<%BANNER%>

Fundamental Dimensions and Essential Elements of an Exemplary County Extension Office

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024197/00001

Material Information

Title: Fundamental Dimensions and Essential Elements of an Exemplary County Extension Office A Delphi Study
Physical Description: 1 online resource (236 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Terry, Bryan
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: administration, extension, leadership, management
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: When the Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914, its primary functions were to know the problems of local people and to bring these problems to the attention of researchers; and to deliver non-formal education, based on the best scholarship available, to local people to help solve their problems. As the land-grant institution, the University of Florida has been responsible for managing and administering the Cooperative Extension Service in Florida. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service established an extension office in each of Florida?s 67 counties. These county extension offices are a partnership between state and county government. Each county extension office represents the University of Florida by delivering non-formal education that addresses local concerns. The ability to deliver non-formal education to help solve the problems of local citizens through the county extension office has been a collaborative effort between federal, state and local government. However to date, no consensus between Extension?s partners has established the characteristics of exemplary local extension offices. Consensus with respect to county extension office operations would facilitate consistency in the delivery of nonformal education. Using a modified Delphi technique to survey administrators responsible for the operation of the local county extension office, this study identified six fundamental dimensions of exemplary county extension offices, including adequate facilities and infrastructure, well-prepared extension educators, well-developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and financial capacity. Within the fundamental dimensions, the study identified 77 essential elements for county office operations. Results of the study help establish the framework for evaluation of county extension office operations and are a precursor to developing standards of excellence.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Bryan Terry.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Osborne, Edward W.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024197:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024197/00001

Material Information

Title: Fundamental Dimensions and Essential Elements of an Exemplary County Extension Office A Delphi Study
Physical Description: 1 online resource (236 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Terry, Bryan
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: administration, extension, leadership, management
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: When the Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914, its primary functions were to know the problems of local people and to bring these problems to the attention of researchers; and to deliver non-formal education, based on the best scholarship available, to local people to help solve their problems. As the land-grant institution, the University of Florida has been responsible for managing and administering the Cooperative Extension Service in Florida. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service established an extension office in each of Florida?s 67 counties. These county extension offices are a partnership between state and county government. Each county extension office represents the University of Florida by delivering non-formal education that addresses local concerns. The ability to deliver non-formal education to help solve the problems of local citizens through the county extension office has been a collaborative effort between federal, state and local government. However to date, no consensus between Extension?s partners has established the characteristics of exemplary local extension offices. Consensus with respect to county extension office operations would facilitate consistency in the delivery of nonformal education. Using a modified Delphi technique to survey administrators responsible for the operation of the local county extension office, this study identified six fundamental dimensions of exemplary county extension offices, including adequate facilities and infrastructure, well-prepared extension educators, well-developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and financial capacity. Within the fundamental dimensions, the study identified 77 essential elements for county office operations. Results of the study help establish the framework for evaluation of county extension office operations and are a precursor to developing standards of excellence.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Bryan Terry.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Osborne, Edward W.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024197:00001


This item has the following downloads:


Full Text

PAGE 1

1 FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSIONS AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF EXEMPLARY COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE S : A DELPHI STUDY By BRYAN D. TERRY A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009

PAGE 2

2 2009 Bryan D. Terry

PAGE 3

3 To t he love of my life, Tracy, and my two wonderful daughters, Shannon and Heather.

PAGE 4

4 ACKNOWLEDGM ENTS All of my accomplishments as a graduate student would not have been possible without the love and support of my family. Tracy, I am in love with you more today than I was when I started this program. Shannon and Heather, thanks for giving me the time I needed. I will try to make it up to you. I never wondered if I would finish, but rather when. I owe my greatest debt of gratitude to the chair of my committee, Dr. Ed Osborne. When Howard stepped down as my chair and mentor, I was truly without focus. I will always remember you for taking the initiative to serve as my chair and provide guidance and support that provided the focus that I needed. For this I am most grateful. I would like to thank Dr. Larry Arrington, Dr. Glenn Israel and Dr. Marilyn Norm an for serving on my doctoral committee. Their guidance and support have not only guided this dissertation, but have also shown me what it takes to be a scholar In addition to my committee members, I would like to express my appreciation to all of the fac ulty and staff of the Agricultural Education and Communication department. I enjoyed working in the department and being a student at the same time. Nayda, thanks for the opportunity. A s a new Assistant Professor, I look forward to working with you and all the faculty and staff in the department. Fi nally, to E.J. and Janet what can I say to express my true feelings? Your friendship has been as instrumental in my completion of this doctoral program as any test I have taken, thought I have expressed or docum ent that I have written. Dr. Bolduc thanks for encouraging me to go back to school in the first place.

PAGE 5

5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .................................................................................................................... 4 LIST O F TABLES .............................................................................................................................. 10 LIST OF FIGURES ............................................................................................................................ 12 ABSTRACT ........................................................................................................................................ 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTIO N ....................................................................................................................... 15 Historical Perspective of Agriculture ......................................................................................... 15 Historical Perspective of Agricultural and Rural Life Education ............................................ 17 Establishment of the Cooperative Extension Service ............................................................... 19 The Extension System ................................................................................................................. 20 T he Role of the Federal Partner .......................................................................................... 20 The Role of the State Partner .............................................................................................. 21 The Role of the County Partner .......................................................................................... 21 The Role of the County Extension Office .......................................................................... 22 Current Trends and Issues .......................................................................................................... 23 Statement of the Pr oblem and Purpose of the Study ................................................................. 25 Research Objectives .................................................................................................................... 26 Significance of the Study ............................................................................................................ 26 Definition of Terms ..................................................................................................................... 27 Limitations and Assumptions of the Study................................................................................ 28 Assumptions ......................................................................................................................... 28 Limitations ........................................................................................................................... 29 Summary ...................................................................................................................................... 29 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE ............................................................................................ 31 Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 31 Theoretical Framework ............................................................................................................... 32 Inputs, Processes, Outputs, and Outcomes ......................................................................... 32 Strategic and Institutional Context ..................................................................................... 34 Users ..................................................................................................................................... 34 Local County Office Funding ..................................................................................................... 35 Facility and Infrastructure ........................................................................................................... 38 Extension Educators .................................................................................................................... 39 Founda tion and History of Extension ................................................................................. 40 Technology ........................................................................................................................... 41 Communication .................................................................................................................... 41 Program Development ......................................................................................................... 42

PAGE 6

6 Applied Research ................................................................................................................. 45 Diversity ............................................................................................................................... 46 Marketin g and Public Relations .......................................................................................... 46 Human Development and Adult Education ....................................................................... 47 Concept of the learner .................................................................................................. 48 Need to know ................................................................................................................ 49 Motivation to learn ....................................................................................................... 49 Readiness to learn ......................................................................................................... 49 Orientation to learning ................................................................................................. 50 Roles of learners experience ...................................................................................... 50 Risk Management ................................................................................................................ 50 Community Development Process and Diffusion ............................................................. 51 Extension Programs .................................................................................................................... 52 Organizational Accountability .................................................................................................... 53 County Office Leadership ........................................................................................................... 55 Planning ................................................................................................................................ 57 Organizin g ............................................................................................................................ 58 Leading and Influencing...................................................................................................... 62 Controlling ........................................................................................................................... 66 Executive Decisio n Making........................................................................................................ 66 Related Studies ............................................................................................................................ 67 Conceptual Framework ............................................................................................................... 68 Chapter S ummary ........................................................................................................................ 70 3 METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................................................... 75 Research Design .......................................................................................................................... 76 Delphi Procedure ......................................................................................................................... 78 Validity of the Delphi Method ............................................................................................ 79 Reliability of the Delphi Method ........................................................................................ 80 Population .................................................................................................................................... 81 Participant Selection: State Extension Directors ............................................................... 81 Participant Selection: County Extension Directors ........................................................... 82 Participant Selection: County Administrator ..................................................................... 83 Data Collection and Analysis ..................................................................................................... 83 Delphi Round One ............................................................................................................... 83 Delphi Round Two .............................................................................................................. 85 Data Analysis ....................................................................................................................... 87 Chapter Summary ........................................................................................................................ 88 4 RESULTS .................................................................................................................................... 89 Respondent Demographics ......................................................................................................... 90 Objective One: Fundamental Dimensions of an Exemplary County Extension Office .......... 90 Facilities and Infrastructure ................................................................................................. 91 Well trained Educators ........................................................................................................ 91 Well -developed Educational Programs .............................................................................. 91

PAGE 7

7 Organizational Accountability ............................................................................................ 92 County Office Leadership ................................................................................................... 92 Financial Capacity ............................................................................................................... 92 Objective Two: Essential Elements of an Exemplary County Extension Office .................... 93 Facilities and Infrastructure ................................................................................................. 93 Well -prepared Educators ..................................................................................................... 95 Well -developed Educational Programs .............................................................................. 99 Organizational Accountability .......................................................................................... 102 County Office Leadership ................................................................................................. 104 Financial Capacity ............................................................................................................. 110 Objective 3: Comparison by Respondent Characteristics ...................................................... 111 Respondents Relationship to the Cooperative Extension Service ................................. 112 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 112 Well -prepared educat ors ............................................................................................ 112 Well -developed extension programs ......................................................................... 113 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 113 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 114 Financial capacity ....................................................................................................... 114 Respondent Gender ............................................................................................................ 115 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 115 Well trained educators ............................................................................................... 116 Well -developed extension programs ......................................................................... 116 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 116 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 117 Fina ncial capacity ....................................................................................................... 117 Respondent Age ................................................................................................................. 118 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 118 Well trained educators ............................................................................................... 118 Well -developed extension programs ......................................................................... 119 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 120 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 120 Financial capacity ....................................................................................................... 121 Respondent Experience ..................................................................................................... 121 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 121 Well trained educators ............................................................................................... 122 Well -devel oped education programs ........................................................................ 123 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 123 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 124 Financial capacity ....................................................................................................... 124 Chapter Summary ...................................................................................................................... 125 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENATIONS ............................................. 154 Objectives .................................................................................................................................. 154 Methods ..................................................................................................................................... 154 Data Analysis ............................................................................................................................. 155 Summary of Findings ................................................................................................................ 156

PAGE 8

8 Objective One .................................................................................................................... 157 Objective Two .................................................................................................................... 157 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 157 Well trained educators ............................................................................................... 158 Well -developed education programs ........................................................................ 159 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 159 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 160 F inancial capacity ....................................................................................................... 161 Objective Three .................................................................................................................. 161 Respondent role with the cooperative extension s ervice ......................................... 162 Respondent gender ..................................................................................................... 162 Respondent age ........................................................................................................... 162 Respondent experience .............................................................................................. 163 Conclusions ............................................................................................................................... 163 Objective One Fundamental Dimensions ...................................................................... 163 Objective Two Essential Ele ments ................................................................................ 163 Facilities and infrastructure ....................................................................................... 163 Well -prepared educators ............................................................................................ 164 Well -developed education programs ........................................................................ 164 Organizational accountability .................................................................................... 165 County office leadership ............................................................................................ 165 Financial capacity ....................................................................................................... 166 Objective Three .................................................................................................................. 166 Respondents role with the cooperative e xtension s ervice ...................................... 166 Respondents gender .................................................................................................. 167 Respondents age ........................................................................................................ 167 Respondents experience ........................................................................................... 167 Discussion and Implications ..................................................................................................... 167 Objective One .................................................................................................................... 167 Objective Two .................................................................................................................... 171 Objective Three .................................................................................................................. 184 General Implications .......................................................................................................... 185 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................... 187 Recommendations for Practice ......................................................................................... 187 Recommendations for Research ....................................................................................... 188 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL ............................................................ 190 B EXPERT PANEL ...................................................................................................................... 191 C INTRODUCTION E -MAI L ..................................................................................................... 192 D PARTICIPATION E MAIL ..................................................................................................... 193 E INTERNAL PANEL SURVEY ............................................................................................... 194

PAGE 9

9 F INTRODUCTION E -MAIL ..................................................................................................... 202 G PARTICIPATION E MAIL ..................................................................................................... 203 H ROUND 1 SURVEY ................................................................................................................ 204 I FOLLOW -UP E -MAIL ............................................................................................................ 213 J ROUND 2 PARTICIPATION E -MAIL .................................................................................. 214 K ROUND 2 SURVEY ................................................................................................................ 215 LIST OF REFERNCES .................................................................................................................... 221 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ........................................................................................................... 236

PAGE 10

10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 4 1 Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics ..................... 126 4 2 Frequency and percentage of respondents by fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county exten sion office. ........................................................................... 127 4 3 Frequency and percentage of respondents by essential elements related to facilities and infrastructure .................................................................................................................. 128 4 4 Frequency and percent of respondents by essential elements related to well trained extension educators .............................................................................................................. 130 4 5 Frequency and percentage of respondents by essential elements related to well developed extension programs. ........................................................................................... 133 4 6 Frequency and percentage of respondents by essential elements related to organizational accountability ............................................................................................... 137 4 7 Frequency and percentage of respondents by essential elements related to county office leadership ................................................................................................................... 139 4 8 Frequency and percentage of respondents by essential elements re lated to financial capacity ................................................................................................................................. 144 4 9 Means and standard deviations of perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by respondent ............................................................. 146 4 10 Means and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by respondent ............................................................. 147 4 11 Means and st andard deviations of respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by gender ...................................... 148 4 12 Mean and standard deviations of perceptions of the essent ial elements of an exemplary county extension office by gender .................................................................... 149 4 13 Mean and standard deviations of respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by age ............................................ 150 4 14 Means and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by age ......................................................................... 151 4 15 Means and standard deviations of perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by experience ............................................................. 152

PAGE 11

11 4 16 Means and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by experience ............................................................. 153 5 1 Essential elements of an exemplary county extension office that were strongly supported by study participants ........................................................................................... 189

PAGE 12

12 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Open Systems Mode l. ............................................................................................................ 72 3 2 Pla nning process as a function of management ................................................................... 73 2 3 Conceptual Framework for Exemplary Local County Extension Offices ......................... 74

PAGE 13

13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to t he Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSIONS AND ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF AN EXEMPLARY COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE: A DELPHI STUDY By Brya n D. Terry May 2009 Chair: Edward W. Osborne Major: Agricultural Education and Communication When the Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914, its primary functions were to know the problems of local people and to bring these problems to t he attention of researchers; and to deliver non-formal education, based on the best scholarship available, to local people to help solve their problems. As the land grant institution, the University of Florida has been responsible for managing and administ ering the Cooperative Extension Service in Florida. To fulfill these responsibilities, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service established an extension office in each of Floridas 67 counties. These county extension offices are a partnership between stat e and county government. Each county extension office represents the University of Florida by delivering non -formal education that addresses local concerns. The ability to deliver non-formal education to help solve the problems of local citizens through the county extension office has been a collaborative effort between federal, state and local government. However to date, no consensus between Extensions partners has establishe d the characteristics of exemplary local extension offices. Consensus with re spect to county extension office operations would facilitate consistency in the delivery of nonformal education. Using a modified Delphi technique to survey administrators responsible for the operation of the local county extension office, this study iden tified six

PAGE 14

14 fundamental dimensions of exemplary county extension offices including adequate facilities and infrastructure, well prepared extension educators, well -developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and f inancial capacity. Within the fundamental dimensions, the study identified 77 essential elements for county office operations. Results of the study help establish the framework for evaluation of county extension office operations and are a precursor to de veloping standards of excellence.

PAGE 15

15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Historical Perspective of Agriculture Early in American history it was evident that agriculture would play an important role in the development of the United States and its economy. Agriculture wa s the economic engine and played a key role in the security of the United States during the much of nineteenth century (Danbom, 1997). During this time period, twothirds of the population was engaged in farming with self -sufficiency the most important rol e for American agriculture (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Like most industries, change is inevitable and agriculture is no exception. Hambridge (1978) and Durost and Bailey (1978) identified five major events that changed American agriculture and rural life. These include (1) improved transportation (2) population growth and migration, (3) industrial mechanization, (4) technology, and (5) business management. Improved transportation had a profound impact on production agriculture. The construction of canals a nd railroads led to the western development of the United States (Hambidge, 1978). Additionally, the construction of roadways improved the ability to move people and product from place to place (Peters & Morgan, 2004). Increased mobility fueled the creatio n of urban areas that created a market for agricultural products. A market for agricultural products created the desire for agricultural producers to increase production beyond self sufficiency to commercial agricultural production. Expansion of the U.S. population and the migration of the same to urban areas has significantly changed the business of American agriculture and rural life (McNamara, 1978). The creation of urban areas offered new opportunities for a better life than had previously existed in Am erica. As a result, an inflow of immigration into the U.S. occurred. Additionally, demand for

PAGE 16

16 non -farm labor in urban areas saw a migration of farm labor to non -farm labor (Danbom, 1997). This increase in non -farm population increased the burden of agricultural producers to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their farm operation to meet the demands of an increasing population (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Increased food demand facilitated the need for mechanized agricultural equipment. The mechan ical revolution brought with it new agricultural production methods by replacing animal power with mechanized equipment. Tractors, harvesters and other agricultural equipment permitted each worker to grow more and perform each task more precisely and in a more timely manner (Carleton, 1963). The technology revolution brought with it new agricultural processes to increase product yields. Science and technology introduced hybridization and new varieties that improved crop yields by more than thirty percent. T he development of fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides allowed producers to reduce crop spacing without sacrificing crop losses. Feed conversion ratios were established for farm animals to improve performance. All of these advances were the driven by th e increased demand for food (Durost and Bailey, 1978). Business management was the final revolution that impacted the agricultural industry. With the increased complexity of operating a farm, new business practices were necessary to remain profitable. The introduction of record keeping and financial accounting systems were no longer an option, but a necessary tool in farm management. With the increased use of mechanical equipment and the use of new production practices, access to capital credit markets beca me equally important. Finally, increased understanding of commodity markets has given agricultural producers increased opportunities to specialize and improve operational efficiency (Logsdon, 1975).

PAGE 17

17 Historical Perspective of Agricultural and Rural Life Ed ucation At the same time improved transportation, population growth and migration, industrial mechanization, improved science and technology, and business management practices were altering the agricultural industry, a lack of practical knowledge, education, cooperative organization, and personal leadership prevented many rural farmers from reaping the benefits of change (Peters and Morgan, 2004). To eliminate these barriers a combination of public and private ventures was implemented. Agricultural s ocietie s and organizations were the first recorded establishments with the goal of improving agricultural practices. Societies such as the Philadelphia Society, Grange, Farmers Alliance, and Agricultural Wheel are credited with creating the first agricultural fa irs for competition and education. In general, agricultural societies were independent of each other and lacked sufficient organization to have a widespread impact. Other criticisms of agricultural societies were that they were primarily located in more ur ban areas. During this era rural farmers often lacked adequate transportation that would allow for easy access to urban areas. As a result, rural farmers were excluded from membership and participation (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). The Morrill Act of 1862 p rovided 30,000 acres of federal land to each state for every representative and senator of a state. The proceeds from land sales were to be used to fund colleges that would offer courses in agriculture, mechanical arts, and classical studies (Grant et al. 2000). Supporters of the Morrill Act believed that by strengthening agriculture the economy would be strengthened. Providing educational access and affordability to the working class farm families would strengthen the future of agriculture (Comer, Campbel l, Edwards, and Hillison, 2006). The Hatch Act of 1887 provided federal funds for land -grant universities to establish research experiment stations to keep subjects taught at the land -grant university current (Grant et

PAGE 18

18 al. 2000). In addition, to promote scientific investigation and experiment respecting the principles and applications of agricultural science was the responsibility of the experiment station (Hatch Act 1887). This legislation was created from the increasing demand for agriculture product s requiring the need for more effective and efficient farm practices. As a result of the Hatch Act, issues in direct conflict with the Morrill Act arose from the passage of this legislation requiring the Morrill Act to be modified. The primary concern was the teaching of specific agricultural techniques at the land grant university. The Morrill Act of 1890 created land -grant universities to serve predominantly black populations and modified the original legislation to allow for the instruction in agricultu re, the mechanical arts, the English language and the various branches of mathematical, physical, natural, and economic science, with special reference to their applications in the industries of life, and to the facilities for such instruction (Morrill Ac t 1890). Farmer institutes, created in the late 1800s, were the first examples of non-formal education that was developed and funded through legislative means. By 1899 institutes were reported in 47 states. In sixteen states farmers institutes were associ ated with the State Department of Agriculture. In nineteen states, the institutes were directed by the land -grant institutions and experiment stations (Scott, 1971). Similar to the agricultural societies, these institutes provided lectures and discussions related to farm practices and rural life. A distinct difference between farmer institutes and agricultural societies was that membership was not a perquisite, and often seminars were held in rural areas (True, 1928). Cooperative farm demonstrations were a n educational method developed by Dr. Seaman A. Knapp. He believed that the process of transferring technology and encouraging adoption of innovations would only take place if cooperative farm demonstrations were implemented by

PAGE 19

19 farmers on their own land I n Knapp's view, "What a man hears, he may doubt; what he sees he may also doubt; but what he does, he cannot doubt (Pigg, 1983). Knapp brought to the forefront two fundamentals of what later became characteristics of extension work. First, Knapp believed that active participation by farmers often referred to as cooperators in demonstrations was a necessary process in education. Second, Knapp believed that a county agent system needed to be established so that farmers would have access to trained profes sionals (Peters, 2002). As a result of Knapps success in the South, an increasing demand for similar education was taking place in the North and West. The establishment of the county agent systems in Pennsylvania under the direction of the Pennsylvania St ate College with joint funding from the Office of Farm Management was the first example of state and local partnerships in extension work (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Establishment of the Cooperative Extension Service Agricultural societies and organizatio ns, farmer institutes, the creation of the land grant system and research experiment stations, together with the work of Seaman Knapp are all part of the progressive movement in agriculture. Rural residents demanded practical solutions to common problems. The federal government responded by enacting the Smith Lever Act. The Smith Lever act created the Cooperative Extension Service (CES) at each land -grant university. The Cooperative Extension Service is a cooperative agreement between the federal and stat e government, using a memorandum of understanding, which facilitated the creation of a county extension office in each county staffed with trained professionals (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). The primary purpose of the Smith Lever Act of 1914 was to aid in di ffusing among the people of the United States useful and practical information on subjects relating to agriculture, home economics, and rural energy, and to encourage the application of the same ( p. 3 ). This was

PAGE 20

20 extremely important as it created the mecha nism, the county extension agent, by which problems on the farm could be effectively communicated with the research stations. Research stations could conduct research and develop solutions. These solutions could then be demonstrated by county extension agents to the farmer or farm family for implementation. When the Cooperative Extension Service was established in 1914, it had three primary functions. First, seek to know the problem s of ordinary people and to bring these problems to the attention of resear chers. Second, deliver non -formal education, based on the best scholarshi p available, to ordinary people to help solve their problems. Finally, collect political support from the beneficiaries of extension programs in order to fund the continued research a nd education of ordinary people of society not just, or even primarily, farmers (McDowell, 2001). These purposes are defined more specifically by Rasmussen (1989), who stated that, "The mission of the Cooperative Extension Service is to help people improve their lives through an educational process which uses scientific knowledge focused on issues and needs (p. 4). The Extension System The Role of the Federal Partner Since the establishment of the Cooperative Extension Service federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture ( USDA ) has play ed a critical role in providing resources and support to industry, communities, families and individuals (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). This includes the coordination of national initiatives through fe deral i nteragency working groups; task forces; multi -state initiatives; and local, state, and national communities of educators and professionals Furthermore, the USDA has facilitated the exchange of resources, services, and educational materials so tha t educational outreach can be effectively supported through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education, and

PAGE 21

21 Extension Service ( CSREES) in partnership with t he land -grant university system (Gerrior & Crocoll, 2008). The Ro le of the State Partner A key aspect of the Cooperative Extension system has been the l and -g rant u niversity. As the state partner, its primary function has been to support the local county extension office (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Buford, Bedeian, and L indner (1995) suggested that this has included: (1) development of policies and procedures; (2) financial support; (3) methods of teaching; (4) subject matter support; (5) coordination between county and federal government; (6) access to researchers; and ( 7) access to the latest research. In addition county e xtension agents and program assistants depend on specialists for research -based information to support their educational programs (Warner & Christenson, 1984; Prawl, Medlin, & Gross, 1984) This role includes locating and interpreting complex information and making it usable in the county (Kawasaki, 1994). Taylor & Summerhill (1994) stated that specialists have the responsibility to synthesize, evaluate, integrate, and apply research information and expertise from within the land-grant university system in support of county programming efforts ( p. 1). The Role of the County Partner County government acts as an agent of the s tate in administering health, education, welfare, and criminal justice progr ams that are of statewide concern. These programs include many public health programs, adult and juvenile probation, and social services programs. The c ounty is also mandated to provide general a ssistance and health care for the indigent in the community ( Kemp, 2008). In meeting its objectives, the county partner provides funding, infrastructure and agency coordination to the local county extension office.

PAGE 22

22 The Role of the County Extension Office The Cooperative Extension Service was established to det ermine the problem s of ordinary people, bring these problems to the attention of researchers, and deliver non-formal education to help solve their problems (McDowell, 2001). Grassroots involvement is the process used in Extension to determine the problems of local citizens. Grassroots involvement engages local citizens to work collaboratively to identify the critical problems and issues and then bring them to the attention of the Cooperative Extension Service. The local county Extension office is the conduit by which local citizens communicate their issues and needs and where educational solutions are provided (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Although each county e xtension office is different, it is primarily comprised of highly trained faculty or educators, mos t with advanced degrees, a support staff, and a director that oversees the management and administration of the office. Funding of the local county Extension office is a partnership between local and state government together with private funding through grants and contracts (Buford et al., 1995). In Florida, county faculty, often referred to as Extension agents, have split funding where 60% of the faculty salary is paid through state funding and 40% through local government (L.R. Arrington, personal communication, March 17, 2007). To fulfill the county extension role, there are a number of duties and tasks that are performed by the local county extension office. These include (1) represent the state land -grant institution in the county in delivering non-formal education that provides solutions to local concerns; (2) act as the liaison between local and state government; (3) facilitate the organization of local citizens to determine and deliver non-formal education; (4) develop collaborations and partnersh ips with other organizations; (5) provide a public facility where local citizens can call, write, or visit for information; (6) stay informed regarding social and economic changes in the

PAGE 23

23 county; (7) remain up to date on subject matter expertise; (8) provide non-formal education through group presentations, one on-one consultations, and mass media; (9) facilitate the communication between local need and research; and (10) provide assessment of educational programs and communication of the same to local citiz ens (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Current Trends and Issues A number of current trends and issues challenge the effectiveness and efficiency of the Cooperative Extension Service. In 2000, a joint planning committee identified three trends that Extension mus t address. These included funding, human capital, and system relevancy (Extension Committee on Organization and Policy, 2000). Historically, the financial stability of the Cooperative Extension Service has depended upon the cooperation of the federal, stat e, and local government. Currently, each of these partners has been experiencing some level of financial uncertainty (McDowell, 2004). As a result, the respective levels of commitment have shifted. Large federal deficits have dictated the need for increase d scrutiny of public expenditures including those made to E xtension State appropriations for Extension as a percent age of general revenue have declined by fifty percent since 1970. Although Florida has faired better than most states, this is a consistent pattern for the Cooperative Extension Service (Brown, Clouser, Cothran, and Townsend, 1995). Additionally, the number of special interest groups has increased dramatically over the past two decades increasing the competition for federal state, and local dollars (Boyle, 1997). Organizational capacity has been a critical element in public service. Capacity is the set of attributes necessary for an organization to be effective (Eisinger, 2002). According to Eisinger a key attribute to organizational effecti veness is human capital (Eisinger, 2002). The historical function of Extension has been to bring research -based knowledge in a useable form to groups,

PAGE 24

24 families, and in dividuals in local communities. Extension personnel have provide d an important link betwe en university researchers and the community Success can to attributed by Extensions personnel being able to identify community needs and select, translate, and transmit relevant, research -based information to help address those needs (Russell, 1991). A c urrent challenge for the Extension organization has been its ability to recruit, retain, and develop professionals (Ayers and Stone, 1999). Employee recruitment will be a challenge for most organizations well into the twenty -first century. The competition for labor and a shortage of supply has created a challenge for any organization (Rynes and Barber, 1990). Shortages in labor supply have brought with it the need to offer higher wages and other incentives to attract qualified applicants (Schuler and Jackso n, 1987). For Extension, this has been critical given the concerns related to funding described earlier. Retention of personnel has also been an issue in management (Sheridan, 1992). Recent studies have shown that when compared with earlier generations, todays employee changes employment more frequently (Somers, 1995). Herman, 1999 observed that e mployee dissatisfaction resulting from unmet needs has been a factor in employee turnover. F ive basic reasons were identified as to why people leave one organi zation for another These included : i ncompatible organizational culture; un desirable relationships with co -workers; lack of support to accomplish objectives ; no career growth opportunities ; and dissatisfaction with salary and benefits (Herman, 1999). The i mplications for all organizations including Extension has been that that successful strategies for employee retention must be valued by and communicated to all members of the organization (Herman, 1999).

