory. In addition, the paper explores the utility of “umbrella” program models, based on sound theory and translated research, for guiding and supporting the program planning efforts of local Extension professionals. Umbrella program models have important implications for the renewed utility of the Seevers et al. (1997) framework, as well as Extension program planning training needs. Implications that extend beyond the 4-H Youth Development Program to other Extension program areas are explored as well.
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