Cooperative Extension Program Development and the Community-University Engagement Movement: Perspectives from Two Lifelong Extension Professionals
For over 100 years, Cooperative Extension has been bringing university research and resources to communities to help them address critical issues. Historically, Extension was one of the first university engagement models in the country. In the last 20 years, community-university engagement models on campus have intersected and competed with Extension work. These engagement models are challenging Extension’s long-established Program Development Model. Extension is only one vehicle or methodology for engagement work. For Extension to continue to leverage an important place in community-university engagement, it must more fully align the Program Development Model with the standards for assessing successful community-university engagement. Extension professionals also need to examine the program development process with an eye toward the scholarly process for doing engaged work, as well as understand and practice program development in the context of today’s academic and community environments. Recommendations are provided to advance quality Extension program development within community-university engagement models.
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