PAGE 25

25 Van Buren (2001) stated that i n today's rapidly changing world, knowledge has been quickly outdated. An organization with knowledge development and education as its base needs to have processes in place to continually develop its human capital (p. 2) Extension personnel have been responsible for asses sing local needs, designing non-formal educational solutions for these needs, and then delivering this education in a manner that will be used by the clientele (Russell, 1991). The challenge for Extension has been in its ability to create research -based so lutions and provide professional improvement opportunities for faculty (Stone, 1997). One of the mandates of the Cooperative Extension Service has been to deliver relevant, non -formal education to the people of local communities to help solve their proble ms (McDowell, 2001). In Extension terms, relevance refers to being appropriate to the community needs and context s of the day. American society has become more diverse, urban populations have increased, and the demand for affordable food continues. In addi tion to programs serving the original stakeholders, land use, obesity prevention, responsible use of pesticides, urban revitalization, non agriculture commerce, and assisting underserved audiences are among todays expanded Extension portfolio. Extension has been about improving the quality of life for all citizens (Bull, Cote, Warner, and McKinnie, 2004). Statement of the Problem and Purpose of the Study The ability to deliver non -formal education to help solve the problems of local citizens has been a c ollaborative effort between federal, state and local government. Each of these partners contributes financial and human resources, infrastructure, and other program support. The local county extension office has been the primary vehicle by which universit y -developed research has been disseminated to citizens of the local community. However to date, no consensus between Extensions partners has establishe d the characteristics of exemplary local Extension offices

PAGE 26

26 Research Objectives The purpose of the stu dy was to identify the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local county Extension office. The objectives of the study were: Identify and establish consensus on the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county Extension offi ce as perceived by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators. Identify and establish consensus on the essential elements of an exemplary local county Extension office as perceived by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension directors, and c ounty administrators. Compare and contrast the perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local extension office as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators. Significance of the Study The county Extension office is the primary mechanism by which the Cooperative Extension Service identifies local needs, communicates those needs with university researchers, and delivers research -based non-forma l education (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). Local problems and issues are complex and solutions require a systematic collaborative approach (Bull, Cote, Warner, and McKinnie, 2004). This demands that county offices are effective and efficient in the deployment of resources. Results of the study will be useful at the national, state, and local level. County extension offices nationwide have similar roles a nd responsibilities. Consensus with resp ect to county office operations would facilitate consistency in the delivery of nonformal education. In Florida, the results of this study would help to provide the framework for county program reviews. Establishing a consensus for county office operations should be a precursor to developing standards of excellence. To da te, no such standard exits in Florida.

PAGE 27

27 At the local level, the results of this study will provide criteria for identifying critical need areas An integral part of management is controlling for organizational effectiveness (Buford et al., 1995). However, w ithout a consensus related to the characteristics of an exemplary county extension office, it is difficult to identify where county extension programs can be improved. Additionally, the results of this study can provide improved understanding of effective county extension office operations between county government and state extension administration. Given the funding relationship between state and county government with respect to county extension office operations, conflict sometimes arises from a lack of agreement as to effective operations. This study included feedback from both parties which is a necessary requirement for establishing agreement. Definition of Terms Within this study, there are several terms utilized that have multiple definitions. To reduce misunderstandings, major terms are defined below: COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE (CES). The Cooperative Extension Service is the educational arm of the USDA that links university research to people who can benefit from it. COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR. Th e County Administrator serves as the chief administrator of the c ounty. The County Administrator is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Board of Commissioners. The County Administrator supervises and coo rdinates the activities of the c ounty depa rtments including the c ounty extension office, for the b oard, seeing that all orders and policies are carried out. The County Administrator also recommends an annual budget, makes recommendations on appropriate matte rs of business, represents the c ounty i n dealing with various state agencies and perform s other duties assigned by the b oard. COUNTY EXTENSION DIRECTOR. The County Extension Director is the administrative leader and coordinator for formulating, developing, imple menting, and evaluating county e x tension programs and coordinating personnel functions. In addition, the County Extension Director is the link between county staff county government, and state administration (Radhakrishna, Yoder, & Baggett, 1994).

PAGE 28

28 COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE. Partnership be tween the state land grant institution and county government that provides a facility, faculty, and research -based information to local citizens. ES S ENTIAL ELEMENT. A component of a fundamental dimension that allows a local county extension office to be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community. EXTENSION EDUCATOR. Extension educators are official representatives of the land grant institution and county government that extend research -based information by providing nonformal educational opportunities to citizens of the county to address real individual and community issues. FUNDAMENTAL DIMENSION. A fundamental dimension of an exemplary extension office refers to a basic, necessary, or indispensable component required to achieve the organization s goals and objectives. STATE EXTENSION DIRECTOR. The State Extension Director is the administrative leader and coordinator for formulating, developing, imple menting, and evaluating state e xtension programs In addition, the State Extension Directo r is the link between the federal partner, the land -grant institution, and county government. Limitations and Assumptions of the Study As with any study, the results, conclusions, and implications of this study have assumptions and limitations. These assumptions and limitations are prima rily determined by the design utilized to answer the research question. Assumptions This researcher made the assumption that participants would answer the survey honestly and they would return each phase of the study in a timely manner. This researcher also assumed that responses provided by a designee respondent appointed by the State Extension Director would reflect the views of the State Extension Director. Additionally, it was assumed that the County Administrator or designee would be knowledgeable in all aspects of county extension office operations. It was also assumed that there is variability in the operation of a county extension office and the study participants have the expertise and opportunity to observe good a nd poor extension offices. Finally, this researcher assumed that those participants who chose to

PAGE 29

29 respond electronically would read, understand, and respond to each phase of the survey within a specified time frame. Limitations One of the limitations of thi s research was the selection of study participants. From the county perspective, the study included only county administrators or their designee and county extension directors in Florida; therefore the results of the study may have been different if other counties in the United States had been included. Furthermore, this was a point in time study. As such, th e findings represented the situation when the research was conducted and it cannot be assumed that the same set of circumstances still exists. Finally, these data were self reported rather than observed by an impartial third party. It was vital that these data were the direct reflection of the state extension directors or their designee, county administrators or designee, and county extension directors and not the opinions of subordinates. This limitation was discussed in initial contacts with the participants. Each participant received and submitted materials electronically through the use of electronic mail and web based systems. Summary This chapter provided the background and significance of the problem as well as the purpose of the study. This study identified the essential elements of an exemplary local county Extension office. Additionally, the study compared and contrasted the perceptions about t he essential elements of local county extension offices as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators. There were three research questions presented the purpose was to establish consensus for the fundament al dimensions and essential elements of exemplary county extension offices and the significance of the study was discussed. Three research objectives were included :

PAGE 30

30 To establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of exemplary county e xtension office s To establish consensus for the essential elements of exemplary county e xtension office s To compare and contrast the perceptions about the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of exemplary local extension office s as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators.

PAGE 31

31 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Chapter 1 provided background information that established the need for this research study. A historical perspective of U.S. agriculture that evolved into the creation of the Cooperative Extension Service was discussed, as -well as insight into the relationship between state and local government with respect to nonformal education. The purpose of the research study and appropriate research o bjectives were stated. Research methods were overviewed, key terms defined, assumptions delineated, and study limitations stated. The main objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of an exemplary county extension office. Key to defining these characteristics was an understanding of the mission of the Cooperative Extension Service and the role of the local county extension office. The historical mission of the Cooperative Extension Service was, and has remained: to deliver research -based i nformation in to a format that groups, families, and i ndividuals in local communities can use to solve their problems (Hill & Parker, 2005) and be a catalyst for economic, social, and environmental change through nonformal education (Finger & Asun 2001; Ewe rt & Grace, 2000; Shields & Deller, 2003; Post & Altman, 1994). The local county extension office plays a significant role in achieving the Cooperative Extension Service mission. The local county extension office has been the conduit by which local citizen s communicate their issues and needs and where educational solutions are provided (Kelsey & Hearne, 1955). The purpose of this chapter is to present the literature related to the delivery of nonformal education through the local county extension offices. Specifically, this chapter will focus on the literature that describes characteristics of an exemplary local county extension office, leading to establishing the theoretical and conceptual frameworks. Additionally, organizational

PAGE 32

32 management and other studi es related to the effective delivery of extension information has been provided. This chapter is divided into the following major sections: theoretical framework, local county office funding, facility and infrastructure, extension educators, county office management, related studies, conceptual framework, and summary. Theoretical Framework The open systems model provided the theoretical framework that guided this research. Open systems models (see Figure 2 1) have often been used to illustrate the interrela ted parts of an organizational system that are necessary to accomplish its purpose (Cummings & Worley, 2001). Organizations utilize people and financial resources (inputs) and apply its strategy (processes) to create products and services (outputs) to accomplish its objectives (outcomes) (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). These inputs, processes, outputs, and outcomes are guided by a strategic and institutional context that establishes priorities, policies, incentives, rules, and culture that develop a strategy that will create a competitive advantage (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). Users, often referred to as customers, clients, or stakeholders both influence and are influenced by institutional and strategic context. Inputs, P rocesses, Outputs, and O utcomes The literature has identified a number of inputs that have contributed to exemplary county extension offices. Adequate, consistent, and diverse funding ha s been essential to support facilities and infrastructure, operational expenses, faculty and staff salari es, and educational delivery (Ahearn et al., 2003). Facilities and infrastructure are important in creating work environments to support faculty and staff and as a learning environment to support (Taylor, Aldrich, & Vlastos, 1998; Castaldi, 1994; Dejong, 1997). Work environment has been directly related to employee satisfaction, motivation, and effectiveness (Bitner, 1992; Roelsfsen, 2002).

PAGE 33

33 Furthermore, facilities have been associated with a sense of community that provides public value (Tranter, 2005). Fin ally, county extension offices have a well educated workforce (Chizari et al., 1998). Another characteristic of most organizations are the employees and staff (Buford et al., 1995). Scheer et al. (2006) provided a set of competencies that described exempla ry extension educators. These include: (1) knowledge of extension, leadership, and management; (2) use and understanding of technology; (3) communication skills; (4) program development, implementation, and evaluation; (5) applied research; (6) diversity a nd pluralism; (7) marketing and public relations; (8) theories of human development and adult education; (9) risk management; and (10) community development. Accomplishing the mission and objectives of an organization has required a strategic process (Thom pson & Strickland, 2003). For exemplary county extension offices this process has contained three essential elements. First and foremost, county extension offices should have a firm understanding of community development and adult education (Scheer et al., 2006). Next, the county extension office must be guided by the fundamental principles of extension program development, implementation, and evaluation (Boyle, 1981; Boone, 1992; Rossi et al., 1999; Hatry, 1999). Finally, to accomplish the mission of the c ounty extension office, the organization must be grounded by sound management principles (Fayol, 1949; Carroll & Gillen, 1987). These principles include planning, organizing, leading and influencing, and controlling (Buford et al., 1995). Outcomes have oft en been used to measure the effectiveness of an organizations processes and outputs (Cummings & Worley, 2001). In local county extension offices, outcomes have referred to the social, economic, or environmental change in extension clientele or communities

PAGE 34

34 (Rossi et al., 1999). For local county extension offices, outcomes have represented the mission and objectives of the organization (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). To be exemplary, county extension offices need to ensure that client outcomes have been direct ly associated with extension program delivery (Hatry, 1999). Strategic and Institutional Context Effectively achieving the organizational mission has often been complicated by outside institutions, the organization itself, and stakeholders (Wilson & Gill, 2003). Institutional context has been defined as those formal and informal traditions, customs, policies, and procedures that govern the strategic behavior of an organization (Wilson & Gill, 2003). The institutions referred to in this study include the state extension office and local county government. The state extension office has the primary responsibility of establishing the statewide nonformal education priorities and insuring that research -based information has been developed (Kelsey & Hearne, 1955). Local government has had the responsibility of identifying local service needs and then directing resources accordingly (Gray & Jenkins, 1995). Given that the county extension office has been historically funded with state and county resources, establi shing and accomplishing its mission must satisfy both parties. Each of these institutions has a set of stakeholders that influence the decisions of the county extension office. Users Users of the products and services have always been an important consid eration of organizations (Cummings & Worley, 2001). This influence has come in the form of increased demand for services and service quality which has an influence on the inputs required and processes utilized to meet the demand and maintain quality (Heskett, Jones, Loveman, Sasser, & Schlesinger 1994). Each of these requires the county extension office to continuously monitor the systems and structure that support the organization. Further, user demands for quality

PAGE 35

35 experiences have also challenged the sys tems and structures of the local county extension office. Service quality has represented the perception of their experience with the local county extension office. For local county extension offices systems and structures must be adjusted to meet the expe ctations of its clientele (Buford et al., 1995). Local County Office Funding One of the most essential roles of a local county extension office has been to seek financial resources from the beneficiaries of extension education to fund its initiatives (Mc Dowell, 2001). Without adequate financial resources, the other local county office responsibilities are unlikely Local county extension offices utilize various public and private funding sources to support their educational mission. These funds are used f or facilities and infrastructure, operational expenses, faculty and staff salaries, and educational delivery (Ahearn, Yee, & Bottum 2003). Identifying funding partners was identified by McDowell (2001) as a necessary function of local county extension offi ces. In Florida, local county offices receive financial support from the public sector including federal, state, and local government, as well as private contributions in the form of grants, contracts, donations, and inkind donations (UF \ IFAS Extension, 2007). Financial trends related to public funding of Extension have provided a mixed message. National funding patterns for Extension with the federal partner have declined by more than twenty percent since 2000 (Ahearn et al., 2003). In Florida, funding f rom the federal partner, when adjusted for inflation, has been relatively flat (Mulkey, 2001). State expenditures in Florida for Extension have increased in actual appropriations over the past twenty years. During the same time period however, the revenue collected by the state of Florida has increased at a faster pace (Mulkey, 2001). This would suggest that although the state partner has increased its expenditures on extension initiatives, other state initiatives in Florida have seen larger increases. Ac cording to a 2004 UF \ IFAS Extension annual report, the county partners in Florida are the

PAGE 36

36 largest contributor to the annual Extension budget (UF \ IFAS Extension, 2004). This is indeed good news, however recent legislative action has jeopardized future expen ditures by local government for Extension education (L. R. Arrington, personal communication, July 24, 2007). Priorities with respect to funding appropriations reflect goals and objectives of an organization (Rabin, Hildreth and Miller, 1996). Restated, f unding reflects the values of an organization. Public value forms the basis of funding decisions for a particular public agency. Public value can be created one of two ways. First public value is created when governmental agencies use the money and au thority given to them to produce things that benefit individuals as they perceive it (Linden, 2003, p. 1). Secondly, public value is created when governmental agencies meet the expectations of citizens, elected officials, that these agencies be account able for the way they operate; that is, that they be efficient, fair, open, and accountable (Linden, 2003, p. 1 ). Public budgeting in government has been established by elected officials to represent the constituencies they serve. Given that elected off icials represent constituencies, and governmental appropriations are a reflection of public value, it could be said the declining budget that Extension has been experiencing has been attributed to either a lack of public value or a failure to communicate p ublic value (Linden, 2003) The message for local county extension offices has been to identify the key beneficiaries, communicate extensions value, utilize extension benefactors support for funding, and seek to leverage public funding with private contri butions. However, private grants, contracts and gifts pose new issues that Extension must address. Barth, Stryker, Arrington, and Syed, (1999) raise several questions concerning this strategy. These included the loss of control of program content due to f unding source, agency authority in subcontracts, controlling interests in partnerships, and user fees as a barrier for some appropriate target audiences. Barth, et al (1999), recommended a

PAGE 37

37 list of guiding principles to help Extension maintain its values wh en seeking alternative funding. These principles are (1) programs that are reflective of the mission; (2) funding sources complement the Extension mission; (3) use of funds is consistent with organizational guidelines; (4) the public good balances individual advancement; (5) the responsibility of all staff to identify sources of and acquire alternative funds will become a part of the organizational culture; (6) efficiency and effectiveness in the use of funds; (7) balance between teamwork and entrepreneuria l efforts; (8) fairness in performance appraisals related to alternative funding; (9) incentives for success in acquiring alternative funds; (10) planning for program sustainability when funding ends; (11) access to programs must be maintained regardless of ability to pay; and (12) a commitment to these principles at all levels of the organization. In more practical terms, Jackson and Johnson (1999) suggest that each funding opportunity be critically analyzed. In addition, Extension programs funded by grants and contracts must fit within Extensions mission. Faculty and staff must determine if the project to be funded fits within the direction of current programs and initiatives and does not result in lost opportunities or the reduction in quality of other programs. Covering all real costs is basic, yet all too often the work required may consume more resources than the available funds provide. Faculty must also consider if the funding agency is an appropriate partner for Extension, understanding that accept ing funds from an organization may cause political and\ or public relations issues. An equally important issue, especially with foundation grants, has been funding sustainability (Jackson & Johnson, 1999). These precautions do not imply that local Extensio n offices should not seek alternative sources of funding, but it does mean that careful consideration be given prior to accepting any funds. Alternative funds are increasingly needed to provide quality programs that address critical

PAGE 38

38 issues for new and exis ting Extension clientele. A balance between existing sources of funding and new funding sources is needed to remain mission driven. Lack of adequate funding will only reduce Extensions ability to address the complex and challenging issues of contemporary society. Increasing funding sources has the potential to expand Extensions partnerships with other public agencies, not -for -profits, and the private sector (Crosby & Hamernik, 2002). The potential has been for greater visibility and increased political su pport from these other organizations. Facility and Infrastructure An important aspect that has often been overlooked in Extension education has been the facility itself. There are three areas of discussion with respect to Extension facilities. They are th e impact the facility has on: (1) faculty and staff (Roelofsen, 2002; Bitner, 1992) ; (2) learning (Taylor, Aldrich, & Vlastos, 1998; Castaldi, 1994; Dejong, 1997); and (3) the community (Tranter, 2005). One of the fundamental requirements of facility desig n has been a comfortable work environment that allows people to efficiently perform their work Roelsfen (2002) researched the effect of the level of comfort on the productivity of people in office environments His research quantified this relationship a s an aid to making strategic choices regarding the work environment within the facilities management process In her 1992 article, Bitner established that the same environment that communicates with and influences consumers can also influence employee sati sfaction. Employee satisfaction drives employee performance and reduces turnover (Reichheld, 2000). There are indications in the literature that the educational environment in which human beings learn does indeed have a definite influence on the learning processes and growth in the areas of affective, behavioral, and cognitive development. Dejong (1997) stated that the physical

PAGE 39

39 layout and design of a educational facility could enhance certain instructional strategies and discourage others In basic terms, f orm should follow function in that the facilities should be designed to fit the intended curriculum and uses, not the other way around (Castaldi, 1994). According to Taylor et al. (1998, p. 31) learning has been contingent on four facilities design princip les. These include: People are considered an integral part of, not apart from, the environment. The environment affects people and they, in turn, affect the environment (p. 31). The architectural environment, as a work of art in and of itself, can aff ect behavior. It can stimulate or subdue, aid creativity or slow mental perception, cause fear or joy. In fact, it can affect a whole range of psychological phenomena (p. 31). The environment can be designed, engineered, and provisioned to serve as an a dditional learning tool. Crucial to this premise is a conceptual base from which design determinants and goals are derived. This base consists of the curriculum and the learning objectives within developmental levels of the learner (p. 31). The learnin g environment can be evaluated as a learning tool if it has the developmental needs of learners as a basis for design (p. 31). Another concept related to Extension facilities has been its location within a community. Tranter (2005) suggested that public facilities should be used by self -organized groups in addition to their primary function. Successful public facilities offer a mix of activities and services, and all of these are of importance in the ongoing development of place and community identity (Tr anter, 2005). For Extension, providing alternative uses for the local county extension offices would provide additional public value, added public exposure, and exemplary service. Extension Educators Well -prepared extension educators have been the basic r esource for a successful extension system ( Chizari Karbasioun & Lindner, 1998). Without adequate numbers of well -prepared educators, extension would be limited in its ability to plan and execute exemplary nonformal educational programs and other technology transfer activities for local communities ( Chizari

PAGE 40

40 Karbasioun, & Lindner, 1998). The local county extension agent: (1) represents the state landgrant institution in the county in delivering non -formal education that provides solutions to local concern s; (2) acts as the liaison between local and state government; (3) facilitates the organization of local citizens to determine and deliver non-formal education; (4) develops collaborations and partnerships with other organizations; (5) provides a public fa cility where local citizens can call, write, or visit for information; (6) keeps informed regarding social and economic changes in the county; (7) remains upto date on subject matter expertise; (8) provides non -formal education through group presentations one -on -one consultations, and mass media; (9) facilitates the communication between local need and research; and (10) provides assessment of educational programs and communication of the same to local citizens (Kelsey and Hearne, 1955). To fulfill their role, Scheer, Ferrari, Earnest, and Conners (2006) described a set of competencies for an exemplary Extension educator. These competencies included: Foundation and history of Extension Technology Communications Program development Applied research Dive rsity and pluralism Marketing and public relations Theories of human development and adult education Risk management Community development process and diffusion. Given the importance to a well trained extension educator, these competencies are discussed below. Foundation and H istory of Extension Historically, extension has had the responsibility to transfer research -based information to members of a community through nonformal education that facilitates a change in behavior (Hughes, 1998). Long-term org anizational success has been dependent upon the ability of the

PAGE 41

41 organization to communicate this knowledge to all levels of the organization (Brown & Duguid, 2001). Organizational knowledge refers to the set of routines, processes, practices, beliefs and norms that provide for the competitive advantage of one organization over another (Brown & Duguid, 2001). For Extension, longterm success has been the ability of extension educators to understand Extensions mission to deliver research -based knowledge in a useable format to groups, families, and individuals in local communities to solve their problems (Hill & Parker, 2005). Technology According to Black & Harrison (1994) technology is the disciplined process of using resources of materials, energy, and natu ral phenomenon to achieve human purposes (p. 51). Albright (2000) stated that knowledge had become the central focus of the global economy (p. 11) and that organizations that disseminate knowledge must increasingly embrace technology. Extension educator s must take advantage of t echnology to create new approaches to fulfilling Extension clienteles desire to learn (Levine, 1995) Additionally, educators have to become so familiar with new technology that they can exploit the uses of the technology to bett er facilitate learning a nd use it in ways that are valued by the learner (Levine, 1995). Communication Effective c ommunication s trategies in Extension explain how to transfer research -based information into a language the user would understand to facilita te adoption (Amend, 1984). Given the role of the Extension educator, developing a communication strategy has been identified as an essential competency (Scheer, Ferrari, Earnest, and Conners, 2006). Amend (1984) provided five elements for effective communi cation : (1) plan communication strategy to serve Extension clients not the organization ; (2) use multiple communication channels; (3)

PAGE 42

42 include a communication specialist in planning; (4) seek aid from professional journalists; and (5) evaluate how clients respond to various communication strategies. Program D evelopment Program development has been defined as a developmental process used to link various agent and client systems for the purpose of establishing directions and procedures for adult learning pro grams (Schroeder, 1980, p. 41). Boone, Safrit, & Jones (2002) reaffirmed program development as a collaborative process between educators and learners in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of educational programs. Boyle (1981) stated that progra m development involves a series of deliberate actions and decisions. Included in these actions are: (1) analyzing, interpreting, and making decisions related to the situation to be improved; (2) utilizing the clientele in the program development process; ( 3) establishing priorities and objectives of the program; (4) identifying outcomes to be achieved by the learner; (5) identifying resources to support effective promotion and implementation of the program; (6) designing appropriate educational learning experiences for extensive clientele involvement; (7) implementing educational learning experiences; (8) developing evaluation strategy to make effective judgments about the value of the program; (9) communicating value of program to stakeholders. A firm under standing of program development by Extension educators has been the center of exemplary extension education (Bennett, 1975; Boone et al. 2002; Boyle, 1981; Caffarella, 1994; Knowles, 1970; Tyler, 1949; Schroeder, 1980). Extension educators that have had exemplary extension programs are guided by key program development concepts. These concepts included systems, culture, planned change, decision making, and needs (Boone et al., 2002).

PAGE 43

43 Program development in Extension education requires a systems thinking a pproach (Maccoby, 1976). Systems have been described as a patterned, functioning relationship among interdependent parts (Ackoff, 1983; Peters & Kozoll, 1980). Systems in the program development process at the local county level include: analysis of the in terrelationships of the local county Extension office unit; analysis of the target audience at the local county level; analysis of partnerships; collaborators and stakeholders; evaluation of the plan of work as systems approach to change; and assessment of the social, economic, and political context within which the change will occur (Boone et al., 2002). Culture has been described as a set of learned beliefs, values and behaviors that are shared by the members of a g roup, organization, or society (Brennan, 2005). Community culture influences the ability of an Extension educator to motivate and effect change at the local level (Ramsay, 1996). The implication for Extension educators within the program development process has been in determining an appropriate strategy that is consistent with the beliefs, values, and norms of the local community (Boone et al., 2002). Alterations or changes in structures and/or behaviors may be planned or unplanned (Boone et al., 2002). Bennis, Benne, Chin, and Corey (1969) refe rred to planned change, as a conscious, deliberate, and collaborative effort to improve the operations of a human system through the utilization of scientific knowledge (p .4). This concept has been important to Extension educators because extension pr ograms reflect planned efforts to resolve problems and issues of a collective social system (Beal, Blount, Powers, & Johnson, 1969). Therefore, Extension education that does not include planned change in the program development process cannot be considere d a planned effort (Boone et al., 2002).

PAGE 44

44 Historically, decision making has been referred to as a cycle of events in which consistent quality or direction can be understood (Griffiths, 1964). Decisions related to the stepby-step sequence of events by whic h criteria are established and performance is measured are fundamental in program development (Boone et al., 2002). Rogers (2003) identified that making a decision includes knowledge or awareness of the innovation or idea, persuasion, the decision itself, and confirmation related to the decision made. Tyler (1949) defined need as the gap between the present condition of an individual learner or group and a social norm. For local county Extension educators, needs assessment must have considered the following during the program development process: (1) needs of the individual learners, (2) needs of the organization, and (3) needs of the county (Knowles, 1970). Boone et al., (2002) pointed out that Extension educators should include adult learners in the needs assessment process. A number of programming models are presented in Developing Programs in Adult Education (Boone, 1992). Most of the models that Boone compared in his book had similar macro processes and conceptual framework. Boones evaluation of progra mming models concluded that most programming models include: (1) problem/need assessment; (2) establishment of objectives, goals, and means; ( 3 ) formal and non -formal learning experiences; and (4) e ither an explicit or implicit evaluation. Most literature related to adult education programming models include s the major components of planning, design and implementation, and evaluation. This study focused on the works of Boone, Safrit, and Jones as the most widely accepted adult education program model d esign ed to assist local county e xtension educators in conceptualiz ing the essential steps for a quality Extension program.

