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1. This document, FCS6006, was produced in conjunction with the Program Development and Evaluation Center, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Publication date: April 1999. Please visit the EDIS Web site at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension Service office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Christine Taylor Waddill, Dean 2. Steve Jacob, assistant professor, W. R. Summerhill, professor emeritus, and Larry R. Arrington, associate dean for Extension, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication; Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611. FCS6006 Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens 1 Steve Jacob, W.R. Summerhill, and Larry R. Arrington 2 OVERVIEW The Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 questionnaire was developed for use as a state-level telephone survey to assess citizens' perceptions of the importance of selected issues and educational needs as related to their community. The total sample size was 466, and the precision level is 5%. The information gathered can be generalized to the state population and--to a more limited extent--to the Extension districts. We hope that State and County Extension Faculty will find this information useful in developing State and County Major Programs. The issues and educational needs listed in the questionnaire covered a fairly broad spectrum, but were certainly not all encompassing. A conscious attempt was made to keep the lists as brief and focused as possible by limiting the items to areas that Extension could reasonably be expected to address. Top 10 Overall Priorities Table 1 lists the top overall educational needs of respondents to the 1999 Florida Citizens Viewpoint Survey. For this ranking, the percentage of respondents reporting that the topic would be a high priority for educational programming was used. Respondents were asked: Listed below are some potential educational needs that may exist in communities. We would like to have your opinion as to the priority that each should be given in your community. Do you think it is a (1) low priority, (2) moderate priority, or (3) high priority educational need for your community? (Please circle one response for each item).
Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens Page 2 October 2000 Table 1. Top 10 high-priority educational needs of Florida citizens. Educational Area High Priority 1) Teen Drug and Alcohol Prevention 75.9% 2) Prevention of Water Pollution 72.4% 3) Teen Pregnancy Prevention 69.0% 4) Training for Nursing Home Workers 69.0 % 5) Training for Child Care Providers 67.0% 6) Crime Prevention and Safety 66.2% 7) Life Skills for Youth 65.7% 8) Natural Disaster Preparedness 65.6% 9) Protecting the Marine Environment 63.7% 10) Career Exploration for Youth 62.0% The top ten items can be seen as fitting into three broad categories: Youth (Questions 1, 3, 5, 7, and 10), Elders (Question 4), and the Environment (Question 2, 6, 8, and 9). Note: Many other questions were asked. The complete questionnaire and results can be found in the Appendix to this document: Florida Citizens' Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens, Appendix. IFAS publication FCS6006A; EDIS number FY027. Presentation of All Educational-Need Questions The educational needs of respondents were assessed through a series of items, arranged in logical groupings. These groups included: Youth and Teens; Health, Nutrition, and Food Safety; Family and Home; Environment; and Community and Economic Development
Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens Page 3 October 2000 Table 2 presents the questions regarding the perceived educational needs of Florida's youth and teens. These items received a great deal of support from the respondents. All items were identified by a majority of respondents as high priority educational needs. Table 2. Educational needs relating to youth and teens in your community. Educational Area High Priority 1) Teen Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention 75.9% 2) Teen Pregnancy Prevention 69.0% 3) Life Skills for Youth 65.7% 4) Career Exploration for Youth 62.0% 5) Teen Smoking Prevention 61.3% Table 3 presents information on health, nutrition, and food safety. The percentage of high-priority responses to these items was lower than those for youth and teen educational needs. A majority of respondents identified restaurant and commercial safe food handling and healthy lifestyles as high priority educational needs in their communities. Table 3. Educational needs in health, nutrition, and food safety. Educational Area High Priority 1) Restaurant and Commercial Safe Food Handling 59.1% 2) Healthy Lifestyles (exercise, smoking cessation, drug and alcohol abuse etc.) 54.7% 3) Coping with Chronic Diseases (for example diabetes, high blood pressure, etc.) 46.6% 4) Safe Food Handling in the Home 44.4% 5) Nutrition Education 43.8% 6) Topics Relating to Aging (housing, care, health, etc.) 43.4% Table 4 presents items related to family and home. Once again, the issues of elders and youth emerged as the most endorsed high-priority educational needs. Training for nursing home workers and child-care providers and parenting topped the list. Table 4. Educational needs related to family and home. Educational Area High Priority 1) Training for Nursing Home Workers 69.0% 2) Training for Child Care Providers 67.0%
Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens Page 4 Table 4. Educational needs related to family and home. Educational Area High Priority October 2000 3) Parenting Programs (infant care, child development, etc.) 61.6% 4) Health Insurance Options (Medicare, long-term care, etc.) 57.4% 5) Family Financial Management 47.1% 6) Proper Home Use of Pesticides and Fertilizers 43.0% 7) Home Upkeep and Repair 32.5% 8) Home Landscape Design and Maintenance 19.1% 9) Effective Gardening Methods 16.2% Table 5 presents the environmental items, which were highly supported. The first five items were identified by a majority of all respondents as high-priority educational needs. Table 5. Environmental Educational needs in your community. Educational Area High Priority 1) Prevention of Water Pollution 72.4% 2) Protecting the Marine Environment 63.7% 3) Energy Conservation 62.1% 4) Water Recreation and Safety 53.5% 5) Conservation of Wildlife Habitat and Endangered Species 50.0% 6) Stewardship of Woodlands 46.7% 7) Solid Waste Reduction 46.6% 8) Control of Destructive and Invasive Plants 40.7% Table 6 presents the items related to economic and community development. These items can be seen as having two main themes. The first theme, community safety (crime prevention and safety and natural disaster preparedness), was identified by nearly two-thirds of all respondents as a high-priority educational need. The remaining items, related to community and economic development were not as highly supported by respondents. Table 6. Economic and community development needs. Educational Area High Priority 1) Crime Prevention and Safety 66.2% 2) Natural Disaster Preparedness 65.6% 3) Community Economic Development 38.8% 4) Improved Business Management Skills 35.4%
Florida Citizens Viewpoint 1999 Survey: Self-Identified Educational Needs of Florida Citizens Page 5 Table 6. Economic and community development needs. Educational Area High Priority October 2000 5) Community Leadership Skills Development 35.0% 6) Volunteer Skills Development 33.3% 7) Improved Farming Practices 29.2% Additional Information A more detailed analysis and discussion of this survey data is being prepared and will be provided as soon as possible. Please see the attached Appendix for all of the survey items and the response distributions as they occurred in the survey instrument. For additional copies of the survey instrument please visit http://www.ifas.ufl.edu/peodweb/viewpoint.htm on the World Wide Web. Appreciation Sincere appreciation is expressed to the following County Extension Directors and their staffs for their help in developing and critiquing the questionnaire: Carolyn Best, David Holmes, Muriel Turner, Dee Wilkins, Denise Blanton, Lawrence Heitmeyer, Austin Tilton, Mary Williams, Gerald Edmondson, and Deborah Boulware. We would also like to thank the members or the Long Range Planning Steering Committee for their input: Jim App, Lawrence Carter, Marilyn Norman, Randy Brown, Ed Hanlon, Joe Schaefer, and Mary Duryea.