PAGE 45

45 Boone (1992) described adult educational programming as planning, designing, implementing, evaluating, and accounting for non -formal education Adult educators, such as e xtension educators, have used planned educational activities to produce behavior change for individual learners or groups. Within the sub-processes of planning, designing and implementation, and evaluation and accountabilit y are many micro -processes. Th e Boone, Dolan and Shearon (1971) Conceptual Schema of programming in the county extension office was written and developed to focus primarily on Extension clientele (Boone, 1992). The first element of the conceptual framewo rk described by Boone was the planning process with sub-processes of organizational renewal and linking the organization to its publics. This stage included more detail when compared with other models particularly with roles related to the organization and the change agent. Within the model, organizational culture was determined to b e an important element that the exemplary extension educator needed to understand and work within. Specifically related to the organization and the renewal process, Boone provid ed these points about adult educators. First, the adult educator must understand and be committed to the mission, philosophy, and objectives of the organization. T he educator has skills in staffing, supervision, evaluation and accountability. T he educator must be committed to the conceptual framework of programming. Finally, the educator should understand organizational renewal. These qualities and traits of educators have been essential to exemplary programming effort s and serve as essential elements of ex emplary county extension offices Applied Research Scientific investigation intended to provide solutions to problems has often been referred to as applied research (Rogers, 2003). The Cooperative Extension Service was established to seek to know the probl ems of ordinary people, bring these problems to the attention of researchers, and deliver research -based information to help solve their problems (McDowell,

PAGE 46

46 2001). The Cooperative Extension Service has built its reputation on the foundation that education delivered through county extension programs by Extension educators has been research -based, unbiased, and objective (Hansen, 1993; McDowell, 2001). County E xtension offices like many organizations, have fundamental values that have provide d a framework fo r the way the extension office conducts everyday business. These values are part of the county extension office culture and have been accepted by most county e xtension educators One of these values has been the use of applied research (Hansen, 1993). Dive rsity D iversity has been defined as differences based on identity group memberships, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, and social class (Ingram, 2006). In 1984 Warner and Christenson reported that the typical Extension c lient was a white, middle -class American with average family education and income, living in urban areas. The population shift in America has been affecting the county extension office by changing the composition of potential audiences for extension progra ms (Buck, 1997) There has been a great need to provide additional education to those who have had the least education. This lack of education has resulted in higher unemployment and when employed, lower wages. Nonformal education, therefore benefits the i ndividual and the community (Stacey, 1999). Exemplary e xtension educators must build the sensitivities and skills necessary for effective and diverse outreach and engagement (Youmans, 2004) Marketing and Public R elations Chappell (1990) suggested that th ere has been more to the e xtension marketing process than merely developing programs and then making them available for public use. Chappell suggested that an exemplary e xtension program has been communicat ed with the public in a way that has created aware ness, stimulate d interest, and produce d involvement by targeted clientele.

PAGE 47

47 Exemplary e xtension marketing programs use "effective pricing, communication, and distribution to inform, motivate, and service clients" (Chappell, 1994 3). The main objective of e xtension programming has been to meet the nonformal education needs of clientele (Boldt, 1988). Maddy and Kealy (1998) presented the experience of Cornell Extension in branding. They described the necessity of marketing a brand in order to target incre asingly fragmented audiences with increasingly relevant messages, for increasingly tailored products (Maddy & Kealy, 1998, 20). Shore (1997) expanded these ideas in discussing the marketing of continuing professional education programs to those in the m edical field. Shore (1997, p. 80) commented that knowing the customer, hunting for a specific niche, communicating with customers, analyzing the competition, becoming a brand maker, making the right offer to the right people at the right time, exploring d istribution channels, testing materials, and delivering on promises are all essential of effective marketing. This strategy was consistent with the need for extension educators to provide education to a more diverse audience (Stacey, 1999). Although conce rns by extension educators that exemplary marketing and visibility may increase demand that cannot be met with current resources and support, the reality has been that Extension will remain the best kept secret and risk further reductions in staff and reso urces (Maddy & Kealy, 1998). Human Development and A d ult E ducation Developing competencies in adult education has been identified as essential for exemplary extension educators (Scheer, Ferrari, Earnest, & Conners, 2006). Tyler (1949), described education as a systematic process that leads to a change in the behavior patterns of people. Knowles (1984) defined andragogy as the art and science of helping adults learn. He identified seven essential components that exemplary extension educators should utilize t o help adults learn. Knowles proposed that educators should:

PAGE 48

48 establish an environment that encourages learning; engage learners in the planning process; involve participants in diagnosing their own learning needs; challenge learners to develop learning obj ectives for the program; guide learners in the development of learning experiences to accomplish program objectives; help learners carry out their learning experiences; and involve learners in evaluating their learning experience. While Knowles delineated the traits that exemplary educators should possess, he also outlined the differences between pedagogy and andragogy. Knowles recognized the educators concept of the learner, a learners need to know, a learners motivation to learn, a learners readiness to learn, and a learners orientation to learning, as well as the role of a learners experience as key conceptual differences between pedagogy and andragogy. Knowles elaborated on each of these assumptions to provide a clear distinction between the two me thods, as discussed below. Concept of the l earner Knowles argued that pedagogical practice define d the role of the learner as passive and dependent upon the instructor as the provider of knowledge. Knowles wrote that teachers in the pedagogical model take full responsibility for determining what is to be learned, when it is to be learned, how it is to be learned, and if it has been learned (p. 43). Andragogy on the other hand moves away from dependency towards self -dire ctedness. Knowles defined adult lear ners as individuals who take responsibility for their own decisions, actions, and lives, and it is this self directness that is inherent in the educational model.

PAGE 49

49 Need to k now Knowles believed adults need to understand how their learning relates to their e very day lives and how they can apply this new learning. If this relevance has not been perceived, Knowles argued that adult learners will not engage in the learning experience Therefore, extension educators have been encouraged to explicitly state and ch allenge their adult learners to search for that applied meaning. T he pedagogical view has been one in which the subject matter was taught for the sake of learning the subject matter this contrasted Knowles andragogical methodology. Motivation to l earn Kno wles explained that the andragogical model establishe d a motivational assumption based on internal incentives and curiosity. This contrasted with the assumptions of the pedagogical model where motivation was established using external rewards and punishmen ts Th erefore, adults are not only motivated by tangible rewards but also by intangible rewards including self -satisfaction, personal development, and an improved quality of life. Readiness to l earn Knowles observed that adults come ready to learn somethi ng new in order to deal with a practical situation or current real life event. The prevailing pedagogical assumptions with regard to readiness to learn have established that people are ready to learn whatever society (especially the school) says they ough t to learn, provided the pressures on them (like fear or failure) are great enough (p. 44). Extension educators must provide a standard by which adult learners understand the necessity of knowledge and the principle that instruction should be organized around life application categories and sequenced according to the learners readiness to learn (p. 44).

PAGE 50

50 Orientation to l earning Knowles wrote that pedagogical methodology has been organized by subject -matter units Adult learners have been placed in the s ilos of specific academic disciplines and subject matter. Learners have viewed this type of curriculum as valuable only later in life, because the subject matter appeared to lack current applicability. The andragogical viewpoint has held that learning has involve d acquiring competencies that are readily utilized for specific real life situations. Knowles stated that because adult learners have been performance -centered in their orientation to learning, these experiences should be organized around competenc y development categories (p. 44). Roles of learners e xperience Knowles found that in the pedagogical teaching methodology, a learners previous life experience or work experience has not been considered a valuable asset. Teachers who have utilized the pe dagogical method have tended to rely on lecture, textbook reading, and sometimes audiovisual techniques as modes of delivering instruction. Knowles wrote that as people grow and develop they accumulate an increasing reservoir of experience that becomes an increasingly rich resource for learning for themselves and others (p. 44). To that end, Knowles believed that adult learners gain more from active experiences than passive classroom instruction. Kolbs (1984) work in experiential learning echoed Knowles beliefs. H ence, he argued for problem solving cases, simulations, experiments, and field experiences as a preferred method of instruction. These assumptions provided a link for developing an adult education theory that has been widely utilized and valued Risk M anagement Risk management has been described as a systematic process of identifying, analyzing and responding to the possibility that future actions and events may cause adverse effects (Kloman,

PAGE 51

51 2001). For Extension, these risks include both fina ncial and loss of reputation (Leibhart, 1991). Exemplary extension educators, have identified all potential risks during the program planning process, and have analyzed these risks to determine the potential financial and political liabilities. As part o f the decision making process, guidance from advisory committees, county government, or state government may be necessary to mitigate the risk through insurance, accept the risk, or cancel the program ( Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995). Community De velopment Process and D iffusion Community development has been described as any act that has been directed with purpose, which changes local conditions in a positive manner (Wilkinson, 1991; Luloff & Bridger, 2003). Community action has been referred to as a process of building social relationships in search of common community interests and maintaining local life (Wilkinson, 1991). Because of its attempts to meet the needs of local residents, it has often been the foundation for community development (Brennan, 2005). This process has been represent ed by many diverse interests in the local community, and therefore, has provide d a more complete approach to community development (Wilkinson, 1991). Extension educator s have often been faced with the task of est ablishing extension programs in communities of different groups of stakeholders with very differ ent needs, values, and preferences (Brennan, 2005). Exemplary extension educators have organiz ed diverse residents to help in local community development This can be accomplished b y providing a c omplete assessment of local environment that represents the entire community. The result will be more efficient and effective extension programs I nput and guidance from clientele allows extension programs to build on th e unique characteristics of the community and which facilitates local decision making This allows for an environment where extension clientele are directly engaged in t he community and its well -being (Wilkinson, 1991; Luloff & Swanson, 1995)

PAGE 52

52 A key theory in Extension has been the diffusion of innovations (Rogers, 2003). Diffusion has been defined a process in which an innovation is communicated through various channels over time among the members of a social system (Rogers, 2003). The success of a count y extension office has been in the ability of extension educators to diffuse research -based information among the community. Diffusion theory states that in order for an innovation to be adopted, communication channels must be established (Rogers, 2003). R ogers (p. 205) categorized communication channels as interpersonal versus mass media and localite versus cosmopolite. Interpersonal communication channels have been effective in exchanging information and persuading adoption (Rogers, 2003). Mass media chan nels have often been effective at bringing knowledge or awareness to a given problem or issue. Rogers defined cosmopolite communication channels as those that link individuals or groups to information outside social network. Mass media has been considered an effective cosmopolite communication channel, as it allows for information from the outside into a social network. Localite communication channels rely on members of a social network to persuade others to adopt a new idea, process, or technology. Extensi on Programs Another aspect of exemplary county extension offices has been designing and implementing a nonformal education program based upon the identified, analyzed and prioritized needs of the local community (Boyle, 1981; Boone, 1985). Boone (1985) sta ted: (1) programs in adult education have been the local extension offices strategy of responding to the needs of the target audience; (2) programs have been the road map of behavioral changes to be effected by the county extension office over a relative ly long period of time; (3) programs have provided the county extension office with a rationale for the allocation, deployment, and use of its resources;

PAGE 53

53 (4) programs have provided direction for decisions on strategies for coping with the educational needs of learners; (5) programs have provided county extension offices with an excellent public re lations tool; (6) action plans have guided the systematic development of change strategies identified in the program; (7) programs and plans of action have the res ources needed to market them to the targeted audience; and (8) programs and plans of action have provided a foundation for identifying, recruiting, and developing resource persons to assist with the implementation of the program. Each assumption of Boones model has been based upon the ability to design and implement a nonformal education program within the available resources and within the political environment of the community. Consistent with adult education theory, extension programs must translate loc al needs into measurable, attainable, teaching objectives. Teaching objectives have been essential to design sequential learning experiences. Additionally, Boone stated that continuous marketing of the plans of action is necessary to build support and assi st in recruiting volunteers and other resources. Organizational Accountability O rganizations act in accordance with the shared values of the people and stakeholders that comprise them (Stevenson, 1990). What an organization values corresponds to the rewar ds sought in return for its services, its o rganizationally define d acceptable methods of reward pursuit and the manner in which benefits realized are passed to the organizations members (Stevenson, 1990). O rganizational accountability, the timely and cons equential pursuit of mission goals, has been driven by its ability to quantif y and measure earned rewards and the culturally determined method of assessing and recognizing performance (Peters & Pierre, 2003). Priorities with respect to funding appropriati ons reflect goals and objectives of an organization (Rabin, Hildreth and Miller, 1996). Restated, priorities reflect the values of an

PAGE 54

54 organization. Public value c an be created one of two ways. Linden (2003) stated public value is created when government al agencies use the money and authority given to them to produce things that benefit individuals as they perceive it (p. 1). and when government agencies meet the expectations of citizens and elected officials, that these agencies be accountable for th e way they operate; that is, that they be efficie nt, fair, open, and accountable (p.1 ). Program evaluation has been defined as a systematic approach that utilizes social research procedures to investigate the effectiveness of a program intervention (Rossi Freeman, and Lipsey, 1999). Program evaluations have been conducted to improve programs, provide accountability, increase knowledge, and to develop political support (Rossi et al., 1999). The principle purpose has been to obtain evidence related to the e ffectiveness of extension programs provided to extensions clientele by those stakeholders that have been interested in creating, continuing, or improving Extension programs (Rossi et al., 1999). Hatry (1999) confirmed this by stating that program evaluati ons should not only measure outcomes achieved by clientele, but also whether or not the outcome was the result of the program intervention. Evaluations have been described as either formative or summative (Rossi et al., 1999). Formative evaluations have ge nerally been used to guide program improvement (Rossi et al., 1999). In contrast, summative evaluations have been used to render a judgment as to the programs performance in meeting goals and objectives (Rossi et al., 1999). Patton (1994) suggested that f ormative data are collected and used to prepare for the summative evaluation ; a summative evaluation should be conducted to provide data for organizational accountability There are many evaluation methods that may be used with Extension programs. In recent years, there has been a movement towards the use of both quantitative and qualitative data, since this technique has appealed to a broader stakeholder group (Brown & Kiernan, 1998).

PAGE 55

55 Additionally, combining quantitative and qualitative measures has provid ed a more rigorous examination of program effectiveness (Brown & Kiernan, 1998). Federal, state, and local government have usually required quantitative data to show evidence of effectiveness and efficiency (Worthen, Sanders & Fitzpatrick, 1997). The type of evaluation should be selected based on the size and type of the program, program objectives, needs of stakeholders, participants, and how the evaluation will be used (Hatry, 1999). Data may be gathered by self reports, pre tests and posttests, surveys, interviews, observations, review of documents, and with video and/or audio devices (Worthen, Sanders & Fitzpatrick, 1997). Boone (1992) suggested that exemplary evaluation should ask some fundamental questions. These included: (1) to what extent did the program result in individual behavioral change among clientele; (2) to what extent did the program result in aggregate behavioral change in the target public; (3) to what extent were program inputs and program activities associated with such change; and (4) t o what extent were organizational mission, philosophy, structure, functions, and processes effective and efficient in producing outcomes intended in the program Consistent with Boones recommended practices, Pancer and Westhues (1989) proposed that organizational accountability should provide answers to the following: (1) to what extent are community needs and standards met; (2) what must be done to meet those needs and standards; (3) what services could be utilized to produce the desired changes; (4) w hich alternatives are best; (5) how should the alternatives be put into operation; (6) is the strategy operating as planned; (7) have the desired effects been achieved; and (8) are program effects attained at a reasonable cost? County Office Leadership The county extension director serves as the administrative leader and coordinator for formulating, developing, implementing, and evaluating a county extension office strategy,

PAGE 56

56 including managing personnel functions (Radhakrishna et al., 1994). Furthermore, th e county extension director has been the link between county extension personnel and county and state administration (Radhakrishna et al., 1994). Thus, leadership has become an essential element for exemplary county extension offices (Radhakrishna, Yoder, & Baggett, 1994). Leading and influencing has been described as a process of persuading individuals and groups to work together to accomplish the organizational mission (Bedford et al., 1995). Bedford et al. (1995) defined leadership as the art of influencing individual or group activities toward achievement of Extension objectives (p. 215). Motivation has been described as: (1) the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995); (2) the predisposition to behave in a pu rposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs (Bedford et al., 1995) ; (3) the internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994); and (4) the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993). Early public administration and management centered on bureaucratic control through compliance and rules (Osborne & Gaebler, 1992). Kettl (1997) rep orted that since the early 1970s a management revolution in the public sector emphasized the need for public entities to produce more goods and services at a lower taxpayer c ost. According to a recent study of state government, this trend has refocused the management of government to a results oriented focus, where pubic entities have been funded by outputs and outcomes rather than inputs (Moynihan, 2006). Successful organiza tions, public and private, have been managed for effectiveness (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). Exemplary management has been described as the development of a strategy that allocates resources to meet a goal or objective (Booth & Rowlinson, 2006). Efficienc y, with respect to organizational management, has been defined as the ability of an

PAGE 57

57 organization to accomplish its goals and objectives through competent management of people, processes, money, time, and information (Powell, 2006). The role of the manager has been to create and maintain an internal work environment, so that ot hers can work effectively in it (Bates and Snell, 2007). This has been true in public administration, as well as the private sector (Gray & Jenkins, 1995). Brown (1991) suggested that t he ro le of c ounty extension d irector has expanded from one primarily focusing on maintenance of the county e xtension office and personnel management to one with responsibility for the entire e xtension program at the county level To establish this cultur e, management theory has typically identified four functions of managers: (1) planning, (2) organizing, (3) leading, and (4) controlling (Fayol, 1949). Carroll & Gillen (1987) studied ten industries and concluded that these management functions are still r elevant and useful in todays management systems. Bedford et al. (2005) identified these functions as critical to accomplish the mission of the local county extension office. Planning Planning establishes the direction for the other functions of management provides for collaboration, facilitates effective decision making, and promotes teamwork. All levels of the organizations should utilize planning to adjust to change by identifying oppor tunities and avoiding problems (Allen, 1998). Planning produces fundamental decisions and actions that outline and direct what an organization is, what it does, and why it does it. Planning requires extensive information gathering, investigation of alternatives, and emphasis on the future implications of present decisions. Strategic planning has often been referred to as a process that includes: (1) developing and analyzing the organization's mission and goals; (2) identifying general strategies; (3) setting objectives; and (4) allocating resources (Camp, 1993). Thompson & Strickland (2003) have

PAGE 58

58 made several points related to strategy. These include: (1) a strategy is a course of action created to achieve a longterm goal; (2) the length of time established for strategies is arbitrary and a strategy typically requires two, three, or as many as five years; strategies have generally determined how far in the future the organization has been willing to commit resources; (3) goals focus on desired changes and the ends that an organization has strived to attain; and (4) strategic planning involves adapting to take advantage of opportunities in a constantly changing environment. Allen (1998) provided an effective diagram of the planning process (see Figure 2 2). Organizing Organizing includes a broad set of activities, and has been considered one of the major functions of a manager (Carroll & Gillen, 1987) McNamara (n.d.), described the management function of organizing as the activities to collect and configure resources in order to implement plans in a highly effective and effic ient fashion. Producing value has been about coordinating an organizations resources, processes, and activities in the environment that the business operates (Blanchard & Hersey, 1993). In any organization, public or private, there are a number of operati ons that must be organized by the manager to achieve its established goals. The Language of Work Model has been a performance enhancing tool that has provided a process for managers to systematically organize a department or unit (Langdon, 2000). The steps, in order, include: Define the department \ unit value proposition Define core processes Name jobs needed for processes Model each job Collect work support data Load the work Identify the organizational structure Define work groups

PAGE 59

59 Develop a roll out plan Most organizations have established a mission and vision statement that flow to the individual department and unit level, however these statements often reflect intent and do little to identify the value that a unit has provided to the larger organization (Langdon & Whiteside, 2004). Collins (2001) suggested successful units should identify the value that the unit provides not only to its clientele, but to the organization. If customers have been value driven (Levy, 1999), then the county extension office needs to understand what customers value and where county extension offices should focus their attention to achieve this needed market place advantage (Woodruff, 1997). A core process has been an operational way to define how the unit will achieve value in terms of generating products and services (Leonard Barton, 1992). To understand this concept further, a definition of core must be established. For a process to be a core, with respect to management, a firm must be able to gain a competitive advantage o ver other competitors through distinctive ways of coordinating and combining asset s, knowledge, and complementary assets the unit has adopted or inherited (Teece, Pisano, Shuen, 1998). Exemplary management understands the capabilities of the organization a nd utilizes them to maintain competitive advantage and organizational value (Eisenhardt & Martin, 2000). Key to organizing a county extension office has been defining what jobs must be completed to realize the core processes that have been identified. Th is process has been useful in identifying manpower needs, assessing staff capabilities, identifying training opportunities, and reducing turnover (Langdon & Whiteside, 2004). In 1988 a study of human service employees, Glisson and Durick suggested that be lief in the organizational structure is directly related to job satisfaction. Job satisfaction has been consistently linked to organizational commitment, leading

PAGE 60

60 to reduced employee turnover (Hom & Kinicki, 2001). Exemplary county extension directors estab lish and maintain the local county office structure and ensure that personnel are effective within that structure (Bedford et al., 2005). Job modeling has been referred to as the systematic process of identifying the skills, knowledge, and expectations req uired to successfully complete a specific job (Langdon, 2000). Job modeling has been important in communicating how a specific job should be performed. This has allowed for standardization and replication (Langdon, 2000). Mentoring, as a management tool has often been used successfully in job modeling (Geiger -DuMond & Boyle, 1995). Mentoring has been used to clarify work responsibilities and improve employee understanding of a job (Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000). Exemplary leadership within the county extension office has provided and facilitated mentoring opportunities for the faculty and staff (Kutilek and Earnest, 2005). Units or departments that add organizational value have understood the importance of collecting cultural data. Cultural data in volves: (1) identifying formal organizational rules that create barriers that have prevented work from being completed; (2) identifying the real -world practices that have been necessary to complete work; and (3) reducing the gap between the two (Langdon, 2000). Given that most work is completed by people rather than processes, exemplary practices should be allowed to grow from the grassroots (Brown & Gray, 1995). Consistent with this theme, Cooper and Graham (2001) surveyed 117 county agents and supervisors and found that exemplary supervisors in county extension offices have established a culture that allows personnel the freedom to complete assignments and tasks. Organizing a unit or department should include a clear understanding of the human resources required to accomplish its core processes. This step, known as load the work, has been

PAGE 61

61 a managers capabilities in human resource management. In their research of 293 private firms, Huselid, Jackson, & Schuler (1997) established that a managers human reso urce management capabilities have a direct, positive relationship with a firms performance. At this point in organizing the county extension office, Langdon and Whiteside (2004) suggested that managers should develop the organizational structure. During p revious steps in the process, the value statement has been established, jobs have been defined, work support data has been collected and work has been modeled and loaded. As a result, the unit knows what is going to be achieved, how it will be achieved, and by whom (Langdon & Whiteside, 2004). Langdon and Whiteside reported that this information is a prerequisite prior to determining reporting relationships. Organizations, like county extension offices, have subunits of work organized around a function (L angdon and Whiteside, 2004). For example, county extension offices have a public relations mandate that all program areas support. To effectively organize and manage this function, it has often been necessary to develop work groups. These authors suggested that exemplary work groups have utilized the same core processes strategy described in organizing the county extension office. Consistent with Langdon and Whiteside, Fritz, Boren, and Egger (2005) found that effective work groups have identified what should be achieved, how it will be accomplished, and by whom. The final step of organizing a county extension office for effectiveness has been described as a roll out plan (Langdon and Whiteside, 2004). Although many of the organizing tasks have already been implemented, Langdon and Whiteside (2005) discussed the additional need to plan for implementation. Planning for implementation has often included establishment of a facilitation team. The responsibilities of the facilitation team have included identifyin g and

PAGE 62

62 prioritizing unresolved organizational issues, developing options to resolve issues, achieving consensus on appropriate resolution, and facilitating the organizing process. Leading and I nfluencing Bass (1990) compiled the meaning of leadership as, the focus of group processes, as a matter of personality, as a matter of inducing compliance, as the exercise of influence, as particular behaviors, as a form of persuasion, as a power relation, as an instrument to achieve goals, as an effect of interactio n, as a differentiated role, as initiation of structure, and as many combinations of these (p. 78). Leaders have the ability to influence over and above normal compliance with management directives (Katz and Kahn, 1978). Bedford et al. (1995) suggested th at understanding the importance of county extension office leadership has been important for several reasons. First, leadership has been the catalyst for motivation. Knowing what leadership has been necessary for selecting other people for leadership posit ions. Understanding leadership assists county extension directors in developing their leadership skills. Knowledge of how and when leadership works has been the foundation for leadership training. Finally, exemplary leadership has been essential for improv ed organizational performance. Several genres of leadership theories have provided insight into the literature representing this field. Trait leadership stipulated that leadership attainment is through a set of defined traits or personal characteristics. Leaders possessed superior qualities, which separated them from others (Bass, 1990). Theorists identified certain traits leaders exhibited. Often, terms such as insightful, intuitive, self -confident, intelligent, and sociable have been associated with tr ait leaders (Northouse, 2001). In c ontrast with trait leadership, which emphasized personality traits, the style approach focuses on behaviors related to what leaders do and how leaders act. The theory categorizes these styles as either (1) task behaviors or (2) relationship behaviors (Northouse, 2001). Using the style

PAGE 63

63 theory as their foundation, Blake and Mouton (1985) developed a two-dimensional managerial grid that suggested leaders have concern for people, whereas managers have concern for production. Situational leadership was founded on the concept that leadership depends upon the readiness level of the followers (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2001). Two types of behavior task behavior and relationship behavior have been associated with this theory. Task behavior involves the extent to which the leader has engaged in detailing the duties and responsibilities of an individual or group. This includes telling people what to do, how to do it, when to do it, and who is to do it. Relationship behavior has been measured by the level to which a leader engages in two -way or multi -way communication. These behaviors included listening, facilitating, and supportive behaviors (Northouse, 2001). To be exemplary county extension directors need to understand what motivates county faculty and staff (Lindner, 1998). Bowen and Radhakrishna (1991) suggested that this, in part, has been the result of changing motivations of employees. For example, as the income level and age of an employee increase, salary becomes less of a motivator for achievement (Kovach, 1987). Motivation therefore has been described as one of the most important functions a county director performs (Bedeian, 1993; Higgins, 1994; Kreitner, 1995). Smith (1994) suggested that: (1) work environments have b een rapidly changing; (2) motivated employees have been more productive; (3) motivated employees have been the cornerstone of organizational success; and (4) organizational survival depends upon a motivated workforce. There are five major theories that gui de our understanding of motivation. These include Maslow's needhierarchy theory, Herzberg's two factor theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, Adams' equity theory, and Skinner's reinforcement theory (Lindner, 1998).

PAGE 64

64 Maslow (1943) suggested that employees h ave five levels of needs: physiological, safety, social, ego, and self actualizing. Accordingly, Maslow argued that lower level needs must be satisfied before the next higher level need to motivate employees. Herzberg's two-factor theory was based upon mot ivators that increased or decreased job satisfaction. Intrinsic motivators, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction, whereas extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Vroom's theory posits that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). The more positive the reward, the more likely the employee will be highly motivated. On the other hand, negative rewards lead to employees that will be less motivated. Adams' theory stated that employees attempt to create equity between themselves and other workers. Equity has been established when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs has been equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965). Skinner's theory simply states that employee behavior that leads to the achievement of organizations objectives will be repeated, and employee behaviors that do not accomplish organizational objectives will not be repeated (Sk inner, 1953). Managers should positively reinforce employee behaviors that accomplish objectives and negatively reinforce employee behaviors that do not. To better understand factors that motivate extension employees, Lindner (1998) surveyed 25 faculty from two research centers in Ohio. His findings concluded that the ranked order of motivating factors were: (1) interesting work, (2) good wages, (3) full appreciation of work done, (4) job security, (5) good working conditions, (6) promotions and growth in t he organization, (7) feeling of being in on things, (8) personal loyalty to employees, (9) tactful discipline, and (10) sympathetic help with personal problems. He found that the number one motivator, interesting work, was consistent with two other studies but no other factors were consistent. He concluded

PAGE 65

65 that context within which an extension educator works will determine the motivational factors. He recommended that managers determine what motivates extension educators and develop reward system s that wi ll help the county extension director identify, recruit, employ, train, and retain a productive workforce. Kotter (1990) argued leadership was necessary to produce change and movement. Leadership occurs whenever someone attempts to influence the behavior of an individual or group ( Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2000) Burns (1978) defined l eadership as the reciprocal process of mobilizing, by persons with certain motives and values, various economic, political, and other resources, in a context of competiti on and conflict, in order to realize goals independently or mutually held by both leaders and followers (p. 425). Covey (1991) suggested that principle -centered leadership not only embraces the principles of fairness and kindness and makes better use o f talents of people for increased efficiency, but also leads to quantum leaps in personal and organizational effectiveness. (p. 71). According to Bennis (1989) leaders possess three ingredients: vision, passion, and integrity. Vision has often referred t o knowing what you want, where you are going, and the persistence to get there (Bennis, 1989). Next, passion has been described as an emotional feeling towards something (Bennis, 1990). It is through passion that dedicated extension educators have the ability to provide hope and inspiration to their clientele. Finally, leaders have integrity that builds trust. Integrity, according to Bennis, consists of self knowledge, candor, and maturity. Self knowledge has provided Extension educators an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. Candor has been referred to as honesty and the ability to deal directly with others (Bennis, 1989). Maturity reflects ones personal experiences and the ability to learn and apply new knowledge to other situations.

PAGE 66

66 Contro lling Controlling has been described as the process of measuring performance (Bedford et al., 1995). Allen (1998) stated that c ontrolling is the final link in the functional chain of management activities and brings the functions of management cycle full circle. The management function of control has four steps: (1) establishing standards and benchmarks; (2) measuring performance; (3) comparing measured performance against established standards and benchmarks; and (4) reinforcing success and correcting sh ortcomings (Bedford et al., 1995). Peters and Waterman (1982) referred to effective organizations as those that develop performance standards and benchmarks, record relevant performance dimensions, and then act on that knowledge. Local county extension off ices need performance standards and benchmarks if they are serious service quality delivery (Amons, 1999). Standards have often been referred to as the yardstick by which performance can be measured (Bedford et al., 1995). Hatry (1999) identified four perf ormance measures relevant to local government: (1) workload (outputs), (2) efficiency, (3) effectiveness (outcomes), and (4) productivity. Benchmarking has been defined as the comparison of an organizations performance with one that is similar in scope and scale (Amons, 1999). Exemplary organizations utilize the benchmarking process to identify gaps between ones own organization and the best performing organizations and then adjust strategic processes to reduce the gap. Executive Decision Making An importa nt aspect of an organization is the decisions of executive level administrators. In this study, these executive administrators include state extension directors, county government administrators and county extension directors. These administrators have dif ferent roles and

PAGE 67

67 responsibilities within the Extension organization and vary by age, gender and experience. The question has been do administrator characteristics impact decision making. Barnett and Karson (1989) researched 513 executives and found some di fferences between executive decision making by gender. For example, women administrators were found to be more ethically minded compared to males. This probably explains why this study found women to be more interested in the methods used to accomplish a t ask, whereas men were more concerned with results. With respect to age, Johnson, Neelankavil and Jadhav (1986) found that age and experience ha ve been factor s in executive decision making. This includes differences with respect to advancement, personal gr owth and enjoyable work environments. Specifically, younger executives were more interested in promoting policies related to advancement and personal growth compared to older executives. Older executives were more interested in making policy decisions rela ted to enjoyable work environments. Interestingly, research related to executive decision making by executives by role within an organization showed no differences between top level executives and lower level executives (Posner & Schmidt, 1984). Related St udies A review of the literature has attempted to identify related studies of a high quality county extension office. Several descriptive studies have been completed relative to high quality extension programs; however, no comprehensive studies related to high quality county extension offices were discovered. The related studies provided herein have been mostly associated with elements of high quality extension programs It is the authors view that high quality extension programs contain many elements of a n exemplary county extension office so they have been provided for their informational value.

PAGE 68

68 Taylor Powell, Douglah, and Stanek (1995) conducted a qualitative study utilizing three focus groups of stakeholders to gain their perceptions of quality extensi on programs. Their study found that high quality extension programs: (1) are led by a good staff; (2) are proportionate to number of residents; (3) serve a broad based clientele; (4) provide unbiased and up to date information; (5) are responsive to local needs and emergencies; (6) are focused with well -defined areas of responsibility; (7) are supported by a longterm plan, which provides the basis for program prioritizing, direction, and continuity; (8) utilize resources efficiently; and (9) do not duplic ate other programs. Osborne (1991) conducted a descriptive -correlational study of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Service and found similar results. This study included a survey of county extension personnel and county advisory board members. Results conclu ded that high quality extension programs: (1) are based on needs, which reflects current and future trends; (2) are planned in conjunction with District Specialists; (3) are technically accurate, current and research based; (4) are developed from a broad base of community networks and linkages; (5) utilize multiple delivery methods; (6) are innovative and/or involves risks; (7) are cost effective; (8) reach a diverse clientele; (9) targeted multiple audiences; and (10) have strong support from community le aders and decision makers. Smith ( 1991) identified components of quality extension programs based upon research conducted in the Maryland Cooperative Extension Service and found that high quality programs are relevant, are constructed using a quality process, and provide utility. Although there are fewer categories, these finding are similar to the previous studies. Conceptual Framework Guided by the Opens Systems Model developed by Cummings and Worley (2001) as the theoretical frame, this study proposed th at a local county extension office consists of complex

PAGE 69

69 factors that affect achievement of the established goals and objectives. These factors include fundamental dimensions, essential elements, and the institutional context of the land-grant institution an d county government. These factors govern the operational management of a county extension office through extension programs that provide solutions to local initiatives (see Figure 2 3). In an open systems model, inputs describe human, financial, and infra structure requirements necessary to achieve an organizations mission (Wilson & Gill, 2003). Consistent with inputs of an open systems framework, a fundamental dimension is a basic, necessary, or indispensable component necessary to develop a strategy to accomplish the goals and objectives of the local county extension office. The literature cited in this study suggests that exemplary county extension offices establish and maintain adequate and consistent funding; build facilities and infrastructure that s upport faculty, staff, and clientele; develop well trained educators; utilize well -developed extension programs; establish organizational accountability practices; and utilize best practices in leadership. Open systems models describe a set of processes th at when implemented achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Similarly, essential elements identify the specific characteristics of each fundamental dimension that facilitates county extension offices to be relevant and responsive to the clien tele of a local community. The literature presented in this study provided insight into the essential elements of an exemplary local county extension office. These include understanding the principles of human development and adult education; disseminating unbiased research -based information; the role of extension program development including design, implementation, and evaluation; marketing and communication; and community development.

PAGE 70

70 Open systems models illustrate how strategic and institutional context impact inputs, processes and outputs of an organization (Wilson & Gill, 2003). Institutional context is the formal and informal traditions, customs, policies, and procedures that govern the strategic behavior of an organization (Wilson & Gill, 2003). Loca l county extension offices are also impacted by institutional context. Traditions, customs, policies, and procedures of the landgrant institution and county government impact a local county extension office. Administrator perceptions influence the fundame ntal dimensions and essential elements of a local county extension office. This includes the state extension director, county administrator and county extension director. In turn, fundamental dimensions and essential elements provide the foundation for the standards by which the local county extension office provides solutions to local citizens. Exemplary local county extension offices collaborate with both county government and the land -grant institution as they plan, organize, lead, and control the fundam ental dimensions and essential elements of the local county extension office. Chapter Summary This chapter provided a review of the pertinent literature related to the research problem of this study. A theoretical framework was presented based on open syst ems model of organizational development posited by Cummings and Worley (2001). A description of the core organizational development components, inputs, processes, and outcomes were provided. The influence of other factors, such as institutional and stakeho lder contextual influences were also explained. The conceptual basis of the study centered on the fundamental dimensions, essential elements, and institutional context of a high quality local county extension office. Research relevant to accomplishing the mission of a local county extension office was summarized. This research provided support for the major tenets of the open systems model. These studies provide evidence that an open systems model can serve as the basis conceptual

PAGE 71

71 framework of this study. T he reviewed studies suggest that funding, infrastructure, well -trained extension educators, and ancillary support from the landgrant institution and county government represent the fundamental dimensions of a high quality local county extension office. Lo cal extension office leadership and organizational management together with a systematic approach to adult education and extension program development provide the essential elements of a high quality local county extension office. Organizational outcomes have been shown to be contingent on these elements; however external customs, traditions, policies and procedures have a significant impact on the strategic management process of a county extension office. Although the literature cited in this study provi des a basis for understanding the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of a county extension office, no comprehensive research has established consensus on these elements. Given the lack of consensus related to the fundamental dimensions and essen tial elements of an exemplary county extension office, the need for additional research in this area has been established.

PAGE 72

72 Figure 2 1. Open Systems Model (Cummings & Worley, 2001).

PAGE 73

73 Figure 3 2. Planning process as a function of management (Blanchard & H ersey, 1993).

PAGE 74

74 Figure 2 3. Conceptual Framework for Exemplary Local County Extension Offices (adapted from Cummings and Worley, 2001).

PAGE 75

75 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Chapter 1 provided the background information that led to the creation of the Cooperative Ex tension Service. It also provided insight into the relationship between state and local government with respect to nonformal education. Chapter 1 also cited the purposes for the study and explained the significance of the study. The purpose of this study was to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions and the essential elements of a highly effective county extension office. This study also compared and contrasted the perceptions about fundamental dimension s and essential elements of local county extension offices as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators. Chapter 2 presented previous research related to this study. This included a review of literature related to: 1) the basic, necessary, or in dispensable components required to achieve the organization s goals and objectives; and 2) the set of characteristics that allow a local county extension office to be relevant and responsive to clientele T his research provided support for the major tenets of the open systems model that provide d the theoretical framework for this research. Open systems models describe a set of processes that when implemented achieve the goals and objectives of the organization. Similarly, fundamental dimensions and essentia l elements identify the factors that allow a county extension office to be relevant and responsive to local clientele. The review of literature provides evidence that an open systems model has demonstrated its utility for explaining development of an exemplary county extension office. The reviewed studies suggest that funding, facilities and infrastructure, well trained extension educators, well developed nonformal education programs and organizational leadership have been major components of exemplary county extension offices. Organizational outcomes have been shown

PAGE 76

76 to be contingent upon the relevancy and responsiveness to clientele needs; however external customs, traditions, policies and procedures have a significant impact on effectiveness. In order to remove these barrier s identification and consensus for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local county extension office by the administrators representing the land -grant institution, county government and the local county ex tension office needs to be established. This chapter explains the methods used to accomplish the three objectives of the study. The objectives were to: (1) establish consensus on the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county Extension office ; (2 ) establish consensus on the essential elements of an exemplary county Extension office; and (3) c ompare and contrast the perceptions about the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local extension office reported by, administrative role, gender, age and experience of the respondents This chapter specifically addresses the research design, subjects of investigation, instrumentation, data collection procedures, and procedures used to analyze the data. To achieve these research goals a qualitative technique was implemented as discussed below. The University of Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB #2008U 0641) approved the study prior to the involvement of participants. Research Design Given the mission and complexity of county ex tension office operations, along with a lack of consensus among the experts, this researcher chose to use a modified Delphi technique to identify the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. The Delphi method w as developed by Dalkey and Helmer (1963) of the RAND Corporation in the 1950s as a tool for facilitating long -term planning in the technology field. Fischer (1978) stated that the Delphi is a method of gathering and refining the opinions of

PAGE 77

77 experts in order to obtain consensus about some aspect of the present or the future (p. 64). Delphi has been a technique that allows a systematic analysis of complex problems or tasks (Stewart, 2001). The methodology has been used not only in technology fields, but also in marketing, environmental issues, sales forecasting, nursing, and other fields (Powell, 2003). Linstone and Turoff (2002) explained that the Delphi Method should be used particularly if: The problem does not lend itself to precise analytical tech niques but could benefit from subjective judgments on a collective basis. Time and cost make frequent group meetings infeasible. The results might be impacted by the bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect is an observed social behavior in which people ten d to go along with what others do or think wi thout considering their actions (p. 4). The Delphi Method uses a panel of experts who do not meet physically at one location, but individually respond to a question or series of questions identified by the rese archer. Theoretically, the Delphi process can continue until consensus has been achieved. However, Cyphert and Gant (1971), Brooks (1979), Ludwig (1994, 1997), and Custer, Scarcella, and Stewart (1999) point out that three rounds are often sufficient to c ollect the needed information and to reach a consensus in most cases. There are a number of advantages to the Delphi methodology. They include (1) experts do not have to gather to participate, (2) potential pitfalls of strong or domineering personalities controlling the discussion are avoided, and (3) the identity of the participants can be kept confidential. Each of the participants in this study has been assigned an identification number and names are not revealed in any part of the study. This allows r espondents to react and respond freely to the questions posed (Linstone & Turoff, 2002; Pollard & Pollard, 2004).

PAGE 78

78 Delphi Procedure T he Delphi process traditionally begins with an open -ended questionnaire. The open ended questionnaire serves as the corners tone of soliciting specific information about a content area from the Delphi subjects (Custer, Scarcella, & Stewart, 1999). Kerl inger (1973) noted that the use of a modified Delphi process is appropriate if basic information concerning the targe t issue is available and usable and there is concern that participant attrition is likely. To reduce the likelihood of participant attrition, this research study included a review of the literature and data from brainstorming with internal experts in local county ext ension office operations to identify the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of exemplary county extension offices. (Appendix B). The literature revi ew focused on current thought throughout the Extension system on facilities and infrastructure, e xtension educators, extension education programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and funding. A panel of experts was used to review, confirm and make suggestions to improve the items and procedures (Appendix E). To improve the inte grity of the survey included both positively and negatively worded statements. Responses were reviewed and formed the basis for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements used in Round One of the Delphi study (Appendix H). The internal experts were encouraged to participate via e -mail by the Dean and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (Appendix C). The next day, participants received an e -mail requesting their participation and were directed to the website location to participate in the study (Appendix D). In addition to taking the survey, the internal experts were asked to respond with comments and suggestions for making the first round questionnaire more appropriate and understandable. This investigator incorporated the recommendations from the alpha testing into the initial round of questions to be sent to the 184 survey participants. In addition, demographic questions were developed to assess diversity in terms of gender, age, occupation, and experience.

PAGE 79

79 Based upon the recommendations Cyfert and Gant (1971) and Altschuld (1993 ) three rounds were initially proposed, however based upon the participant responses, it was determined that two rounds were actually necessary. In the first round, each Delphi participant receive s a questi onnaire and is asked to review a set of closed ended statements provided by the researcher and rate each statement to establish preliminary priorities among items. In addition, participants are provided an opportunity to provide comments about the procedur e or suggest additional items to be considered. The researcher identifie d common themes, consensus, and topics for further exploration by analyzing the individual responses. In the second and often a third round, each Delphi panelist receives a question naire that includes the items and ratings summarized by the investigators in the previous round together with any additional discussion items. Each participant is given an opportunity to revise previous responses as -well as respond to new items developed from Round Two (Pfeiffer, 1968). Generally, only a slight increase in the degree of consensus can be expected from the second and third round (Weaver, 1971; Dalkey & Rourke, 1972; Anglin, 1991; Jacobs, 1996). Validity of the Delphi Method When conducting any research study, consideration must be given to issues of validity. Threats to validity arise principally from pressures for convergence of predictions (Hill & Fowles 1975) which undermines the Delphi's forecasting ability. E xternal validity of the De lphi method, also called criterion -oriented validity, bears on the similarity between a judgment about the future and its real value. I nternal validity of the Delphi method, on the other hand, is concerned with the question whether the method itself leads to desired results and forecasts. Woudenberg (1991) has extensively researched external validity of the Delphi method. Woudenberg compares 17 studies in which the Delphi method was u sed with other methods such

PAGE 80

80 as unstructured direct interaction and structu red direct interaction. Woudenberg conclude d that factors such as the skills of the researcher the motivation of the participants, the quality of the instruction and the like seem to determine the external validity of a future forecasting method. Secondly, there is the internal validity of the Delphi method itself. The question is whether the design of the Delphi method leads to the desired results The assumption is that forecasts about the future obtained by means of the Delphi method are better and/or m ore accurate than those obtained through other methods. Helmer (1983) ha s well documented that statistically the Delphi Techniques tend to produce not only convergence but also that convergence is in the direction of the true value. Helmer (1983) pointed t o the explicit evidence of the validity of the Delphi technique in producing reliable results. Threats to internal and external validity using the Delphi method can be reduced by following three guiding principles (Goodman, 1987). First, threats to validit y will be reduced by using participants who have knowledge and an interest in the topic Second, threats to validity will be reduced by using multiple rounds of the questionnaire Finally, threats to validity will be reduced by increasing the response r ate of participants Reliability of the Delphi Method Reliability refers to whether replication of a study will yield the same results (Ary et al., 2006). Reliability cannot be measured with conventional procedures of estimation with the Delphi technique; however reliability is increased by standardization of research procedures. Jillson (1975) proposed to increase the reliability of the Delphi method by establishing guidelines by which the quality of Delphi research can be tested. This study utilized the recommendations of Jillson (1975) which included: applicability of the method to a specific problem ; selection of the respondents and their expertise;

PAGE 81

81 design and administration of the questionnaire ; feedback from the respondents; and est ablishm ent of the level of consensus. Internal consistency of the survey instrument does not apply to the Delphi technique since panel members are seeking consensus and each successive instrument is modified based on the participants input ( Dalkey & Rourke, 1972; Delbecq, et al., 1975). Dalkey (1969) reported a reliability correlation coefficient approaching 0.9 with a group size of 13 and further stated that reliability increases with the size of the expert panel Population S election of participants for a Delphi study is considered the most important step in the entire process because it directly relates to the quality of the results generated (Judd, 1972; Taylor & Judd, 1989; Jacobs, 1996). Although no exact criterion has been established for selecting participants of a Delphi study, Hsu & Sandford (2007) offer the following recommendations: (1) decision makers who will utilize the outcomes of the Delphi study; (2) professional staff members together with their support team; and (3) respondents w hose judgments are being sought. The population for this study consisted of three different groups: ( 1) state e xtension directors and administrators or their designee at each of the 1862 land grant institutions; (2) county extension directors in each of Floridas 67 counties; and (3) county administrat ors in each of Floridas 67 counties. For the purposes of this study, a census of each of these groups was utilized. Each of these participants meets the requirements set forth by Hsu & Sandford. Participant Selection: State Extensio n Directors The state e xtension directors who participated in this study were the e xtension directors or administrators responsible for the day to day operation of the Cooperative Extension Service

PAGE 82

82 within their state. Each individual listed in the CSREES D irectors and Administrators Directory (September 2008 ) was contacted via e -mail about the nature and purposes of this study. State extension directors have administrative responsibility for all extension activities conducted in their respective states, in cluding those conducted at the local level. This responsibility requires them to be an expert in extension operations (Patterson, Jr., 1998). The individuals contacted were asked to confirm that they were in charge of the day-to -day operation of Extension, or to provide the name and contact information of the individual who was. Based on the responses to these e-mails, a list of 50 current administrators was compiled and served as the population frame for this study. There were 4 2 respons es from the populati on of 50 current state e xtension directors for a response rate of 86%. Two responses did not contain usable data and were removed from the database leaving 4 0 actual participants in the study. Participant Selection: County Extension Directors The county e x tension directors who participated in this study were the administrators responsible for the day -to day operation of the county extension office within their county. Each individual listed in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) d irectory (September 2008 ) was contacted via e -mail about the nature and purposes of this study. County extension directors have administrative responsibility for all extension activities conducted in their respective county. This responsibility requir es them to b e an expert in all e xtension operations including financial management, human resource management, leadership, and educat ional design and delivery (Owen, 2004). The individuals contacted were asked to confirm that they were in charge of the day to -day opera tion of the local office or to provide the name and contact information of the individual who was. Based on the responses to these e -mails, a list of 67 current administrators was compiled and served as the population frame for this study. There were 58 r esponses from the population frame of 67 current county e xtension directors for a

PAGE 83

83 response rate of 86%. One response did not contain usable data and w as removed from the database leaving 57 actual participants in the study. Participant Selection: County A dministrator The county administrators who participated in this study were the administrators responsible for the day -to day operation of local county government with direct supervision of the local county extension office within their county. Each individual listed in the Directory of County Managers ( September 2008 ) was contacted via e -mail about the nature and purposes of this study. County administrators have administrative responsibility for all extension activities conducted in their respective count y This responsibility requires them to be well informed in all extension operations including financial management, human resource management, leadership, and educat ional design and delivery (Owen, 2004). The individuals contacted were asked to c onfirm th at they were responsible for administrative supervision of the local county extension office or to provide the name and contact information of the individual who was. Based on the responses to these e -mails, a list of 67 current administrators was compile d and served as the population frame for this study. There were 31 responses from the population frame of 67 current county administrators for a response rate of 46%. All responses contain ed usable data Data Collection and Analysis Delphi Round One Prior to distribution, the r ound o ne instrument containing the fundamental dimensions and essential elements identified in the literature was alpha tested on eight experts in the Cooperative Extension Service affiliated with the University of Florida. Participan ts included one Associate Executive Vice President, one Associate Dean for Extension one former District Extension Director, four current District Extension Directors and a former County Extension Director (Appendix B). A proposal was submitted and approved by the University of Florida Institutional

PAGE 84

84 Review Board for non -medical projects (IRB #2008U 0641) prior to the collection of any data (Appendix A ). Each of the Delphi panel of experts was contacted by e -mail by the Dean and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service to clarify the objectives of the study and to encourage their support and participation in this research study (Appendix F) An electronic invitation to complete the questionnaire with instructions on the purpose of the study, the study procedures, and how to access and respond to the questionnaire was sent (Appendix G) Survey Monkey, a web based survey approach, was utilized to design and collect the survey responses. This survey design website enables the user to collect and analyze data by exporting to various statistical software packages. The rationale for using a web -based application was to expedite the data collection process and allow participants the convenience of completing online forms as opposed to mail surveys. The software program provided a means for obtaining the data from participants immediately following the completion of the survey. The initial instrument consisted of a welcome page together with a description of the research study. Prior to beginning the survey, respondents were required to acknowledge their understanding of the study and their willingness to participate. If the respondent s entered their e mail address, they indicated they understood their rights as a research subject and were directed to the survey. If they failed to input their e -mail address, the web browser closed and the respondent was not allowed to complete the survey. The r ound o ne instrument contained six positional statements related to fundamental dimensions using a two-point Lik ert scale code d 1 (Disagree) and 1 (Agree). In addition, the survey contained 70 positional statements related to essential elements coded from 2 ( strongly disagree ) to 2 ( strongly agree) Consistent with Linstone and Turoff (2002) study participant s wer e selected because of their expertise and

PAGE 85

85 informed opinion s Therefore, no neutral position was provided. Instructions were provided indicating that a response to each question was not required. Experts were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each statement. Space was provided for pane l members to add comments and additional characteristics of exemplary county extension office. Upon completion of the survey, the respondents were instructed to submit their responses indicating completion of the survey. Dil l mans Tailor Designed Method (2007 ), was used for non -response follow up ( See Appendix I). Three days after the electronic invitation, panel members who had not responded to the round were sent an electronic inquiry to encourage their particip ation in this study. Seven days later, panel members who had not responded to the round were sent an electronic inquiry to encourage their participation in this study. Finally, two days prior to the closing of the Round Two survey, a reminder notice was s ent to panel members who had not responded to encourage their participation in this study. Although the Delphi method is a respected technique for seeking consensus, there is no commonly accepted definition of consensus in a Delphi study (Fink, Kosekcoff, Chassin, & Brook, 1984; Shieh, 1990). However, Williams and Webb (1994) stress the importance of identifying consensus criteria prior to data collection. For the purposes of this study: Consensus was established for an item when 80 percent of respondents indicated they either Agree or Strongly Agree; Disconsensus was established for an item when 80 percent of respondents indicated they either Disagree or Strongly Disagree; and The mean difference between the second and third rounds cannot exceed p lus or minus .25 (stability). Delphi Round Two Using guidelines established by Linstone and Turoff (2002), the results from round one were summarized and returned to the expert panel. Following the same methodology as round one an e -mail was sent to all the participants and non -participants directing them to the website

PAGE 86

86 to complete the round two questionnaire. The electronic mail for the second round survey thanked the participants for their participation in the study and explained the general procedures to follow for round two ( See Appendix J) Participants were asked to read the directions and instructions before completing the survey, including reviewing the group statistical data from round one Upon opening the web link, all participants were asked to self -identify with their e mail address for the researcher to verify re ceipt of the round two survey (Appendix K). With round t wo each participant was given an opportunity to re rate only items they decided to change. It was explained that although conse nsus was desirable, participants should not feel compelled to rate according to the groups rating. However, participants were advised that if they differed markedly to the mean rating, they should give careful reassessment to that statement (Linstone & Tu roff, 1975). A s in round one a two point Likert scale code d 1 (Disagree) and 1 (Agree) was used for the fundamental dimensions and a four point Likert type scale coded from -2 (strongly disagree ) to 2 ( strongly agree) was used for each essential element Consistent with Linstone and Turoff (2002) study participant s were selected because of their expertise and informed opinion s Therefore, no neutral position was provided. Instructions were provided indicating that a response to each question was not requ ired. Five days after the initial notification was sent via electronic mail, a generic reminder request was sent via electronic mail to those who had not yet completed round two Verification was made on a daily basis until all expected responses had been received up to two weeks from the original notification. Individual, personalized electronic mails were sent to the remaining participants who had yet to complete round two Verification was made on a daily basis until all expected responses had been rec eived.

PAGE 87

87 Data Analysis The data from the surveys were analyzed after each round. Data were entered and maintained utilizing a database denoting individual responses to each statement and open -ended questions. For data analysis purposes, all responses that we re negatively worded were recoded into a positive statement. In addition, respondent characteristics included association with extension (State Extension Director, County Administrator, or County Extension Director), age, ethnicity, experience, and gender. The data analysis and statistical procedures that were employed by the researcher focused on the primary purpose of this study to: (1) establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county Extension office ; (2) establish consens us for the essential elements of an exemplary local county Extension office; and (3) c ompare and contrast the perceptions about the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local extension office by respondent characteristics Descript ive statistics have often been used to describe respon dents of a survey (Dillman, 2007). In this research frequencies and means related to participants were computed for role, age, experience, and gender using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS ) version 1 5 .0. In addition to seeking consensus, this research study was interested in the differences in responses to the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of exemplary county extension offices that existed among various groups. The study pa rticipants included a census of all state extension directors, county administrators and county extension directors T herefore inferential statistics were not appropriate. Frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations by respondent role, gender age, and experience (independent variables) on the fundamental dimensions and essential elements (depende nt variables) of an exemplary local county extension office were used to describe the differences among the groups.

PAGE 88

88 Chapter Summary This chapter provided details of the methodology of this study with regards to research design, population, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis. The study utilized a Delphi process to identify and seek consensus for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local county extension office. Research objectives, participant selection, instrumentation, data collection, and data analysis procedures were outlined in the methodology section. Finally, validity and reliability of the study meth ods were addressed.

PAGE 89

89 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Chapter 1 provided an introduction and basis for this study. A historical perspective of agriculture that led to the creation of the Cooperative Extension Service was presented. A discussion of the local county e xten sion office and a lack of consensus as to what constitutes an exemplary county extension office were provided and a need for further research was established. The purpose of this research study was presented as well as the research objectives. The chapter concluded by defining key terms, outlining assumptions, and stating limitations of the study. In Chapter 2 the theoretical and conceptual framework for this study was outlined. A review of the relevant literature provided a thorough background on character istics and functions of county extension offices, as well as other variables related to this study. The literature review yielded a limited amount of research related to agreement on the basic, necessary, or indispensable components required to achieve the organizations goals and objectives or agreement on the requirements of a local county extension office to be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community, thus establishing a need for additional research. Chapter 3 outlined the research m ethodology used in conducting this study. The research design, study procedures, data collection, and analysis were addressed. The design of this study was identified as a modified Delphi technique. The purpose of the study was to identify and establish co nsensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office. The dependent variables for this study were the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. The attribute variables consisted of rela tionship with the Cooperative Extension Service, gender, age, and experience of the expert respondents.

PAGE 90

90 This chapter presents the findings of this study. The results address the objectives of this study in determining the fundamental dimensions and essenti al elements of an exemplary county extension office and examining the perceptions of the characteristics by the respondents. Respondent Demographics The participants in this study were associated with the Cooperative Extension Service serving in an adminis trative role. The panel consisted of 184 potential experts. This included 50 state extension directors, 67 county administrators and 67 county extension directors. A total of 128 subjects from the population of 184 potential experts participated in the s tudy for a response rate of 70% ( Table 4 1 ). There were 4 2 respons es from the 50 current state e xtension directors for a response rate of 8 4 %. Two responses did not contain usable data and were removed from the database leaving 4 0 a ctual participants in the study. There were 31 responses from the 67 current county administrators for a response rate of 46%. All responses contain ed usable data There were 58 responses from the 67 current county e xtension directors for a response rate of 86%. One response di d not contain usable data and was removed from the database leaving 57 actual participants in the study. Approximately 41% were women (n =52), while the rest were men. As of July 1, 2008 nearly 44% had been employed in their current position for less than five years. One -fourth of respondents were under age 50, while about 20% were over the age of 60. Table 4 1 shows the frequency and response rate of participants by role with extension, gender, age and experience Objective One: F undamenta l Dimensions of an Exemplary C ounty Extension O ffice. A primary objective of this research study was to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county extension office. A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office refers to those basic, necessary or indispensable components

PAGE 91

91 required to achieve the organization s goals and objectives. The results are based upon round two of a modified Delphi study. The findings resulted in six positional statements related to fundamental dimensions of exemplary local county extension offices. These fundamental dimensions include d : facilities and infrastructure, well trained Extension educators, well developed Extension programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and f inancial capacity. Facilities and I nfrastructure Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office is adequate facilities and infrastructure Any absence of a rating for a s tatement was classified as no judgment. A total of 12 8 responses was received with nearly 96% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this fundamental dimension (Table 4 2 ). Well -trained E ducators Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office is well -trained educators Any absence of a rating for a statement was classified as no ju dgment. A total of 128 responses was received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was 0; therefore consensus was established for this fundamental dimension ( Table 4 2 ). Well -developed Educational P r ograms Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office is well -developed educational programs Any absence of a rating for a statement was classified as no judgment. A tota l of 128 responses was received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and

PAGE 92

92 round two was 0; therefore consensus was established for this fundamental dimension ( Table 4 2 ). Organizational A ccountability Respondents wer e asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office is ongoing Extension program evaluation and organizational accountability A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was 0; therefore consensus was established for this fundamental dimension ( Table 4 2 ). County Office L eadership Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental di mension of an exemplary county extension office is effective county office leadership A total of 128 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .06; therefore consensus was es tablished for this fundamental dimension ( Table 4 2 ). Financial C apacity Respondents were asked to agree or disagree with the statement A fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office is adequate and consistent financial resources A tota l of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .02; therefore consensus was established for this fundamental dimension ( Table 4 2 ). Table 4 2 shows the respondents perceptio ns of each of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office for rounds one and t wo A total of six fundamental dimensions achieved consensus including adequate facilities and infrastructure (96.1% agreement stability 0.02), well trai ned educators (100% agreement stability 0.00 ), well -

PAGE 93

93 developed educational programs (100% agreement stability 0.00 ), ongoing organizational accountability (100% agreement stability 0.00 ), effective county office leadership (96.9% agreement stability 0. 06) and adequate and consistent financial capacity (100% agreement stability 0.02). Objective Two: Essential Elements of an Exemplary C ounty E xtension O ffice. The second objective of this research study was to establish consensus for the essential element s of an exemplary local county extension office. An essential element refers to a set of characteristics that identify the requirements of a local county extension office to be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community The results are based upon round two of this modified Delphi study. The findings resulted in 81 statements related to essential elements of an exemplary local county extension office. Round one of the Delphi study identified 70 essential elements of an exemplary county e xtension office. Eleven additional items were developed as a result of comments provided by the expert panel in round two. In round two of the Delphi, 77 statements achieved consensus and 4 did not. There were 9 essential elements related to facilities and infrastructure, 14 related to well -trained Extension educators, 17 related to well developed Extension programs, 9 related to organizational accountability, 23 related to county office leadership, and 5 related to financial capacity. Facilities and I nfras tructure Statement 1: In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure create a comfortable, efficient work environment. A total of 122 responses were received with 98.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round on e and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 2 : In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure enhance employee satisfaction.

PAGE 94

94 A total of 122 responses were received wi th 97.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 3 : In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure enhance customer satisfaction. A total of 122 responses were received with 96.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statem ent 4: In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure e nhance the educational needs of learners. A total of 121 responses were received with 84.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.08; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 5 : In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure provide opportunities for other organizations to utilize county e xtension office in addition t o their primary function. A total of 122 responses were received with 86.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 6 : In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure be accessible to members of the community. A total of 123 responses were received with 100.00% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; t herefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 7: An exemplary county extension office is a model for energy efficiency.

PAGE 95

95 A total of 122 responses were received with 86.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean differ ence between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 8: An exemplary county extension is a model for environmental sensitivity. A total of 122 responses were received with 91.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Statement 9: An exemplary county extension office is a model for technological advanceme nt. A total of 123 responses were received with 89.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 3 ). Table 4 3 shows the respondents pe rceptions of each essential element of facilities and infrastructure of an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was achieved when 80% or more of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with a statement an d the stability for the statement di d not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two A total of nine essential elements achieved consensus for this fundamental dimension. Well -prepared Educators Statement 10: In exemplary county extension offices educators should understand the foundation and history of the Extension mission. A total of 126 responses were received with 95.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). S tatement 11: In exemplary county extension office educators understand and utilize technology.

PAGE 96

96 A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreei ng with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 12: In exemplary county extension offices educators apply nonformal education theor y and methods. A total of 127 responses were received with 94.6% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was 02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 13: In exemp lary county extension offices educators understand community development theory and methods. A total of 127 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 14 : In exemplary county extension offices educators understand leadership theory and methods. A total of 128 responses were received with 95.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 15: In exemplary county extension offices educators understand and utilize appropriate communication techniques. A total o f 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 16: In exemplary county extension offi ces educators u nderstand and utilize program development, implementation, and evaluation techniques.

PAGE 97

97 A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore con sensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 17: In exemplary county extension offices educators understand subject area research in their field of expertise A total of 128 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 18: In exemplary county extension offices educators welcome diversity. A total of 127 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 19: In exemplary county extension offices educators ut ilize risk management techniques and strategies. A total of 126 responses were received with 93.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( T able 4 4 ). Statement 20: In exemplary county extension offices educators engage in 40 hours of training each year. A total of 123 responses were received with 68.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 21: In exemplary county extension offices educators are flexible.

PAGE 98

98 A total of 127 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 22 : In exemplary county extension offices educators focus on customer service. A total of 125 responses were received with 95.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Statement 23 : In exemplary county extension offices educators are able to engage volunt eers in Extension programs if necessary. A total of 127 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ) Statement 24 : In exemplary county extension offices educators are skilled in time management. A total of 127 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 4 ). Table 4 4 shows the respondents perceptions of each essential element of well -trained educators of an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was achieved when 80% or more of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with a statement and the stability for the statement did not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two A total of four teen of the fifteen essential elements achieved consensus for this fundamental dimension. Only the statement related to 40 hours of annual training did not achieve consensus.

PAGE 99

99 Well -developed Educational P rograms Statement 25: Exemplary county extension off ices e nsure that the county Extension program advisory committees represent all stakeholder interests. A total of 128 responses were received with 88.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 26 : Exemplary county extension offices d efine skills, knowledge, and expectations for each program. A total of 128 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 27 : Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs are consistent with county priorities. A total of 128 responses were received with 98.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 28 : Exemplary county extensio n offices ensure educational programs utilize measurable objectives. A total of 126 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this e ssential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 29: Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs are consistent with state priorities. A total of 127 responses were received with 97.7% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between ro und one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ).

PAGE 100

100 Statement 30: Exemplary county extension offices encourage collaborations with external stakeholders. A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 31: Exemplary county extension offices ensure education programs are suppor ted with research based information. A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). S tatement 32: Exemplary county extension offices identify specific target audiences with education programs. A total of 128 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; there fore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 33: Exemplary county extension offices utilize a systematic program planning model. (e.g. logic model) to develop educational programs. A total of 124 responses were received with 93.7% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 34: Exemplary county extension offices identify the educational content to be provided by educational programs. A total of 127 responses were received with 99.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Tabl e 4 5 ).

PAGE 101

101 Statement 35: Exemplary county extension offices s pecify how educational programs will be delivered to clientele. A total of 128 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two w as -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 36: Exemplary county extension offices clearly state intended, measurable program outcomes. A total of 127 responses were received with 97.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 37: Exemplary county extension offices clearly identify required resources to accomplish the goa ls and objectives of the program. A total of 127 responses were received with 98.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Sta tement 38: Exemplary county extension offices utilize a public relations/marketing plan for educational programs. A total of 128 responses were received with 93.0% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 39 : Exemplary county extension offices utilize peer review prior to program implementation. A total of 127 responses were received with 96.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .03; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ).

PAGE 102

102 Statement 40 : Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs add value to the community. A total of 127 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 5 ). Statement 41 : Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs meet underserved audiences. A total of 127 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential el ement ( Table 4 5 ). Table 4 5 shows the respondents perceptions of each essential element of well -developed educational programs of an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was achieved when 80% or more of resp ondents either agreed or strongly agreed with a statement and the stability for the statement did not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two. All seventeen essential elements achieved consensus for this fundamental dimension. Organizational A ccountability Statement 42 : Exemplary county extension offices define how each Extension program adds value to the county Extension office. A total of 127 responses were received with 96.1% agree ing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ).

PAGE 103

103 Statement 43: Exemplary county extension offices measure client perceptions of educationa l delivery. A total of 128 responses were received with 98.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 44: Exemplary county extension offices measure client perceptions of educational content relevance. A total of 128 responses were received with 100% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was establ ished for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 45: Exemplary county extension offices identify clientele that used the program. A total of 128 responses were received with 97.7% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.04; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 46: Exemplary county extension offices measure knowledge gain of program participants. A total of 128 responses were received with 99.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 47: Exemplary county extension offices measure skills developed by program participants A total of 127 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.03; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ).

PAGE 104

104 Statement 48: Exemplary county ext ension offices measure behavior changes of program participants. A total of 128 responses were received with 96.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this esse ntial element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 49: Exemplary county extension offices focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the county. A total of 126 responses were received with 97.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Statement 50: Exemplary county extension offices focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the state. A total of 125 responses were receive d with 91.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 6 ). Table 4 6 shows the respondents perceptions of each essential element of or ganizational accountability of an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was achieved when 80% or more of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with a statement and the stability for the statement did not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two All nine essential elements achieved consensus for this fundamental dimension. County O ffice Leadership

PAGE 105

105 Statement 51 : Exemplary county o ffice leaders utilize an advisory committee to develop mission and goals of the county Extension office.* A total of 124 responses were received with 90.6% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .07; therefor e consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 52: Exemplary county office leaders ensure county Extension office mission and goals are consistent with county government and state Extension priorities. A total of 124 respons es were received with 86.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.05; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 53: Exemplary county office leaders articulate cou nty Extension office mission and goals with faculty and staff. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.22; therefore consensus was established for this essen tial element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 54: Exemplary county office leaders establish and articulate county Extension office objectives with faculty and staff. A total of 123 responses were received with 96.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.17; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 55: Exemplary county office leaders maintain a comprehensive public relations strategy to create county Extension office visibi lity. A total of 123 responses were received with 95.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.08; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ).

PAGE 106

106 Statement 56: Exemplary county office leaders define how each Extension program creates a competitive advantage. A total of 120 responses were received with 82.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .21; therefore consensus was establis hed for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 57: Exemplary county office leaders remove organizational barriers that prevent work from being completed. A total of 124 responses were received with 92.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean diffe rence between round one and round two was .09; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 58: Exemplary county office leaders develop work groups to facilitate effective Extension programs. A total of 123 respons es were received with 93.0% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .05; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 59: Exemplary county office leaders establish an or ganizational structure that communicates relationships between faculty, staff and Extension programs. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .03; therefore co nsensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 60: Exemplary county office leaders develop standards and benchmarks. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between rou nd one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 61: Exemplary county office leaders fairly measure performance.

PAGE 107

107 A total of 124 responses were received with 93.8% agreeing with this state ment. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.18; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 62: Exemplary county office leaders compare measured performance against established standards and ben chmarks. A total of 124 responses were received with 93.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .15; therefore consensus was established for this e ssential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 63: Exemplary count y office leaders reinforce success. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.11; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). S tatement 64 : Exemplary county office leaders efficiently and effectively correct poor performance. A total of 123 responses were received with 94.5% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore conse nsus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 65: Exemplary county office leaders desire to serve others through their leadership. A total of 123 responses were received with 95.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .01; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ).

PAGE 108

108 Statement 66: Exemplary county office leaders empower people to make a difference. A total of 123 responses were received with 96.1% a greeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .04; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 67: Exemplary county office leaders are guided by their heart and mind. A total of 123 responses were received with 86.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .03; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 68: Exemplary county office leaders utilize natural abilities, but recognize their shortcomings and work to overcome them. A total of 123 responses were received with 95.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.03; therefore consensus was es tablished for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 69: Exemplary county office leaders lead with purpose, meaning, and values. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one a nd round two was .00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 70: Exemplary county office leaders build enduring relationships with others. A total of 124 responses were received with 85.4% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.03; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ).

PAGE 109

109 Statement 71: Exemplary county office leaders have integrity that others will follow. A total of 124 responses were received with 96.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 72: Exemplary county office leaders are com mitted to their principles. A total of 123 responses were received with 95.3% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.03; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Statement 73: Exemplary county office leaders are dedicated to personal growth and development. A total of 124 responses were received with 86.9% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01; therefore consensus was es tablished for this essential element ( Table 4 7 ). Table 4 7 shows the respondents perceptions of each essential element of effective county office leadership in an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was ach ieved when 80% or more of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed with a statement and the stability for the statement did not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two. All 23 ess ential elements achieved consensus for this fundamental dimension.

PAGE 110

110 Financial C apacity Statement 74: Exemplary county offices should define faculty, staff, and financial resource requirements for each Extension program. A total of 12 8 responses were re ceived with 93.7% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.02 ; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 75: Exemplary county extension offices should maintain a bal ance between existing traditional sources of funding and new, alternative resources. A total of 12 8 responses were received with 96.8% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .00 ; therefore consensus was estab lished for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 76 : Exemplary county extension offices should allocate funds based upon county priorities. A total of 12 8 responses were received with 84.6% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.01 ; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 77: Exemplary county extension offices should allocate funds based upon state priorities. A total of 12 2 responses were received w ith 69.0% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was -.04 ; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 78: Exemplary county extension offices should seek external funding only if within established priorities of the county Extension office. A total of 12 6 responses were received with 75.0% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .04; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ).

PAGE 111

111 Statement 79 : Exemplary county extension offices should charge user fees for Extension services. A total of 12 7 responses were received with 71.1% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .0 3 ; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 80: Exemplary county extension offices leverage resources with partnering organizations. A total of 12 8 responses were received with 56.3% agr eeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was .0 0 ; therefore consensus was not established for this essential element ( Table 4 8 ). Statement 81: Exemplary county extension offices establish sustainable, discretionary fi nancial resources to support county programs. A total of 12 4 responses were received with 92.2% agreeing with this statement. The mean difference between round one and round two was 00; therefore consensus was established for this essential element ( Tabl e 4 8 ). Table 4 8 shows the perceptions of each essential element of adequate financial capacity of an exemplary county extension office for rounds two and three. Consensus for each item was achieved when 80% or more of respondents either agreed or strongl y agreed with a statement and the stability for the statement did not exceed plus or minus 0.25 calculated by subtracting the statement mean from round two from the mean of round two. Of the eight essential elements identified, five essential elements achi eved consensus for this fundamental dimension. Objective 3: Comparison by Respondent Characteristics The final objective of this study was to compare and contrast the perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements by the respondent role, gender, age and experience. Frequencies, mean and standard deviations were used to understand the differences

PAGE 112

112 in perceptions based upon role, gender, age, and experience (independent variables) on the fundamental dimensions and essential elements (depende n t variables) of an exemplary local county extension office. Respondents R elationship to the Cooperative Extension Service Descriptive statistics including frequency mean and standard deviations were used to describe differences in the respondents per ceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements by the respondents relationship with the Cooperative Extension Service Facilities and i nfrastructure Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of facilities and infrastructure as a fundamental dimension (Table 4 9 ) of an exemplary county extension office was 0.95 ( SD = 0.32), county administrators (n = 31) was 0.81 ( SD = 0.60) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 0.96 ( SD = 0.27). Prior to perform ing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of facilities and infrastructure achieving consensus. The possible range of values was f rom 18 to 18. Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of facilities and infrastructure (Table 4 10) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 11.50 ( SD = 3.61), county administrators ( n = 28) was 9.55 ( SD = 4.35) and county extension directors (n = 56) was 11.39 ( SD = 4.20). Well -prepared educators Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of well trained educators (Table 4 9 ) as a fundamental dim ension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), county administrators (n = 31) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00).

PAGE 113

113 Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements o f an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the fourteen essential elements of well -trained educators achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 28 to 28. Results showed that the mean for state exte nsion directors (n = 40) perceptions of well -trained educators (Table 4 10) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 24.30 ( SD = 3.61), county administrators (n = 31) was 21.90 ( SD = 4.35) and county extension directors (n = 5 7) was 23.60 ( SD = 4.20). Well -developed extension programs Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of well developed extension programs (Table 4 9 ) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension offi ce was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), county administrators (n = 31) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00. Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was cr eated by summing the value for each of the seventeen essential elements of well -trained educators achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 34 to 34. Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of well developed extension programs (Table 4 10). as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 25.75 ( SD = 4.08), county administrators (n = 31) was 21.42 ( SD = 5.12) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 22.95 ( SD = 5.07) Organiz ational accountability Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of organizational accountability (Table 4 9 ) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county

PAGE 114

114 extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), county administrat ors (n = 31) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of organizational accountability achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 18 to 18. Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of organizational accountability (Table 4 10) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 12.95 ( SD = 3.21), county administrators (n = 31) was 10.81 ( SD = 3.36) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 12.56 ( SD = 3.33). County office leadership Results showed that the m ean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of county office leadership (Table 4 9 ) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 0.90 ( SD = 0.44), county administrator s (n = 31) was 0.87 ( SD = 0.50) and county extensi on directors (n = 57) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the 23 essential elements of county office leadership ac hieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 46 to 46. Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of county office leadership (Table 4 10) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office w as 35.74 ( SD = 7.80), county administrators (n = 28) was 32.55 ( SD = 8.19) and county extension directors (n = 56) was 33.84 ( SD = 8.11). Financial capacity Results showed that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of financial cap acity (Table 4 9 ) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension

PAGE 115

115 office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), county administrators (n = 31) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and county extension directors (n = 57) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the five essential elements of financial capacity achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 10 to 10. Results showe d that the mean for state extension directors (n = 40) perceptions of financial capacity (Table 4 10) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 7.13 (SD = 2.14), county administrators (n = 28) was 6.65 ( SD = 1.98) and county ext ension directors (n = 56) was 6.37 ( SD = 2.05) Table 4 9 and Table 4 10 summarize the mean s and standard s deviation of perceptions of the fundamental dimension and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by respondent relationship with the Cooperative Extension Service Respondent Gender Descriptive statistics including number of respondents, mean and standard deviations were used to describe differences in the respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential element s by respondents gender. Facilities and infrastructure Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that the mean for facilities and infrastructure (Table 4 11) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 0.88 ( SD = 0.47) and that for males (n = 75) was .95 ( SD = 0.32). With respect to the nine essential elements of facilities and infrastructure, (Table 4 12) results showed that the mean and standard deviation for females were 10.67 ( SD = 4.67) and for males 11.23 ( SD = 3.7 1).

PAGE 116

116 Well -trained educators Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that the mean for well trained educators (Table 4 11) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and that of males was .1.00 ( SD = 0. 00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the fourteen essential elements of well -trained educators (Table 4 12) achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 28 to 28. Results showed that the mean and standard deviation for females was 23.65 ( SD = 3.21) and for males 23.33 (SD = 4.44). Well -developed extension programs Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that t he mean for well -developed extension programs as a fundamental dimension (Table 4 11) of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and for males (n=75) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential eleme nts of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the seventeen essential elements of well -trained educators (Table 4 12) achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 34 to 34. Results showed that the m ean and standard deviation for females (n= 52) was 24.06 ( SD = 4.55) and for males (n = 75) 23.11 ( SD = 5.34). Organizational accountability Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that the mean for organizational accountability (Table 4 11) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and for males (n=75) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by sum ming the value for each of the nine essential elements

PAGE 117

117 of organizational accountability (Table 4 12) achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 18 to 18. Results showed that the mean and standard deviation for females (n= 52) was 12.63 ( S D = 2.76) and for males (n = 75) was 12.03 ( SD = 3.77). County office leadership Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that the mean for county office leadership (Table 4 11) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office w as 0.88 (SD = 0.47) and that of males (n = 75) was 0.97 (SD = 0. 23). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the 23 essential elements of cou nty office leadership (Table 4 12) achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 46 to 46. Results showed that the mean and standard deviation for females (n= 52) was 32.46 (SD = 10.85) and for males (n = 75) was 33.47 (SD = 9.35). Financial capacity Perceptions of female respondents (n = 52) showed that the mean for financial capacity (Table 4 11) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and for males (n=75) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to perfo rming the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the five essential elements of financial capacity (Table 4 12) achieving consensus. The possible range of values w as from 10 to 10. Results showed that the mean and standard deviation for females (n= 52) was 6.83 ( SD = 2.07) and for males (n = 75) was 6.53 ( SD = 2.07). Tables 4 11 and 4 12 summarize the mean s and standard deviation s of perceptions of the fundamental dimension and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by gender.

PAGE 118

118 Respondent Age Descriptive statistics including frequency, means and standard deviations were used to describe differences in the respondents perceptions of the fundament al dimensions and essential elements by respondents age. Facilities and infrastructure Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for facilities and infrastructure (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 0.94 ( SD = 0.36), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 0.87 ( SD = 0.51, between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 0.84 ( SD = 0.34) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 0.92 ( SD = 0.40) Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essenti al elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of facilities and infrastructure (Table 4 14) achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 18 to 18. Results showed that the mean for respondents under age 50 (n = 30) perceptions of facilities and infrastructure as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 11.70 ( SD = 3.01), between 50 and 55 (n = 29) was 10.86 ( SD = 4.49), between 55 and 60 (n = 29) was 11.88 ( SD = 3.68) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 26) was 10.85 ( SD = 3.73). Well -trained educators Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for well -trained educator (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimens ion of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00)

PAGE 119

119 Prior to performing the analysi s a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the fourteen essential elements of a well -trained educator achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 28 to 28. Pe rceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for well -trained educators (Table 4 14). as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 22.94 ( SD = 4.32), between 50 and 55 (n = 30) was 24.10 ( SD = 4.57), between 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 23.47 ( SD = 3.43) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 27) was 23.33 ( SD = 4.16) Well -developed extension programs Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for well developed extension program (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office (Table 4 13) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 1.00 (SD = 0.00), between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the seventeen essential elements of a well -developed extension program achieving consensus The possible range of values was from 34 to 34. Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for well trained educator (Table 4 14). as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 22.90 ( SD = 5.02), between 50 and 55 (n = 30) was 23.70 ( SD = 4.87), between 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 24.00 ( SD = 4.79) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 27) was 23.11 ( SD = 6.02).

PAGE 120

120 Organizational accountability Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for organizational accountability (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). P rior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of organizational accountabi lity achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 18 to 18. Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for organizational accountability (Table 4 14) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension offic e was 12.35 ( SD = 3.80), between 50 and 55 (n = 30) was 12.00 ( SD = 3.40), between 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 12.50 ( SD = 3.02) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 27) was 12.19 ( SD = 3.74). County office leadership Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for county office leadership (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the 23 essential elements of count y office leadership achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 46 to 46. Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for county office leadership (Table 4 14) as an essential element of an exemplary county exten sion office was 34.23 ( SD = 7.68), between 50 and 55 (n = 30) was 34.50 ( SD = 7.86), between 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 34.35 ( SD = 8.03) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 27) was 33.41 ( SD = 9.06)..

PAGE 121

121 Financial capacity Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for financial capacity (Table 4 13) as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between age 50 and 54 (n = 30) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), between ages 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 1.00 (SD = 0.00) and age 60 and above (n = 27) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the five essential elements of finan cial capacity achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 10 to 10. Perceptions of respondents under age 50 (n = 31) showed that the mean for financial capacity (Table 4 14) as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 6.52 ( SD = 1.96), between 50 and 55 (n = 30) was 6.47 ( SD = 2.54), between 55 and 60 (n = 34) was 7.06 (SD = 1.74) and respondents greater than age 60 (n = 27) was 6.37 ( SD = 2.10). Tables 4 13 and 4 14 summarize the mean s and standard deviation s of pe rceptions of the fundamental dimension and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by age. Respondent Experience Descriptive statistics including number of respondents, mean and standard deviations were used to describe differences in th e respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements by experience. Facilities and infrastructure Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for facilities and infrastructure as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 0.86 ( SD = 0.52), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 0.96 ( SD = 0.30).

PAGE 122

122 Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of facilities and infrastructure achieving consensus. The possible ra nge of values was from 18 to 18. Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for facilities and infrastructure as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 10.57 ( SD = 4.47), respon dents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 12.04 ( SD = 4.19) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 10.92 ( SD = 3.60). Well -trained educators Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for well trained educators as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents with m ore than ten years experience (n = 48) was 1.00 (SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the fourteen essential elements of well -trained educators achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 28 to 28. Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for well trained educators as an essential element of exemplary county extension office was 23.20 ( SD = 4.94), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 24.17 ( SD = 3.92) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 23.27 ( SD = 2.63).

PAGE 123

123 Well -developed education programs Percept ions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for well -developed educational programs as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the seventeen essential elements of well -developed education programs achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 34 to 34. Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed th at the mean for well -developed education programs as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 23.71 ( SD = 5.18), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 25.54 ( SD = 5.17) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 22.10 ( SD = 4.47). Organizational accountability Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for organizational accountability as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a m easure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the nine essential elements of organizational accountability achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 18 to 18. Percep tions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the

PAGE 124

124 mean for organizational accountability as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 12.54 ( SD = 3.56), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 13.68 ( SD = 3.67) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 11.38 (SD = 2.83). County office leadership Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for coun ty office leadership as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 1.00 (SD = 0.00). Prior to performing the analysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the 23 essential elements of county office leadership achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 46 to 46. Perceptions of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for county office leadership as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 33.38 ( SD = 10 .32), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 37.54 ( SD = 6.92) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 30.44 ( SD = 10.04). Financial capacity Perceptions of respondents with less than five years ex perience (n = 56) showed that the mean for financial capacity as a fundamental dimension of an exemplary county extension office was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00), respondents with between five and ten years experience (n = 24) was 1.00 ( SD = 0.00) and respondents w ith more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 1.00 ( SD =

PAGE 125

125 0.00). Findings showed that the standard deviation for each group was 0.00; therefore by definition, no statistical difference exis ted between group means (Table 4 11). Prior to performing the ana lysis a measure for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office was created by summing the value for each of the five essential elements of financial capacity achieving consensus. The possible range of values was from 10 to 10. Percepti ons of respondents with less than five years experience (n = 56) showed that the mean for county office leadership as an essential element of an exemplary county extension office was 6.64 ( SD = 2.14), respondents with between five and ten years experien ce (n = 24) was 7.67 (SD = 1.31) and respondents with more than ten years experience (n = 48) was 6.21 ( SD = 2.16). Table s 4 15 and 4 16 summarize the m ean s and standard deviation s of perceptions of the fundamental dimension and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by experience. Chapter Summary The findings of this study were presented in this chapter. These findings were organized around the guiding objectives of the study. The objectives were: (1) identify and establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office; (2) identify and establish consensus for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office; and (3) compare the perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential el ements of an exemplary county extension office by relationship to the Cooperative Extension Service, gender, age and experience of the respondents. The findings presented in this chapter will be discussed in further detail in the forthcoming chapter. In addition, conclusions, recommendations, and implications will be presented based on these findings.

PAGE 126

126 Table 4 1. Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics Demographic characteristic N % Role State Extension Director 4 0 31.3 County Administrator 31 24.2 County Extension Direct or 57 44.5 Gender Men 74 58.7 Women 52 41.3 Age Under 50 years old 31 25.4 Between 50 and 54 years old 30 24.6 Between 55 and 60 years old 34 27.9 60 years old and above 27 22.1 Experience Less than 5 years experience 56 43.8 Between 5 and 10 years experience 24 18.8 More than 10 years experience 48 38.5

PAGE 127

127 Table 4 2 Frequency and percentage of respondents by f undamental dimen sions of an exemplary local county extension office. Statement Position b Round 1 Round 2 f % f % A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension offices are adequate facilities and infrastructure. a Agree 119 95.9 123 96.1 Disagree 5 4.1 5 3.9 No Response 0 0 0 0.0 Mean c 0.94 0.92 Std Dev 0.35 0.39 A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension offices are well -trained educators a Agree 122 98.4 128 100.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 No Response 2 1.6 0 0.0 Mean c 1.00 1.00 Std De v 0.00 0.00 A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension offices are well -developed educational programs. a Agree 121 97.6 128 100.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.00 1.00 Std Dev 0.00 0.00 A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension offices is ongoing organizational accountability. a Agree 121 97.6 128 100.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.00 1.00 Std Dev 0.00 0.00 A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension o ffices is effective county office leadership. a Agree 112 90.3 124 96.9 Disagree 0 0.0 4 3.1 No Response 12 9.7 0 0.0 Mean c 1.00 0.94 Std Dev 0.00 0.35 A fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension offices is adequate and consistent fina ncial resources. a Agree 111 0.8 128 100.0 Disagree 1 89.5 0 0.0 No Response 12 9.7 0 0.0 Mean c 0.98 1.00 Std Dev 0.19 0.00 a Consensus established bDisagree = 1, Agree =1 c Disagree = 1.00 0.00, Agree = 0.01 1.00

PAGE 128

128 Table 4 3. Frequency and percent age of respondents by e ssential elements related to facilities and infrastructure Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % E xemplary county extension office facilities and infrastructure create a comfortable, efficient work environment.a Stro ngly Disagree b 2 1.7 2 1.6 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 48 40.7 50 41.0 Strongly Agree 68 57.6 70 57.4 No Response 6 6 Mean c 1.53 1.52 Std Dev 0.68 0.67 E xemplary county extension office facilities and infrastructure enhance employee satisfac tion. a Strongly Disagree b 2 1.7 2 1.6 Disagree 1 0.8 1 0.8 Agree 54 45.8 56 45.9 Strongly Agree 61 51.7 63 51.6 No Response 5 4 Mean c 1.45 1.45 Std Dev 0.71 0.71 E xemplary county extension office facilities and infrastructure enhance cust omer satisfaction. a Strongly Disagree b 2 1.7 2 1.6 Disagree 2 1.7 2 1.6 Agree 38 32.5 39 32.0 Strongly Agree 75 64.1 79 64.8 No Response 7 6 Mean c 1.56 1.57 Std Dev 0.75 0.74 E xemplary county extension office facilities and infrastructure enhance the educational needs of learners. a Strongly Disagree b 3 2.6 4 3.3 Disagree 0 0.0 3 2.5 Agree 24 20.5 22 18.2 Strongly Agree 90 76.9 92 76.0 No Response 7 7 Mean c 1.69 1.61 Std Dev 0.72 0.89 E xemplary county extension office f acilities and infrastructure provide opportunities for other organizations to utilize county Extension office in addition to their primary function. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 16 12.9 16 13.1 Agree 21 65.3 85 69.7 Strongly Agree 81 16 .9 21 17.2 No Response 6 6 Mean c 0.91 0.91 Std Dev 0.85 0.83 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 c Strongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongl y Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 129

129 Table 4 3. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure be accessible to members of the community. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 41 33.3 Strongly Agree 82 66.7 No Response 5 Mean c 1.67 Std Dev 0.47 In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure is a model for energy efficiency. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 16 13.0 Agree 96 78.0 Strongly Agree 11 8.9 No Response 5 Mean c 0.83 Std Dev 0.77 In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure are a model for environmental sensitivity. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 11 8.9 Agree 100 81.3 Strongly Agree 12 9.8 No Response 5 Mean c 0.92 Std Dev 0.67 In exemplary county extension offices facilities and infrastructure is a model for technological advancement. a Strongl y Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 13 10.6 Agree 82 66.7 Strongly Agree 28 22.8 No Response 5 Mean c 1.02 Std Dev 0.81 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongl y Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 130

130 Table 4 4. Frequency and percent of respondents by e ssential el ements related to well -trained e xtension educators Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % In exemplary county extension offices educators should understand the foundation and history of the Extension mission. a Strongly Disagree b 3 2.4 2 1.6 Disagree 1 .8 2 1.6 Agree 37 29.8 39 30.5 Strongly Agree 79 63.7 83 64.8 No Resp onse 5 2 Mean c 1.57 1.58 Std Dev 0.77 0.73 In exemplary county extension office educators understand and utilize technology. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 45 36.3 50 39.1 Strongly Agree 77 62.1 78 60.9 No Resp onse 2 0 Mean c 1.63 1.61 Std Dev 0.48 0.49 In exemplary county extension offices educators apply nonformal education theory and methods. a Strongly Disagree b 1 .8 1 .8 Disagree 3 2.4 5 3.9 Agree 59 47.6 60 46.9 Strongly Agree 58 46.8 61 47. 7 No Response 3 1 Mean c 1.40 1.38 Std Dev 0.70 0.76 In exemplary county extension offices educators understand community development theory and methods. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 2 1.6 3 2.3 Agree 56 45.2 58 45.3 Strongly Agree 63 50.8 66 51.6 No Response 3 1 Mean c 1.49 1.47 Std Dev 0.59 0.63 In exemplary county extension offices educators understand leadership theory and methods. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 2 1.6 Agree 71 57.3 75 58.6 Strongly Agree 50 40.3 51 39.8 No Response 2 0 Mean c 1.39 1.37 Std Dev 0.54 0.57 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongly Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 131

131 Table 4 4. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % t In exemplary county extension offices educators understand and utilize appropriate communication techniques. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0 .0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 35 28.2 37 28.9 Strongly Agree 87 70.2 91 71.1 No Response 2 0 Mean c 1.71 1.71 Std Dev 0.45 0.46 In exemplary county extension offices educators understand and utilize program development, implementation, and evaluation techniques. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 42 33.9 45 35.2 Strongly Agree 80 64.5 83 64.8 No Response 2 0 Mean c 1.66 1.65 Std Dev 0.48 0.48 In exemplary county extension offices educators understand subject area research in their field of expertise. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 1 0.8 Agree 27 21.8 26 20.3 Strongly Agree 95 76.6 101 78.9 No Response 2 0 Mean c 1.78 1.77 Std Dev 0.42 0.47 In exemplary county extension offices educators welcome diversity. a Strongly Disagree b 1 0.8 1 0.8 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 39 31.5 41 32.0 Strongly Agree 81 65.3 85 66.4 No Response 3 1 Mean c 1.64 1.65 Std Dev 0.58 0.57 In exemplary county extension offices ed ucators utilize risk management techniques and strategies. a Strongly Disagree b 3 2.4 3 2.3 Disagree 2 1.6 3 2.3 Agree 44 35.5 44 34.4 Strongly Agree 71 57.3 76 59.4 No Response 4 2 Mean c 1.48 1.48 Std Dev 0.81 0.83 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 132

132 Table 4 4 Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % I n exemplary county extension offices educators engage in 40 hours of training each year. Strongly Disagree b 4 3.2 4 3.1 Disagree 30 24.2 31 24.2 Agree 59 47.6 64 50.0 Strongly Agree 23 18.5 24 18.8 No Response 8 5 Mean c 0. 58 0. 59 Std Dev 1.1 7 1.16 In exemplary county extension offices educators are flexible. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 46 35.9 Strongly Agree 81 63.3 No Response 1 Mean c 1.64 Std Dev 0.48 In exemplary county e xtension offices educators focus on customer service. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 3 2.3 Agree 36 28.1 Strongly Agree 86 67.2 No Response 3 Mean c 1.64 Std Dev 0.61 In exemplary county extension offices e ducators are able to engage volunteers in Extension programs if necessary. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 45 35.2 Strongly Agree 82 64.1 No Response 1 Mean c 1.65 Std Dev 0.48 In exemplary co unty extension offices educators are skilled in time management. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 62 48.4 Strongly Agree 65 50.8 No Response 1 Mean c 1.51 Std Dev 0.50 a Consensus established bStron gly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 133

133 Table 4 5. Frequency and percent age of respondents by e ssential elem ents re lated to welldeveloped e xtension programs. Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices ensure that the county Extension program advisory committees represent all stakeholder interests.a Strongly Disagree b 2 1.6 2 1.6 Disagree 11 8.9 13 10.2 Agree 66 53.2 68 53.1 Strongly Agree 42 33.9 45 35.2 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.12 1.10 Std Dev 0.92 0.95 Exemplary county extension offices define skills, knowledge, and expectations for each program. a Strongl y Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 72 58.1 79 61.7 Strongly Agree 48 38.7 48 37.5 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.38 1.36 Std Dev 0.54 0.53 Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs are consistent with county priorities. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 2 1.6 2 1.6 Agree 70 56.5 75 58.6 Strongly Agree 49 39.5 51 39.8 No Response 3 2.4 Mean c 1.37 1.37 Std Dev 0.58 0.57 Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs u tilize measurable objectives. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 57 46.0 61 47.7 Strongly Agree 62 50.0 65 50.8 No Response 5 4.0 2 1.6 Mean c 1.52 1.52 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs are consistent with state priorities. a Strongly Disagree b 1 .8 1 .8 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 68 54.8 70 54.7 Strongly Agree 50 40.3 55 43.0 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.38 1.39 Std Dev 0.62 0.62 a Consensus establishe d bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongly Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 134

134 Table 4 5. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices encourage collaborations with external stakeholders. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 60 48.4 66 51.6 Strongly Agree 61 49.2 62 48.4 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.50 1.48 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 Exemplary county extension offices ensure education programs are supported with research-based information a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 32 25.8 35 27.3 Strongly Agree 88 71.0 92 71.9 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.73 1.72 Std Dev 0.44 0.45 Exemplary county extension offices identify specific target audiences with education programs. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 65 52.4 71 55.5 Strongly Agree 55 44.4 56 43.8 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.44 1.42 Std Dev 0.55 0.54 Exemplary county extension offices utilize a systematic program planning model. (e.g. logic model) to develop educational programs. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 79 63.7 84 65.6 Strongly Agree 34 27.4 36 28.1 No Response 7 5.6 4 3.1 Mean c 1.22 1.23 Std Dev 0.62 0.61 Exemplary county extension offices identify the educational content to be provided by educational programs. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 76 61.3 82 64.1 Strongly Agree 44 35.5 45 35.2 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.37 1.35 Std Dev 0.48 0.48 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStr ongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 135

135 Table 4 5. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices specify how educational programs will be delivered to clientele. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 84 67.7 91 71.1 Strongly Agree 36 29.0 36 28.1 No Response 3 2.4 Mean c 1.28 1.27 Std Dev 0.50 0.49 Exemplary county extension offices clearly state intended measurable program outcomes. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 61 49.2 66 51.6 Strongly Agree 58 46.8 60 46.9 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.47 1.46 Std Dev 0.55 0.55 Exemplary county extension offices clearly iden tify required resources to accomplish the goals and objectives of the program a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 Agree 58 46.8 67 52.3 Strongly Agree 61 49.2 60 46.9 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.49 1.47 Std Dev 0.55 0.50 E xemplary county extension offices utilize a public relations/marketing plan for educational programs. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 9 7.3 9 7.0 Agree 75 60.5 81 63.3 Strongly Agree 37 29.8 38 29.7 No Response 3 2.4 Mean c 1.16 1.16 Std Dev 0.76 0.75 Exemplary county extension offices utilize peer review prior to program implementation. a Strongly Disagree b 1 .8 1 .8 Disagree 3 2.4 3 2.3 Agree 77 62.1 78 60.9 Strongly Agree 39 31.5 45 35.2 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Me an c 1.25 1.28 Std Dev 0.66 0.67 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 136

136 Table 4 5. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs add value to the community. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 32 25.0 Strongly Agree 95 74.2 No Response 1 0.8 Mean c 1.75 Std Dev 0.44 Exemplary county extension offices ensure educational programs meet underserved audiences. a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 Agree 92 71.9 Strongly Agree 3 5 27.3 No Response 1 0.8 Mean c 1.28 Std Dev 0.45 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 137

137 Table 4 6. Frequency and percent age of respondents by e ssential elements related to organizational accountability Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices define how each Extension program adds value to the county Extension office.a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 66 53.2 70 54.7 Strongly Agree 50 40.3 53 41.4 No Response 4 3.2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.35 1.35 Std Dev 0.66 0.65 Exemplary county exte nsion offices measure client perceptions of educational delivery. a Strongly Disagree b 1 .8 1 .8 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 57 46.0 59 46.1 Strongly Agree 62 50.0 67 52.3 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.47 1.48 Std Dev 0.63 0.63 Exemplary cou nty extension offices measure client perceptions of educational content relevance. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 76 61.3 82 64.1 Strongly Agree 45 36.3 46 35.9 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.37 1.36 Std Dev 0.49 0.48 Exemplary county extension offices identify clientele that used the program. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 2 1.6 3 2.3 Agree 79 63.7 86 67.2 Strongly Agree 40 32.3 39 30.5 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.30 1.26 Std Dev 0.5 6 0.58 Exemplary county extension offices measure knowledge gain of program participants.a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 69 55.6 74 57.8 Strongly Agree 51 41.1 53 41.4 No Response 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.40 1.40 Std Dev 0.54 0.54 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongly Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 138

138 Table 4 6. Continued Statemen t Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county extension offices measure skills developed by program participants. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 2 1.6 3 2.3 Agree 66 53.2 71 55.5 Strongly Agree 52 41.9 53 41.4 No Response 4 3. 2 1 0.8 Mean c 1.40 1.37 Std Dev 0.59 0.61 Exemplary county extension offices measure behavior changes of program participants. a Strongly Disagree b 3 2.4 3 2.3 Disagree 2 1.6 2 1.6 Agree 55 44.4 57 44.5 Strongly Agree 61 49.2 66 51.6 No Res ponse 3 2.4 0 0.0 Mean c 1.40 1.41 Std Dev 0.80 0.79 Exemplary county extension offices focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the county. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 53 42.7 60 46.9 Strongly Agree 65 52.4 65 50.8 No Response 5 4.0 2 1.6 Mean c 1.53 1.50 Std Dev 0.55 0.55 Exemplary county extension offices focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the state. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 9 7.3 8 6.3 Agree 69 55.6 77 60.2 Strongly Agree 40 32.3 40 31.3 No Response 6 4.8 3 2.3 Mean c 1.19 1.19 Std Dev 0.78 0.74 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 t o 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 139

139 Table 4 7. Frequency and percent age of respondents by e ssential elements related to county office leadership Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county office leaders utilize an advisory committee to develop mission and goals of the county Extension office.a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 7 5.6 8 6.3 Agree 60 48.4 67 52.3 Strongly Agree 45 36.3 49 38.3 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.28 1.27 Std Dev 0. 76 0.77 Exemplary county office leaders ensure county Extension office mission and goals are consistent with county government and state Extension priorities. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 53 42.7 62 48.4 Strongly Agr ee 59 47.6 62 48.4 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.53 1.50 Std Dev 0.50 .050 Exemplary county office leaders articulate county Extension office mission and goals with faculty and staff. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 A gree 47 37.9 54 42.2 Strongly Agree 65 52.4 70 54.7 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.58 1.56 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 Exemplary county office leaders establish and articulate county Extension office objectives with faculty and staff. a Strongly Disagr ee b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 52 41.9 59 46.1 Strongly Agree 59 47.6 64 50.0 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.53 1.52 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 Exemplary county office leaders maintain a comprehensive public relations strategy to cr eate county Extension office visibility. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 1 .8 Agree 50 40.3 56 43.8 Strongly Agree 60 48.4 66 51.6 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.52 1.52 Std Dev 0.55 0.55 a Consensus established bStrongly Di sagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongly Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 140

140 Table 4 7. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary cou nty office leaders define how each Extension program creates a competitive advantage. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 12 9.7 14 10.9 Agree 70 56.5 78 60.9 Strongly Agree 27 21.8 28 21.9 No Response 15 12.1 8 6.3 Mean c 1.03 1.00 Std D ev 0.83 0.84 Exemplary county office leaders remove organizational barriers that prevent work from being completed. a Strongly Disagree b 1 .8 2 1.6 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 14 11.3 17 13.3 Strongly Agree 93 75.0 101 78.9 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.70 1.73 Std Dev 0.84 0.83 Exemplary county office leaders develop work groups to facilitate effective Extension programs. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 78 62.9 88 68.8 Strongly Agree 29 23.4 31 24.2 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.19 1.19 Std Dev 0.61 0.59 Exemplary county office leaders establish an organizational structure that communicates relationships between faculty, staff and Extension programs a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Dis agree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 71 57.3 81 63.3 Strongly Agree 41 33.1 43 33.6 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.37 1.35 Std Dev 0.48 0.48 Exemplary county office leaders develop standards and benchmarks. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagre e 2 1.6 1 .8 Agree 62 50.0 73 57.0 Strongly Agree 48 38.7 50 39.1 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.39 1.39 Std Dev 0.59 0.54 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.0 0 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 141

141 Table 4 7. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county office leaders fairly measure performance. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 D isagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 50 40.3 59 46.1 Strongly Agree 58 46.8 61 47.7 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.45 1.43 Std Dev 0.68 0.66 Exemplary county office leaders compare measured performance against established standards and benchmarks. a S trongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 60 48.4 71 55.5 Strongly Agree 47 37.9 49 38.3 No Response 13 10.5 4 3.1 Mean c 1.35 1.33 Std Dev 0.67 0.65 Exemplary county office leaders reinforce success. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 37 29.8 46 35.9 Strongly Agree 75 60.5 78 60.9 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.67 1.63 Std Dev 0.47 0.49 Exemplary county office leaders efficiently and effectively correct poor performance. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 .8 2 1.6 Agree 50 40.3 58 45.3 Strongly Agree 60 48.4 63 49.2 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.51 1.46 Std Dev 0.60 0.67 Exemplary county office leaders desire to serve others through their leadership. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 0.8 1 0.8 Agree 51 41.1 58 45.3 Strongly Agree 59 47.6 64 50.0 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.51 1.50 Std Dev 0.55 0.55 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 142

142 Table 4 7. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county office leaders empower people to ma ke a difference. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 36 29.0 44 34.4 Strongly Agree 75 60.5 79 61.7 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.68 1.64 Std Dev 0.47 0.48 Exemplary county office leaders are guided by their heart and mind. a Strongly Disagree b 1 0.8 1 0.8 Disagree 12 9.7 11 8.6 Agree 62 50.0 72 56.3 Strongly Agree 36 29.0 39 30.5 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.08 1.11 Std Dev 0.92 0.86 Exemplary county office leaders utilize natural abilities, b ut recognize their shortcomings and work to overcome them. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 1 0.8 1 0.8 Agree 61 49.2 72 56.3 Strongly Agree 49 39.5 50 39.1 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.42 1.39 Std Dev 0.55 0.54 Exemplary coun ty office leaders lead with purpose, meaning, and values. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 48 38.7 53 41.4 Strongly Agree 64 51.6 71 55.5 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean b 1.57 1.57 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 Exemplary cou nty office leaders build enduring relationships with others. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 2 1.6 2 1.6 Agree 51 41.1 61 47.7 Strongly Agree 59 47.6 61 47.7 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.49 1.46 Std Dev 0.60 0.59 a Consensus est ablished bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 143

143 Table 4 7. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county office leaders have integrity that others will follow. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 39 31.5 46 35.9 Strongly Agree 73 58.9 78 60.9 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.65 1.63 Std Dev 0.48 0. 49 Exemplary county office leaders are committed to their principles. a Strongly Disagree b 1 0.8 1 0.8 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 44 35.5 52 40.6 Strongly Agree 66 53.2 70 54.7 No Response 13 10.5 5 3.9 Mean c 1.57 1.54 Std Dev 0.60 0.59 Exemplary county office leaders are dedicated to personal growth and development. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 0 0.0 0 0.0 Agree 48 38.7 55 43.0 Strongly Agree 64 51.6 69 53.9 No Response 12 9.7 4 3.1 Mean c 1.57 1.56 Std Dev 0.50 0.50 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 144

144 Table 4 8. Frequency and percent age o f respondents by e ssential elements related to financial capacity Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f % f % Exemplary county offices should define faculty, staff, and financial resource requirements for each Extension program. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 7 5.6 8 6.3 Agree 56 45.2 67 52.3 Strongly Agree 48 38.7 53 41.4 No Response 13 10.5 0 0.0 Mean c 1.31 1.29 Std Dev 0.77 0.77 Exemplary county extension offices should maintain a balance between existing traditional sources of funding and new, alternative resources. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 4 3.2 4 3.1 Agree 66 53.2 78 60.9 Strongly Agree 41 33.1 46 35.9 No Response 13 10.5 0 0.0 Mean c 1.30 1.30 Std Dev 0.65 0.63 Exemplary county extension off ices should allocate funds based upon county priorities. a Strongly Disagree b 0 0.0 0 0.0 Disagree 6 4.8 7 5.5 Agree 62 50.0 72 56.3 Strongly Agree 43 34.7 49 38.3 No Response 13 10.5 0 0.0 Mean c 1.28 1.27 Std Dev 0.73 0.73 Exemplary county extension offices should allocate funds based upon state priorities. Strongly Disagree b 3 2.4 3 2.3 Disagree 29 23.4 31 24.2 Agree 62 50.0 77 60.2 Strongly Agree 11 8.9 11 8.6 No Response 19 15.3 6 4.7 Mean c 0.47 0.51 Std Dev 1.09 1.05 Exemplary county extension offices should seek external funding only if within established priorities of the county Extension office. Strongly Disagree b 23 18.5 25 19.5 Disagree 51 41.1 58 45.3 Agree 30 24.2 38 29.7 Strongly Agree 5 4.0 5 3.9 No R esponse 15 12.1 2 1.6 Mean c 0.52 0.48 Std Dev 1.23 1.23 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2.00 to 1.50, Disagree = 1.49 to 0.49, Agree = 0.50 to 1.49, Strongly Agree = 1.50 to 2.00

PAGE 145

145 Table 4 8. Continued Statement Position Round 1 Round 2 f Percent f Percent Exemplary county extension offices should charge user fees for Extension services. Strongly Disagree b 5 4.0 5 3.9 Disagree 25 20.2 31 24.2 Agree 58 46.8 67 52.3 Strongly Agree 22 17.7 24 18.8 No Response 14 11.3 1 0.8 Mean c 0.61 0.58 Std Dev 1.17 1.16 Exemplary county extension offices leverage resources with partnering organizations. a Strongly Disagree b Disagree 1 .8 2 1.6 Agree 49 39.5 54 42.2 Strongly Agree 61 49.2 72 56.3 No Response 13 10.5 0 0.0 Mean c 1.53 1.53 Std Dev 0.55 0.59 Exemplary county extension offices establish sustainable, discretionary financial resources to support county programs.a Strongly Disagree b Not asked in Round One 0 0.0 Disagree 6 4.7 Agree 66 51.6 Strongly Agree 52 40.6 No Response 4 3.1 Mean c 1.32 Std Dev 0.72 a Consensus established bStrongly Disagree = 2, Disagree = 1, Agree = 1 Strongly Agree = 2 cStrongly Disagree = 2 .00 to 1. 50, Disagree = 1. 49 to 0. 49, Agree = 0. 50 to 1. 49, Strongly Agree = 1. 50 to 2.00

PAGE 146

146 Table 4 9. M ean s and standard deviation s of perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by respondent State Extension Di rectors County Administrators County Extension Directors Fundamental Dimensions Facilities and infrastructure N 40 31 57 Mean* 0.95 0.81 0.96 Std. Dev. 0.32 0.60 0.27 Well trained educators N 40 31 57 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Well -developed education programs N 40 31 57 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Organizational accountability N 40 31 57 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 County office leadership N 40 31 57 Mean* 0.90 0.87 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.44 0.50 0.00 Financial capacity N 40 31 57 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Disagree = 1.00 0.00, Agree = 0.01 1.00

PAGE 147

147 Table 4 10. M ean s and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by respondent State Extension Directors County Administrators County Extension Directors Essential Elements Facilities and infr astructure N 40 31 57 Mean 1 11.50 9.55 11.39 Std. Dev. 3.61 4.35 4.20 Well trained educators N 40 31 57 Mean 2 24.30 21.90 23.60 Std. Dev. 4.14 3.96 3.77 Well -developed education programs N 40 31 57 Mean 3 25.75 21. 42 22.95 Std. Dev. 4.08 5.12 5.07 Organizational accountability N 40 31 57 Mean 1 12.95 10.81 12.56 Std. Dev. 3.21 3.36 3.34 County office leadership N 40 31 57 Mean 4 33.95 30.45 33.84 Std. Dev. 10.95 11.35 8.12 Financial capacity N 40 31 57 Mean 5 7.13 6.65 6.37 Std. Dev. 2.14 1.98 2.05 1 Strongly Disagree = 18.00 to 13.50, Disagree = 13.49 to 4.49, Agree = 4.50 to 13.49, Strongly Agree = 13.50 to 18.00 2Strongly Disagree = 28.00 to 21.00, Di sagree = 20.99 to 6.99, Agree = 7.00 to 20.99, Strongly Agree = 21 to 28.00 3Strongly Disagree = 34.00 to 25.50, Disagree = 25.49 to 5.45, Agree = 5.46 to 25.49, Strongly Agree = 25.50 to 34.00 4Strongly Disagree = 46.00 to 18.26, Disagree = 18.25 t o 6.07, Agree = 6.08 to 18.24, Strongly Agree = 18.25 to 46.00 5Strongly Disagree = 10.00 to 7.50, Disagree = 7.49 to 2.45, Agree = 2.46 to 7.45, Strongly Agree = 7.46 to 10.00

PAGE 148

148 Table 4 1 1 M ean s and standard deviations of respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by gender Gender Female Male Fundamental Dimension Facilities and infrastructure N 52 75 Mean* 0.88 0.95 Std. Dev. 0.47 0.32 Well trained educators N 52 75 Mean* 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 Well -developed educational programs N 52 75 Mean* 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 Organizational accountability N 52 75 Mean* 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 County office leadership N 52 75 Mean* .88 0 .94 Std. Dev. 0.47 0.35 Financial capacity N 52 75 Mean* 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 1 0 = Disagree, 0 1.00 = Agree

PAGE 149

149 Table 4 1 2 M ean and standard deviation s of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by gender Gender Female Male Essential Element Facilities and infrastructure N 52 75 Mean 1 10.67 11.23 Std. Dev. 4.67 3.71 Well trained educators N 52 75 Mean 2 23.65 23.33 Std. Dev. 3.21 4.44 Well -developed educational programs N 52 75 Mean 3 24.06 23.11 Std. Dev. 4.55 5.34 Organizational accountability N 52 75 Mean 1 12.63 12.03 Std. Dev. 2.76 3.77 County office leadership N 52 75 Mean 4 32.46 33.47 Std. Dev. 10.85 9.35 Financial capacity N 52 75 Mean 5 6.83 6.53 Std. Dev. 2.07 2.07 1 Strongly Disagree = 18.00 to 13.50, Disagree = 13.49 to 4.49, Agree = 4.50 to 13.49, Strongly Agree = 13.50 to 18.00 2Strongly Disagree = 28.00 to 21.00, Disagree = 20.99 to 6.99, Agree = 7.00 to 20.99, Strongly Agree = 21 to 28.00 3Strongly Disagree = 34.00 to 25.50, Disagree = 25.49 to 5.45, Agree = 5.46 to 25.49, Strongly Agree = 25.50 to 34.00 4Strongly Disagree = 46.00 to 18.26, Disagree = 18.25 to 6.07, Agree = 6.08 to 18.24, Strongly Agree = 18.25 to 46.00 5Strongly Disagree = 10.00 to 7.50, Disagree = 7.49 to 2.45, Agree = 2.46 to 7.45, Strongly Agree = 7.46 to 10.00

PAGE 150

150 Table 4 13. M ean and standard deviation s of respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary cou nty extension office by age Less than 50 years old Between 50 and 60 years old More than 60 years old Fundamental Dimension Facilities and infrastructure N 34 64 30 Mean* 0.94 0.91 0.92 Std. Dev. 0.34 0.43 0.39 Well tr ained educators N 34 64 30 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Well -developed education programs N 34 64 30 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Organizational accountability N 34 64 30 Mean* 1.0 0 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 County office leadership N 34 64 30 Mean* 0.88 0.94 0.94 Std. Dev. 0.48 0.35 0.35 Financial capacity N 34 64 30 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Disagree = 1. 00 0.00, Agree = 0.01 1.00

PAGE 151

151 Table 4 14. M ean s and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office by age Less than 50 years old Between 50 and 60 years old More than 60 years old Essential Elem ent Facilities and infrastructure N 34 64 30 Mean 1 11.35 10.98 10.98 Std. Dev. 3.54 4.49 4.11 Well trained educators N 34 64 30 Mean 2 22.88 23.78 23.41 Std. Dev. 4.13 3.95 4.00 Well -developed education p rograms N 34 64 30 Mean 3 22.79 23.91 23.45 Std. Dev. 4.92 4.74 5.04 Organizational accountability N 34 64 30 Mean 1 12.26 12.33 12.26 Std. Dev. 3.67 3.15 3.38 County office leadership N 34 64 30 Mean 4 31.91 33.70 33.05 Std. Dev. 11.06 9.87 9.92 Financial capacity N 34 64 30 Mean 5 6.53 6.81 6.67 Std. Dev. 1.90 2.17 2.07 1 Strongly Disagree = 18.00 to 13.50, Disagree = 13.49 to 4.49, Agree = 4.50 to 13.49, Strongly Agree = 13.50 to 18.00 2S trongly Disagree = 28.00 to 21.00, Disagree = 20.99 to 6.99, Agree = 7.00 to 20.99, Strongly Agree = 21 to 28.00 3Strongly Disagree = 34.00 to 25.50, Disagree = 25.49 to 5.45, Agree = 5.46 to 25.49, Strongly Agree = 25.50 to 34.00 4Strongly Disagree = 46.00 to 18.26, Disagree = 18.25 to 6.07, Agree = 6.08 to 18.24, Strongly Agree = 18.25 to 46.00 5Strongly Disagree = 10.00 to 7.50, Disagree = 7.49 to 2.45, Agree = 2.46 to 7.45, Strongly Agree = 7.46 to 10.00

PAGE 152

152 Table 4 15. M ean s and standard de viation s of perceptions of the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office by experience Less than 5 years experience Between 5 and 10 years experience More than 10 years experience Fundamental Dimension Facilities and infrastructure N 56 24 48 Mean* 0.86 1.00 0.96 Std. Dev. 0.52 0.00 0.29 Well trained educators N 56 24 48 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Well -developed education programs N 56 24 48 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Organizational accountability N 56 24 48 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 County office leadership N 56 24 48 Mean* 0.93 01.00 0.92 Std. Dev. 0.38 0.00 0.35 Fin ancial capacity N 56 24 48 Mean* 1.00 1.00 1.00 Std. Dev. 0.00 0.00 0.00 Disagree = 1.00 0.00, Agree = 0.01 1.00

PAGE 153

153 Table 4 16. M ean s and standard deviations of perceptions of the essential elements of an exemplary county extension offi ce by experience Less than 5 years experience Between 5 and 10 years experience More than 10 years experience Essential Element Facilities and infrastructure N 56 24 48 Mean 1 10.57 12.04 10.92 Std. Dev. 4.45 4.494.19 3.60 Well trained educators N 56 24 48 Mean 2 23.20 24.17 23.27 Std. Dev. 4.95 3.92 2.63 Well -developed education programs N 56 24 48 Mean 3 23.71 25.54 22.10 Std. Dev. 5.18 5.17 4.47 Organizational accountability N 56 2 4 48 Mean 1 12.54 13.38 11.38 Std. Dev. 3.56 3.67 2.83 County office leadership N 56 24 48 Mean 4 33.38 37.54 30.44 Std. Dev. 10.32 6.92 10.04 Financial capacity N 56 24 48 Mean 5 6.64 7.67 6.21 Std. Dev. 2.14 1.3 1 2.16 1 Strongly Disagree = 18.00 to 13.50, Disagree = 13.49 to 4.49, Agree = 4.50 to 13.49, Strongly Agree = 13.50 to 18.00 2Strongly Disagree = 28.00 to 21.00, Disagree = 20.99 to 6.99, Agree = 7.00 to 20.99, Strongly Agree = 21 to 28.00 3Stron gly Disagree = 34.00 to 25.50, Disagree = 25.49 to 5.45, Agree = 5.46 to 25.49, Strongly Agree = 25.50 to 34.00 4Strongly Disagree = 46.00 to 18.26, Disagree = 18.25 to 6.07, Agree = 6.08 to 18.24, Strongly Agree = 18.25 to 46.00 5Strongly Disagree = 10.00 to 7.50, Disagree = 7.49 to 2.45, Agree = 2.46 to 7.45, Strongly Agree = 7.46 to 10.00

PAGE 154

154 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENATIONS The ability to deliver nonformal education to help solve problems of local citizens has been a collaborati ve effort between federal, state and local government. Each of these partners contributes financial and human resources, infrastructure, and other program support. The local county extension office has been the primary vehicle by which university develope d research has been disseminated to citizens o f the local community. However, no consensus between Extensions partners ha d been established that identifie d the characteristics of an exemplary local Extension office. The purpose of the study was to identi fy the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local county e xtension office. Objectives The following three objectives guided this study: (1) identify and establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local coun ty e xtension office; (2) identify and establish consensus for the essential element s of an exemplary local county e xtension office; and (3) c ompare and contrast the perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local exte nsion office as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension d irectors, and c ounty administrators. Methods This study was conducted using a modified Delphi technique. The process included: a review of the literature to identify the characteristics of exemplary county extension offices; an internal panel of experts to confirm the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of exemplary county extension offices; and a panel of expert administrators responsible for the operation of the county exte nsion office to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of exemplary county extension offices. The expert panel of administrators

PAGE 155

155 of this study included all state ext ension directors from the 1862 l and -g rant institutions, all county administrators with responsibility for the county extension office, and all county extension directors in Florida. A total population of 184 potential experts was identified. Data collection was accomplished using two rounds of the Delphi techni que Prior to distribution, the round one instrument was alpha tested with eight experts in the Cooperative Extension Service affiliated with the University of Florida. In round one Survey Monkey, a web based survey approach was utilized to design and col lect the survey responses. After follow up procedures were implemented 124 responses were received. Using guidelines established by Linstone and Turoff (2002), the results from round one were summarized and returned to the participants; the second round qu estion aire was developed and sent to the expert panel. Following the same methodology for round one an e -mail was sent to all the participants and non -participants directing them to the website to complete the round two questionnaire. After follow up proc e dures were implemented 128 responses were received for a response rate of 69.6% Data Analysis The data from the surveys were analyzed after each round using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 1 5 .0. The first objective was to ident ify and establish the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office. For this study: Consensus was established for an item when 80 percent of respondents indicated they either Agree or Strongly Agree; Disconsensus was established for a n item when 80 percent of respondents indicated they either Disagree or Strongly Disagree; and The mean difference between the second and third rounds cannot exceed plus or minus .25 (stability). To accomplish this objective, descriptive statistics in cluding means, frequencies and standard deviations were calculated.

PAGE 156

156 The second objective was to identify and establish the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. Using the same consensus strategy of objective one, descriptive statisti cs including means, frequencies and standard deviations were calculated. The third object was to compare the respondents perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements by relationship with the Cooperative Extension Service, gender, age and experience. Means and standard deviations were used to explain the influence of respondents role, age, gender and experience (independent variables) on the fundamental dimensions and essential elements (depende nt variables) of an exemplary local count y extension office. Data were entered and maintained utilizing a database denoting individual responses to each statement and open -ended questions. In addition, respondent characteristics included association with extension (state extension director, c ounty administrator, or c ounty extension d irector), age, ethnicity, experience, and gender. The data analysis and statistical procedures that were employed by the researcher focused on the primary purpose of this study to: (1) to identify and establish conse nsus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary local county e xtension office ; (2) t o identify and establish consensus for the essential elements of an exemplary local county e xtension office; and (3) to c ompare and contrast the perceptions about the f undamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary local extension office by respondent characteristics Descriptive statistics have often been used to describe respondents of a survey (Dillman, 2007 ). In this research frequencies and means relat ed to participants were computed for role, gender, age and experience Summary of Findings The findings of this study are summarized in relation to the three objectives presented in Chapter 1.

PAGE 157

157 Objective One Objective one sought to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office. The population consisted of 184 administrators affiliated with the Cooperative Extension Service. Of the 128 that responded in round two 4 0 were state extension directors, 31 were county administrators and 57 were county extension directors. Six fundamental dimensions were identified and each reached consensus. These included (1) facilities and infrastructure, (2) well -trained educators, (3) well -developed educational programs, (4) organi zational accountability, (5) county office leadership and (6) financial capacity. Objective Two Objective two sought to establish consensus for the essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. The population consisted of 184 administrators affiliated with the Cooperative Extension Service. Of the 128 that responded in round two 4 0 were state extension directors, 31 were county administrators and 57 were county extension directors. A total of 81 essential elements were identified and 77 rea ched consensus. Of the 77 achieving consensus, nine essential elements were related to facilities and infrastructure, 14 were related to well prepared educators, 17 were related to well developed educational programs, 9 were related to organizational accountability, 23 were related to county office leadership and 5 were related to financial capacity. The essential elements by fundamental dimension are presented in descending order of mean score w ith the mean score in parenthese s. Facilities and infrastruct ure The facilities and infrastructure of exemplary county offices: Are accessible to members of the community. (1.67) E nhance the educational needs of learners. (1.61) E nhance customer satisfaction. (1.61)

PAGE 158

158 Create a comfortable, efficient work environment. (1.52) E nhance employee satisfaction. (1.45) Are a model for technological advancement. (1.02) Are a model for environmental sensitivity. (0.92) P rovide opportunities for other organizations to utilize county e xtension office in addition to their primary f unction. (0.91) Are a model for energy efficiency. (0.83) Well -trained educators Well trained educators of an exemplary county extension office: U nderstand subject area research in their field of expertise. (1.77) U nderstand and utilize appropriate communi cation techniques. (1.71) W elcome diversity. (1.65) U nderstand and utilize program development, implementation, and evaluation techniques. (1.65) E ngage volunteers in Extension programs if necessary. (1.65) A re flexible. (1.64) F ocus on customer service. ( 1.64) U nderstand and utilize technology. (1.61) U nderstand the foundation and history of the Extension mission. (1.58) A re skilled in time management. (1.51) U tilize risk management techniques and strategies. (1.48) U nderstand community development theory and methods. (1.47) A pply nonformal education theory and methods. (1.38) U nderstand leadership theory and methods. (1.37)

PAGE 159

159 Well -developed education programs Well -developed extension programs in exemplary county extension offices: E nsure educational programs add value to the community. (1.75) E nsure education programs are supported with research-based information. (1.72) E nsure educational programs utilize measurable objectives. (1.52) E ncourage collaborations with external stakeholders. (1.48) Clearly identi fy required resources to accomplish the goals and objectives of the program. (1.47) Clearly state intended, measurable program outcomes. (1.46) Identify specific target audiences with education programs. (1.42) E nsure educational programs are consistent wi th state priorities. (1.39) E nsure educational programs are consistent with county priorities. (1.37) D efine skills, knowledge, and expectations for each program (1.36) Identify the educational content to be provided by educational programs. (1.35) U tiliz e peer review prior to program implementation. (1.28) E nsure educational programs meet underserved audiences. (1.28) S pecify how educational programs will be delivered to clientele. (1.27) U tilize a systematic program planning model (e.g. logic model) to develop educational programs. (1.23) U tilize a public relations/marketing plan for educational programs. (1.16) E nsure that the county Extension program advisory committees represent all stakeholder interests. (1.10) Organizational accountability Organizati onal accountability practices of exemplary county extension offices: F ocus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the county. (1.50) M easure client perceptions of educational delivery. (1.48)

PAGE 160

160 M easure behavior changes of program participants. (1.41) M easure knowledge gain of program participants. (1.40) M easure skills developed by program participants. (1.37) M easure client perceptions of educational content relevance. (1.36) D efine how each Extension program adds value to the county Extension offic e. (1.35) Identify clientele that used the program. (1.26) F ocus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the state. (1.19) County office leadership Leaders in exemplary county extension offices: Remove organizational barriers that prevent work from being completed. (1.70) E mpower people to make a difference. (1.64) Reinforce success. (1.63) H ave integrity that others will follow. (1.63) L ead with purpose, meaning, and values. (1.57) A rticulate county Extension office mission and goals with faculty a nd staff. (1.56) A re dedicated to personal growth and development. (1.56) A re committed to their principles. (1.54) E stablish and articulate county e xtension office objectives with faculty and staff. (1.52) M aintain a comprehensive public relations strategy to create county Extension office visibility. (1.52) D esire to serve others through their leadership. (1.50) E nsure county Extension office mission and goals are consistent with county government and state Extension priorities. (1.50) E fficiently and effectively correct poor performance. (1.46) Build enduring relationships with others. (1.46)

PAGE 161

161 F airly measure performance. (1.43) U tilize natural abilities, but recognize their shortcomings and work to overcome them. (1.39) D evelop standards and benchmarks. (1 .39) E stablish an organizational structure that communicates relationships between faculty, staff and Extension programs. (1.35) Compare measured performance against established standards and benchmarks. (1.33) U tilize an advisory committee to develop miss ion and goals of the county Extension office. (1.27) D evelop work groups to facilitate effective Extension programs. (1.19) A re guided by their heart and mind. (1.11) D efine how each Extension program creates a competitive advantage. (1.00) Financial capac ity Exemplary county extension offices: L everage resources with partnering organizations. (1.53) E stablish sustainable, discretionary financial resources to support county programs. (1.32) M aintain a balance between existing traditional sources of funding and new, alternative resources. (1.30) D efine faculty, staff, and financial resource requirements for each Extension program. (1.29) A llocate funds based upon county priorities. (1.27) Objective Three Objective three sought to c ompare and contrast the perc eptions of the fundamental dimensio ns and essential elements exemplary local extension office s as reported by s tate e xtension d irectors, c ounty extension directors, and c ounty administrators. Specifically, perceptions of each fundamental dimension and esse ntial element were analyzed by group

PAGE 162

162 relationship (role) with the Cooperative Extension Service, gender, age and experience. Relevant findings by respondent characteristic are discussed below. Respondent role with the cooperative extension s ervice Respond ents were either state extension directors (n = 40), county administrators (n = 31) or county extension directors (n = 57). Results showed no practical difference s between state extension directors, county administrators or county extension directors in their perceptions of each of the fundamental dimension s of exemplary county extension offices Further analysis showed that no practical differences existed between state extension directors, county administrators or county extension directors in their perce ptions of the essential elements related to each of the fundamental dimensions of exemplary county extension offices. Respondent gender Results showed no differences between females and males in their perceptions of facilities and infrastructure, well tra ined educators, well developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership or financial capacity as a fundamental dimension of exemplary county extension office s With respect to the essential elements, no differences were found between males and females. Respondent age Results showed no practical difference s based upon age of the respondent s with respect to facilities and infrastructure, well trained educators, well -developed educational programs, organizational accountabi lity, county office leadership or financial capacity as fundamental dimensions of exemplary county extension office s Additionally, results showed that no difference based upon age of respondent s with respect to facilities and infrastructure, well trained educators, well developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county

PAGE 163

163 office leadership or financial capac ity as essential elements of exemplary county extension office s Respondent experience Results showed no practical difference s based upon experience in the respondents perceptions of facilities and infrastructure, well trained educators, well -developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership or financial capacity as a fundamental dimension of exem plary county extension office s Additionally, results showed that no difference based upon experience in the respondent s perceptions of facilities and infrastructure, well trained educators, well -developed educational programs, organizational accountabili ty, county office leadership or financial capacity as essential elements of exemplary county extension office s Conclusions Based on the findings of this study, the following conclusions were drawn. Objective One Fundamental Dimensions Fundamental dimen sions of e xemplary county extension offices that are necessary to achieve their goals and objectives include (1) adequate facilities and infrastructure, (2) well trained educators (3) well -developed educational programs, (4) effective organizational accou ntability systems, (5) effective county office leadership and (6) adequate and consistent financial resources State extension directors, county administrators and county extension directors consistently agree with these fundamental dimensions. Objective Two Essential Elements Facilities and infrastructure T o be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community all three groups of administrators agree that exemplary county extension offices must have facilities and

PAGE 164

164 infrastructure that are acc essible to members of the community; enhance the educational needs of learners; enhance customer satisfaction; create a comfortable efficient work environment; enhance employee satisfaction; are a model for technological advancement; are a model for enviro nmental sensitivity; are available for use by other organizations; and are a model of energy efficiency. Well -prepared educators State extension directors, county administrators and county extension directors agree that to be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community exemplary county extension offices must have well -prepared educators that understand subject area research in their field of expertise ; understand and utilize appropriate communication techniques ; welcome diversity ; understa nd and utilize program development, implementation, and evaluation techniques ; are able to engage volunteers in e xtension programs if necessary; are flexible ; focus on customer service ; understand and utilize technology ; understand the foundation and history of the Extension mission ; are skilled in time management; utilize risk management techniques and strategies ; understand community development theory and methods ; utilize nonf orm al education theory and methods; and understand leadership theory and metho ds. Well -developed education programs All three groups agree that t o be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community exemplary county extension offices must have well -developed education programs that e nsure educational programs add value to the community; are supported with research -based information ; ut ilize measurable objectives; encourage collaborat ions with external stakeholders; clearly identify required resources to accomplish the goals and objectives ; clearly state intended, measura ble program outcomes ; identify specific target au diences; are consistent with sta te priorities; are consistent with county priorities ; define skills, knowledge, and expectations ;

PAGE 165

165 identify the educational content to be provided ; utilize peer review prior to program implementation ; meet underserved audiences; specify how education will be delivered to clientele; utilize a systematic program planning model ; utilize a public relations/marketing plan ; and ensure that advisory committees represent all stakeholder interests. Organizational accountability The three groups of experts agree that t o be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community exemplary county extension offices must have accountability practices that focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the county; measure client perc eptions of educational delivery; measure behavior changes of program participants; measure knowledge gain of program participant s; measure skills de veloped by program participants; measure client percept ions of educational content relevance; de fine how each Extension program adds value to the county Extension office; identify clientele that used the program; and focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the state. County office leadership To b e relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community exemplary county extension offices must have effective county office leadership that remove s organizational barriers that prevent work from being completed; empo wer s people to make a differenc e; reinforce s success; ha s in tegrity that others will follow; lead s with purpose, meaning, and values; a rticulate s county Extension office mission and goals with faculty and staff; is dedicated to personal growth and development; is committed to their prin ciples; e stablishes and articulates county e xtension office objectives with faculty and staff; maintain s a comprehensive public relat ions strategy to create county e xtensio n office visibility; d esire s to serve others through their leadership; ensure s count y e xtension office mission and goals are consistent with county government and stat e e xtension priorities; efficiently and effec tively correct s poor performance;

PAGE 166

166 builds end uring relationships with others; fairly measure s performance; utilize s natural abilities, but recognize s shortco mings and work s to overcome them; d evelop s standards and benchmarks; establish es an organizational structure that communicates relationships between facult y, staff and e xtension programs; compare s measured performance against es tab lished standards and benchmarks; utilize s an advisory committee to develop mission and goals of the county e xtension office; develops work groups to facilita te effective e xtension programs; is guided by their heart and mind; and define s how each Extensi on program creates a competitive advantage. The expert administrators consistently agree with these essential elements. Financial capacity According to these experts, t o be relevant and responsive to the clientele of a local community exemplary county exte nsion offices must have adequate and financial resources that leverage county office resources with partnering organizations; e stablish sustainable, discretionary financial resources to support county programs ; maintain a balance between existing tradition al sources of funding and new, alternative resources; define faculty, staff, and financial re source requirements for each e xtension program; and allocate funds based upon county prioriti es. Objective Three Respondents role with the cooperative extension s ervice State extension directors, county administrators and county extension directors equally support the six fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office. State extension directors, county administrators and county extension directors s upport the 77 essential elements of an exemplary county extension office.

PAGE 167

167 Respondents gender Female and male administrators of the Cooperative Extension Service strongly support the six fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office. Femal e and male administrators of the Cooperative Extension Service equally support the 77 essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. Respondents age All administrators of the Cooperative Extension Service, regardless of age, support the six f undamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office and the 77 essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. Respondents experience All administrators of the Cooperative Extension Service, regardless of experience, support the six fundamental dimensions of an exemplary county extension office and the 77 essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. Discussion and Implications Objective One: Fundamental Dimensions of an Exemplary Local C ounty Extension Office Conclusio n : A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county extension offices to achieve their goals and objectives is adequate facilities and infrastructure. Based upon the number of experts participating in this study and their responses, the research concluded that adequate facilities and infrastructure are basic, necessary, and indispensable components required to achieve the goals and objectives of an exemplary local county extension office. It was not surprising that the expert participants of this study overwhelmingly identif ied that facilities and infrastructure are a necessary and important component of exem plary county extension office; however it was interesting to learn that not all of the experts agreed with this fundamental dimension The implication for Extension is that the

PAGE 168

168 physical location of the facility needs to be integrated into the strategic planning process. This would include identifying strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities of the facility in meeting the needs o f faculty, staff and clientele. A key challenge for state and administrators will be planning for the enormous investment costs for new facilities and upgrades for existing facilities. Although this fundamental dimension was overwhelmingly supported by the panel of experts, it is interesting to note that five experts did not agree. It is unknown why these experts felt that a physical location is not necessary for meeting the goals and objectives of the extension office. Perhaps the technological advancement s in delivering nonformal education together with an increasingly advanced society make a physical location less important. These findings are consistent with the literature cited in this research study. Thompson and Strickland (2003) suggested that the physical assets of an organization must be considered when analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. Understanding the extent to which the physical assets contribute to or hinder accomplishing the goal and objectives of the local county ext ension office is important and should be considered. Conclusion: A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county extension offices to achieve their goals and objectives is well prepared educators. As expected, the experts in this s tudy identified well trained educators as a basic and necessary component of an exemplary county extension office. It was not surprising that all experts came to the same conclusions, given the function and mission of the Cooperative Extension Service and the role of the county extension office. Kelsey and Hearne (1955) outlined ten roles and responsibilities of the extension educator, and these findings would suggest that all administrators agree. Ensuring that these roles and responsibilities are addresse d and being met by extension educators should be part of the county office strategic plan.

PAGE 169

169 The challenge for the Extension organization is competition for qualified talent. In ma ny county extension offices rigid work policies, procedures and expectations prevent Ext ension from attract ing the best talent. In todays market for a qualified workforce, salary in itself does not influence an individuals decision to accept a position The ability to provide stable employment, high quality benefits and a work env ironment that increases the satis faction of its employees are factors that will shape the future workforce and ones in which Extension has control over. Conclusion: A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county extension offices to a chieve their goals and objectives is well developed educational programs. It would be hard to imagine any other conclusion other than total support for this fundamental dimension, g iven that extension education programs are the response to the concerns of local citizens According to Thompson and Strickland (2003) as well as many other experts in organizational management, all organizations need to identify what provides the organization with a competitive advantage. Well -developed educational programs are the component by which the Cooperative Extension Service achieves its competitive advantage over other organizations in nonformal education. The experts that provide administration and oversight for the local county extension office agreed. If well -developed educational programs are instrumental in achieving the goals and objectives of a county extension office, th e n it is imperative that all methods be used to ensure that the mix of programs will address the concerns of local citizens The challenge for Ex tension will be to increase the number of high quality extension programs to meet the needs of existing and new clientele. It is one thing to provide a one -shot activity, but another to develop a well thought out educational program The entire organizatio n from specialist to program assistant needs to focus on quality and not quantity. Rarely does

PAGE 170

170 Extension get recognized by stakeholders for quantity. The recognition for excellence comes from making a significant contribution to the community. Significant contributions only occur when an educational program has been well -planned, efficiently implemented, appropriately evaluated and effectively communicated with constituents. Conclusion: A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county ext ension offices to achieve their goals and objectives is effective organizational accountability systems. A conclusion of this study suggests that exemplary county extension offices are accountable In the current environment that extension operates, this f inding was expected. Findings support Stevenson (1990) that suggested that organizations should act in accordance with the shared values of the people and stakeholders. The implications for the local county extension office are that the mission, goals and objectives must be consistent with stakeholder interests and that processes must be established to measure and communicate progress with program participants, other citizens not participating in programs and funding agencies. The challenge is that the curr ent accountability system is a campus -based tenure and promotion system. It rewards individuals and does not consider the unit as a whole This is further complicated by the fact that there is no organizational agreement about what to be accountable for, n o s ys tematic process for collecting information and measuring its contribution and no commitment to fund and support only those initiatives that demonstrate quality and eliminate those that do not. Conclusion: A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county extension offices to achieve their goals and objectives is effective county office leadership This study provided a review of the literature related to the importance that leadership has on achieving an organizations goals and obje ctives. When presented in the form of a question to the panel of experts, they overwhelmingly agreed. Bedford et al. (1995) provided a great deal of

PAGE 171

171 insight into the role of the county office extension director. This included planning, implementing and eva luating the strategy that will be employed by the local county extension office. County extension directors are the recognized leader in the office The challenge for Extension is to develop a systematic process for finding, developing and evaluating coun ty extension directors that are fundamental to the success of Extension. Additionally, as in any organizztion, it is imperative that county extension directors who hinder the progress of county extension office be removed and reassigned or dismissed from t he organization. Conclusion: A basic, necessary and indispensable component of exemplary county extension offices to achieve their goals and objectives is adequate and consistent financial resources. Without adequate and consistent financial resources, t he local county extension office would not exist. Therefore, it was not surprising that this fundamental dimension achieved unanimous consensus. P riorities in government are reflected in budget appropriations C ounty extension offices must align the curren t mission, goals and objectives with those of its funding partners All Extension faculty and staff must cultivate relationships with those that benefit from the services of extension so that they will become advocates. The challenge for Extension is coord inating and engaging, as advocates, all the groups that Extension serves. The same vigor that exists among the agricultural industry and the youth development program needs to exist with all groups that benefit from Extension. Objective Two: Essential Elem ents of an Exemplary Local C ounty Extension Office Conclusion: To be relevant and responsive to clientele, f acilities and infrastructure of an exemplary county extension office are defined by nine essential elements. The experts that participated in this study identified nine characteristics related to facilities and infrastructure that would increase the relevance and responsiveness of the local county

PAGE 172

172 office. In terms of relevant importance, these administrators strongly supported characteristics that e nhance the office environment for faculty, staff and clientele The literature cited in this study by Roelofsen (2002) and Bitner (1992) together with the results of this suggest that understanding how the current facility is meeting the needs of faculty a nd staff is an important aspect of a high quality county extension office. Specifically, facil ities and infrastructure provide an efficient and comfortable work environment for faculty and staff, including enhancing employee satisfaction. Given that Extens ions greatest investment is in faculty and staff and faculty and staff spend a significant amount of their time and energy in the county extension office exemplary county extension offices must invest in physical work en vironments that enhance producti vity and contribute to employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees reduce turnover which decreases cost to Extension and increases the likelihood of achieving the goals and objectives of the county. A dministrators strongly agreed that facilities and in frastructure are essential in meeting educational needs and satisfaction of clientele This includes facilities that are accessible, enhance learning and increase customer satisfaction. At the same time, many educational organizations fail to recognize and assess the importance that facilities and infrastructure ha ve on the learning process (Taylor, Aldrich, & Vlastos, 1998; Castaldi, 1994; Dejong, 1997). Facilities that do not meet the needs of clientele: 1) decrease customer satisfaction, 2 ) decrease part icipation, 3) decrease impact in the county and 4) decrease the relevance of the county extension office. County extension offices that are not relevant risk the possibility ceas ing to exist. Finally, administrators in this study, to a lesser degree, supported the concept that facilities and infrastructure should be available for use by other organizations not affiliated with extension

PAGE 173

173 and should be a model for energy efficiency, technological advancement and environmental sensitivity. Facilities that are available to other organizations not affiliated with Extension have the potential to expand Extensions reach and visibility. Extension has often been criticized for being the best kept secret. Making county extension offices available to nontraditional or ganizations provides an opportunity to have a greater impact on the community. Consistent with Tranter (2005) greater impact by the county extension office translates into added value. An energy efficient and technologically advanced facility reduces ope rational costs, increases the ability of faculty and staff to deliver quality of educational programs and is a learning tool for the community. Each of these adds value to the community and increases relevancy of the county extension office. The literatur e cited in this study suggested that facilities and infrastructure have an impact on (1) faculty and staff (Roelofsen, 2002; Bitner, 1992) ; (2) learning (Taylor, Aldrich, & Vlastos, 1998; Castaldi, 1994; Dejong, 1997); and (3) the community (Tranter, 2005) The opinions expressed by these administrators are supported by the literature, but they also put into perspective what elements are most important. The challenge for Extension is how to systematically measure the impact of county office facilities and i nfrastructure on 1) faculty and staff, 2) extension clientele and 3) the community and then make changes that will add value to the organization. Conclusion: To be relevant and responsive to clientele, well -trained educators of an exemplary county exten sion office are defined by fourteen essential elements. The conclusions related to well -trained educators f all into two distinct categories. First, administrators strongly supported the essential elements that were related to personal characteristics or sk ills of educators This includes educators that : possess good communication skills; have a high level of subject matter expertise; use technology effectively ; are flexib le ; are

PAGE 174

174 focused on customer service; are capable of engaging volunteers and manage thei r time effectively It is clear from the collective experience of these experts that for Extension to provide solutions that improve the lives of individuals, families and communities requires control in three areas: hiring, training and retention. At a m inimum all new hires must have these characteristics and are not simply be the most qualified in the applicant pool. Applicants that do not meet these minimum requirements should not be considered regardless of time constraints or funding limitations. I f the applicant pool does not provide a candidate with these credentials, then the search should start over. At the county government and local extension office level, exemplary county extension offices should focus on job/role analysis for every position. This approach identifies what extension educators must do to be successful and add value to the organization as well as what does not lead to success (Byham & Moyer, 1996). Then, using the results of the job/role analysis, only candidate s that ad d value t o the extension office should be chosen. Another point that needs t o be discussed to be exemplary is training. From this researchers perspective, training has often been used to offset poor hiring practices. Given the limited time to train faculty togethe r with the demands on extension educators, trying to replace personal characteristics, educational delivery skills and subject matter expertise that should already be present in an extension educator through training can be daunting and almost impossible Training including mentoring, needs to focus on educator enhancement, which leads to increased employee effectiveness and satisfaction and reduced turnover. Reducing turnover increases consistency and effectiveness in educational delivery. Consistent and effective educational delivery are necessary for an exemplary county extension office.

PAGE 175

175 An important area of concern of all organizations is retention. If hiring and training extension educators to possess the fourteen essential elements identified in this study are important, retaining qualified educators must be equally important Stated earlier, turnover is expensive and leads to inconsistency in educational delivery. This ultimately impacts customer satisfaction and participation by clientele. If the co unty extension office is unable to sustain participation, relevancy will be lost. Without relevancy, the county extension office may cease to exist. The other category that administrators supported at a lower level were elements related to theory. This in cluded concepts such as nonformal education, leadership, risk management and community development. It is plausible that these administrators felt that these characteristics could be developed through training and that this group of experts was focused mor e on how and what extension educators do to meet client needs and less on what foundational theories support these actions The literature reviewed in this study supports the findings in this study of a well -trained educator First, i n 1955 Kelsey and H earne described the roles and responsibilities of an extension e ducator and were echoed by Chizari et al. (1998). These responsibilities include: (1) represents the state land -grant institution in the county in delivering nonformal education that provides solutions to local concerns; (2) acts as the liaison between local and state government; (3) facilitates the organization of local citizens to determine and deliver nonformal education; (4) develops collaborations and partnerships with other organizations; (5) provides a public facility where local citizens can call, write, or visit for information; (6) keeps informed regarding social and economic changes in the county; (7) remains up to -date on subject matter expertise; (8) provides nonformal education thr ough group presentations, one -on -one consultations, and mass

PAGE 176

176 media; (9) facilitates the communication between local need and research; and (10) provides assessment of educational programs and communication of the same to local citizens. Even tho ugh these r oles were identified fifty years ago, they are still applicable today. The essential elements identified by the experts related to increasing agents abilities increase the likelihood that these roles and responsibilities can be met. The literature related to extension theory supports the other category of essential elements identified by the experts. Examples included adult education and program development (Bennett, 1975; Boone et al. 2002; Boyle, 1981; Caffarella, 1994; Knowles, 1970; Tyler, 1949; Schr oeder, 1980); community development (Brennan, 2005); and leadership (Bass, 1990; Bennis, 1989). T hese foundational theories highlight important Extension principles that guide extension educator s in nonformal education and the administrators acknowledge there importance. The only essential element in this fundamental dimension on which the experts could not agree was the amount of time that educators should spend in professional development. The researcher concluded that it is not that the experts do not b elieve that extension educators should engage in professional improvement, but rather they disagree as to the amount of time should be involved. It is possible that the question could have been revised to give a range of values to which the experts could a gree. Conclusion: To be relevant and responsive to clientele, well -developed educational programs of an exemplary county extension office are defined by seventeen essential elements. Extension education programs are (1) the rationale for the allocation, de ployment, and use of its resources; (2) the road map of behavioral changes to be effected by the county extension office over a relatively long period of time; and ( 3 ) the direction for decisions on strategies for coping with the educational needs of lear ners (Boone, 1985). T he experts outline d seventeen principles for educational programs that are consistent Boones understanding.

PAGE 177

177 S pecifically, the experts strongly supported th ree essential elements of exemplary educational programs including: educationa l programs that are supported by research; educational programs that utilize measurable objectives; and educational programs that add value to the community. It is not surprising that research -based extension programs are highly valued by these administrat ors, however this finding has implications. Existing educational p rograms must have research to support the initiative Educational programs without unbiased research based information need to be revised or eliminated. Maintaining this standard adds value relevancy and prestige to the organization This has been a hallmark of Extension. The challenge for county extension offices will be to limit the programs offered to those that have universitybased research. E ducational programs need established measu rable objectives. Individuals often set goals or objectives: how much money they would like to save, how much they would like to weigh, or what their next job should be. County extension faculty should be no different with respect to educational programs. V irtually every public and private institution sets goals or objectives, which are used as motivational and management tools. In an era where transparency and accountability are increasingly important, educational initiatives need established objectives an d these objectives must meet the needs of the local community. Exemplary county extension offices through their educational programs, explain (1) what they are trying to accomplish; (2) how it will be measured ; and (3) at what cost. At the same time, ob je ctives have often been set without consistency and scientific rigor. As a result, educational programs failed to provide credible answers to the problems they were trying to solve. This has been a serious problem and challenge to Extension because objectiv es profoundly shape where and how limited resources will be spent, and help to create a shared vision for the future.

PAGE 178

178 E xemplary educational programs add value to the community. V alue has often been defined as meeting or exceeding customers expectations i n product quality, service quality and cost All three components need to be in harmony for value to be delivered. This implies that added value possesses attributes that are both rel evant and welcomed by clientele, including those that do not use Extensions services directly. To add value to the community suggests that Extensions programs must provide proactive solutions that are relevant to local citizens that use Extensions services while increasing efforts to involve individuals and organizations that are not typically served by Extension education programs. The remaining essential elements that were supported by the se administrators seem to comple ment the concept of added value or describe key elements of program design For example, well -developed educational programs encourage collaboration with external stakeholders, ensure advisory committees represent all stakeholder interests, meet the needs of underserved clientele and are consistent with county priorities. Each of these elements is necessary for adding value to the local community. Defining skills, knowledge and behavior changes in clientele, identifying target audiences, utilizing a systematic program planning model, identifying educational content to be delivered, marketing and determining how the program will be delivered are consistent with designing effective programs. An interesting observation is that these administrators believe that educational programs should undergo peer review. Peer review would help to establish consistency in edu cational delivery. This might provide an opportunity for administrators to encourage interaction between state specialist and county fac ulty. Finally, t here has been some concern in the past that the county extension office is often caught between meeting the priorities of either the county or the state. The experts participating

PAGE 179

179 in this study including both state and county government administrators, suggest ed that it is possible to develop programs that meet both sets of priorities Conclusion: To be rel evant and responsive to clientele, organizational accountability systems of an exemplary county extension office are defined by nine essential elements. Organizational accountability continues to be an important issue that administrators continually addres s. T he experts participating in this study agreed to nine organizational accountability characteristics that are necessary for county offices to be relevant and responsive As expected, the administrators strongly supported the social, environmental or eco nomic impact of the county extension office on the county as the most important measure of accountability T he local county extension office was established to be the conduit for change. At the same time measuring impact will challenge the rigor of evaluat ion for most county offices. This requirement will increase the time commitment for not only designing, administering and analyzing program evaluation approaches, but also the time in planning educational programs. The strong support of social, environment al and economic impact by these administrators was consistent with the characteristics that were strongly supported for well developed educational programs. That is well -developed educational programs add value to the community. The strong support identif ied here emphasizes the need to not only provide exemplary educational programming, but to also document and communicate these changes. Administrators involved in this study also supported eight other elements of organizational accountability requirements of exemplary county extension offices including: (1) measuring client perceptions of educational delivery; (2) identifying clientele that used the program; (3) measuring the knowledge gain of program participants; (4) measuring the skills developed by pro gram participants; (5) adding value to the county extension office; (6) measuring the behavior

PAGE 180

180 change of program participants; (7) measuring client perceptions of educational content relevance; and (8) measuring the social, environmental and economic impac t to the state. Pancer and Westhues (1989) proposed that organizational accountability should provide answers to a number of questions. T o what extent are communi ty needs and standards met? W hat must be done to meet those needs and standards? W hat service s could be utilized to produce the desired changes? Which alternatives are best? H ow should the alternatives be put into o pera tion? I s the str ategy operating as planned? H ave the desired effects been achieved? A re program effects attained at a reasonable cost? Conclusion: To be relevant and responsive to clientele, county office leadership in an exemplary county extension office are defined by 23 essential elements. For the researcher, t his was by far the most surprising finding in the study. It was not t hat county office leadership is not important, but rather that the experts identified and achieved consensus on all 23 items including twelve that received strong support. One observation made is that the essential elements of exemplary county office lead ership that received the strongest support by administrators are most associated with the style approach to leadership. In Northouse (2001) a style approach survey instrument was provided. The twelve items that received the strongest support from administr ators are consistent with the questions asked on this survey. The ability to remove organizational barriers was recognized as the most essential element of a county extension office leader. All items in the style approach survey are consistent with removin g organizational barriers. There are several implications of these findings. First and foremost, county extension directors must have demonstrated leadership and management experience and skills. When a quality extension educator is hired into the role of county extension director they must possess the ability to lead others and manage programs and financial resources. Given the limited time

PAGE 181

181 and expertise to train county extension directors trying to replace leadership and management expertise that should already be present through training can be difficult and time consuming. Training including mentoring needs to focus on leadership enhancement, which leads to increased effectiveness and increased county office moral e Next, the findings support the need to provide expert training in leadership and management. Although the extension organization has qualified state faculty who can provide leadership development training Extension often lacks the expertise in management that is critical to be exemplary. M anagement as a specialization of county extension directors, must be elevated in order to achieve the efficiencies of county extension offices demanded by those who invest in Extension. Although it may not be possible to hire a management specialist at th e state leve l, contracting with other colleges that provide this expertise would enhance the capacity of county extension directors Finally, the items strongly supported by these administrators of this study, imply that county extension directors should focus and be held more accountable for their leadership and management practices and less for their subject matter programming. The responsibilities of the professional manager have changed at a faster pace than most expected (Thompson & Strickland, 2003). Todays county extension directors need to demonstrate effective leadership and management practices similar to other professional managers. Those that cannot demonstrate these practices fail to be exemplary An interesting conclusion, but one that r eceived less support by these experts is the ability to create a competitive advantage. Competitive advantage in county extension offices is about identifying county office strengths and using the se more effectively than other organizations to attract clie ntele. Although the experts agreed with this statement it was the lowest rated item in

PAGE 182

182 the entire study The challenge for Extension is to create a competitive advantage that leads to the development of strong collaborating partners that make each organiz ation better. It is certainly understandable that administrators in the county extension office need to be strong leaders given the responsibilities that they have. As a result of these findings, it might be time to examine the existing strategy in recrui ting, hiring and ensuring existing county extension directors have these skills. Conclusion: To be relevant and responsive to clientele, adequate and consistent financial resources of an exemplary county extension office are defined by five essential eleme nts. Earlier, the administrators identified some key essential elements related to facilities an infrastructure, well trained educators and well -developed educational programs of exemplary county extension offices. To be exemplary in these areas will requi re additional financial resources; however the current situation does not provide much optimism for additional funding from public sources. Consistent with Crosby & Hamernik (2002), the r esults of the study show that administrators strongly support that ex emplary county extension offices leverage resources with partnering organizations. There is no question that the ability to be a provider of nonformal education has been limited by extensions financial capacity. The experts involved in this study apparent ly recognized these limitations. Exemplary c ounty extension office directors, faculty and staff will need to become more entrepreneurial. To be entrepreneurial means that more county extension office initiatives will be funded without the assistance of public resources. With this requirement comes added risk risk associated with funding salaries and program support with soft money and risk associated with losing some control over the educational process. Assuming additional risk does not mean compromising Extensions core belief in research based information. The dilemma for county extension offices will be the mix of high quality

PAGE 183

183 educational programs that can be provided with public funding with the remaining educational initiatives needing support from partnering organizations to continue. The findings also showed support for a number of other essential elements. Administrators agreed that financial resources requirements should be established for each educational program and funds should be allocated by county priorities. This is consistent with support for other essential elements identified in this study and suggests that administrators are trying to understand the costs and benefits of educational programs. What is somewhat inconsistent is that these a dministrators support a balance between existing traditional sources of funding and new, alternative sources T his includes external funding that is inconsistent with county office priorities but does not include user fees. User fees have become an option for some extension programs across the country. A t the same time external funding for low priority initiatives has been questioned ( Jackson & Johnson, 1999). This will continue to be a challenge for Extension. The literature cited in this research study pr ovided some understanding related to the current and historical perspective on county extension office funding. However conclusions drawn from this study showed the extreme financial pressure facing Extension administrators and inconsistency with the liter ature Barth et al. (1999) provides an example of this inconsistency. In this literature, guidelines for county extension offices when seeking external or alternative funding i ncluded the need to ensure that initiatives supported by alternative funds are reflective of the mission and objective s. In this study the experts failed to support this conclusion.

PAGE 184

184 Objective Three: C ompare and contrast the P erceptions of the Fundamental Dimensions and Essential Elements of an E xem plary Local Extension O ffice R eported by the D emographic Characteristics of the Experts. Conclusion: None of the demographic characteristics of the experts influenced their perceptions of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. An important aspect related to the theoretical and conceptual framework for this study relate to the perceptions of the experts in this study. An open systems model was used as the theoretical framework of this study to illustrate the strategic use of inputs, processes and outputs that an organization uses to accomplish its goals and objectives. The conceptual framework for this study illustrated that inputs, processes and outputs are necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives of Extension. They are represented in this study using fundamental dimensions and essential elements of a local county extension office to meet its goals and objectives by being relevant and responsive to its clientele. Organizational strategies are developed by the administrators that are responsible to the stakeholders. In private organizations stakeholders are often stockholders and in public institutions stakeholders are the general public represented by elected officials. Strategies that are developed by administrators are often influenc ed by characteristics associated with their pers onal experiences and background (Wilson & Gill, 2003). In this study, these characteristics include d respondent role with the Cooperative Extension Service, gender, age and experience. Consistently, administ rators agreed and supported each of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements equally regardless of their role with extension, gender, age or experience. The findings imply that understanding the needs of an organization and developing policy and p rocedures are not associated with personal characteristics of this group of administrator s and are most likely the result of well informed and competent administrators

PAGE 185

185 General Implications This study provided support for 77 essential elements of an exemp lary county extension office related to facilities and infrastructure, well -trained educators, well -developed educational programs, organizational accountability, county office leadership and funding. The researcher acknowledges that implementation of all essential elements by each county extension office in Florida presents some challenges for all parties in this partnership. The conclusions of the administrators in this study highlight ed the importance of the facility and infrastructure. The implications of the study suggest s that all county offices in Florida should be reviewed and brought into alignment with the guiding principles established in this study. This however is not very practical. In addition to the expense associated with any upgrade, logistical issues including relocating the office to more visible location often present barriers to implementation. A plausible solution might be for each county to organize a task force inclu ding a representatives from state, local government, county exte nsion and other key stakeholders to assess the current facility ; us e the results of this study to identify short term, in termediate and longterm goals and implement a strategic plan to create an exemplary facility. Maintaining a well -prepared workforce is a challenge for Extension. Competition for qualified candidates as well as o pportunities for other employment will continue to challenge Extensions ability to attract and retain high quality extension educators. At the same time, it is important that e ach extension educator possess the essential elements identified in this study. Understanding that extension educators need to possess each of the essential elements causes quite a dilemma for administrators. One strategy is to hire candidates that possess the most important elements and develop a training strategy to incorporate the remaining essential elements.

PAGE 186

186 Extension programs represent the strategy to address local needs and therefore need to contain the essential elements identified in this study. The study provides some insight on what is most important with respect to the essential elements of an exemplary educational program. This provides one strategy for reviewing existing programs and systematically incorporating essential elements into extens ion programs. Organizational accountability will continue to remain a priority for administrators responsible for the county extension office. This study provides insight into the essential elements that are necessary for an accountability system for count y extension offices. A good start for each county office would be to describe the social, environmental and economic impact of county office initiatives as part of th e county program review process and why those initiatives are important. This study provid ed a large list of essential elements related to county office leadership. County office leadership is important and all county extension office leaders need to exhibit these characteristics Similar to the suggestions made for extension educators, one sol ution might be to prioritize the essential elements in order of importance for the county office. This would allow the organization to hire candidates that possess the most important elements and develop a training strategy to incorporate the remaining es sential elements. The important aspect of this study is that at some point, all county extension directors need to demonstrate these leadership characteristics in performing their duties and as part of the promotion process. The implication of this study w ith respect to financial capacity is that the organization is underfunded, and the expectation to become more financially creative is increasing. Maintaining consistent, stable traditional sources of funding is increasingly difficult. County offices will have to become more entrepreneurial when developing strategies to increase funding.

PAGE 187

187 Recommendations As a result of this study several recommendations may be made. It should be noted that recommendations should be read with the awareness that county ext e nsion offices vary from county to county and state to state. Therefore, readers should evaluate each recommendation based on the conte xt of their location Recommendations for Practice 1 Review existing county extension office evaluation instruments and guid elines and incorporate the fundamental dimensions and essential elements. 2 Review existing in -service training s and provide support for county extension directors to strengthen leadership competencies and understanding of the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. 3 Review and modify accordingly the position descriptions for all new county extension directors to include the fundamental dimensions and essential elements. 4 Review and modify existing memorandums o f understanding to reflect the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. 5 Review existing county policies related to county extension office operations to identify inconsistencies between current operations and exemplary operations. 6 Review existing standard operating procedures for county office operations based upon the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. 7 Develop new standard operating procedures for county extension office operations based upon the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. 8 Review the fundamental dimensions and essential elements with all new faculty as part of a comprehensive new faculty orientatio n. 9 Review the fundamental dimensions and essential elements with existing county faculty and staff. 10. Staffing needs of local county extension offices should be based upon the fundamental dimensions and essential elements identified in this study. 11. New ext ension agent and staff hires should be based upon the fundamental dimension s and essential elements identified in this study.

PAGE 188

188 12. Current county office budgets need to be reviewed to ensure that they are maintaining a balance between existing traditional sour ces of funding and new alternative resources. 13. State and county governments should support county extension office initiatives to leverage resources with partnering organizations. 14. State and county governments should support county extension initiatives to establish sustainable discretionary financial resources. 15. Given the large number of essential elements that were embraced by the experts participating in this study, extension administrators and leaders should consider an incremental approach for strength ening county extension offices. Phase one of this effort should address the essential elements shown in Table 5 1 that were most strongl y endorsed by the expert panel. Recommendations for Research 1 The fundamental dimensions and essential elements identifi ed in this study should be reviewed and refined by additional experts in the field. Consensus on m ore specific statements describing essential elements should be explored. 2 The objective of this study was to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. Further research is necessary to identify the standards and benchmarks for each of the 77 essential elements. 3 Other states should conduct an internal Delphi study using the fundamental dim ensions and essential elements to determine the characteristics of exemplary county extension offices that are critical for them to address. 4 A comprehensive needs assessment related to the fundamental dimensions and essential elements should be conducted for each county to identify critical need areas.

PAGE 189

189 Table 5 1. Essential elements of an exemplary county extension office that were strongly supported by study participants* Essential element Facilities and infrastructure of exemplary county offices: Are a ccessible to members of the community. Enhance the educational needs of learners. Enhance customer satisfaction. Create a comfortable, efficient work environment. Well trained educators of an exemplary county extension office: Understand subject are a research in their field of expertise. Understand and utilize appropriate communication techniques. Welcome diversity. Understand and utilize program development, implementation, and evaluation techniques. Engage volunteers in Extension programs if n ecessary. Are flexible. Focus on customer service. Understand and utilize technology. Understand the foundation and history of the Extension mission. Are skilled in time management. Well developed extension programs in exemplary county extension of fices: Ensure educational programs add value to the community. Ensure education programs are supported with research based information. Ensure educational programs utilize measurable objectives. Organizational accountability practices of exemplary county extension offices: Focus on social, environmental, or economic impact to the county. Leaders in exemplary county extension offices: Remove organizational barriers that prevent work from being completed. Empower people to make a difference. R einforce success. Have integrity that others will follow. Lead with purpose, meaning, and values. Articulate county Extension office mission and goals with faculty and staff. Are dedicated to personal growth and development. Are committed to their pri nciples. Establish and articulate county extension office objectives with faculty and staff. Maintain a comprehensive public relations strategy to create county Extension office visibility. Desire to serve others through their leadership. Ensure county Extension office mission and goals are consistent with county government and state Extension priorities. Financial capacity in exemplary county extension offices: Leverage resources with partnering organizations.

PAGE 190

190 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL

PAGE 191

191 APPENDEX B EXPERT PANEL Rod Clouser, Ph.D. Former Northeast District Extension Director University of Florida Mary Chernesky Former County Extension Director University of Florida Millie Ferrer, Ph.D. Associate Dean for Extension Universi ty of Florida Joe Joyce, Ph.D. Associate Executive Vice President Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences University of Florida Dale McPherson Interim Northeast District Extension Director University of Florida Tim Momol, Ph.D. Central Distric t Extension Director University of Florida Joe Scha e ffer, Ph.D. South District Extension Director University of Florida Pete Vergot, Ph.D. Northwest District Extension Director University of Florida

PAGE 192

192 APPENDIX C INTRODUCTION E -MAIL Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Good morning, The Florida Cooperative Extension Service is supporting a research study on the essential elements of an exemplary local \ county extension office. Understanding these elements will help all of us by im proving the capacity of local county extension offices. As the designated administrator for Extension in your state, your input is important to the success of the study. In the next day or so, you will receive an e -mail from Bryan Terry requesting your participation. If you would like to designate another administrator to complete the survey, please forward Bryans e -mail to the appropriate person and send an e -mail copy to Bryan so he can update his records. The survey is short and can be completed i n 10 minutes. Thanks for your help, Larry

PAGE 193

193 APPENDEX D PARTICIPATION E MAIL Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Good morning [Name of Participant], On Monday Dr. Larry Arrington, Dean & Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Servi ce alerted you to a research study that is being supported by UF \ IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service. As a expert in Extension, we need your input. The objective of this study is to establish consensus on the essential elements of an exemplary loc al \ county extension office among State Extension Directors, County Administrators and County Extension Directors. To accomplish this, we need your assistance. The study will utilize a Delphi technique to establish consensus for the fundamental dimensions and essential elements of an exemplary county extension office. As an expert with direct knowledge of county operations, we would like for you to review and respond to the questionnaire that will be utilized in this study. Please make comments and sugge stions related to the items representing the fundamental dimensions and essential elements and that would improve the implementation of the survey. The survey is short and can be completed in 20 minutes. Below is the link to the online survey. We hope yo u will consider participating. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=4bVdZhZkVRCMnjDrAzjuIQ_3d_3d Bryan Terry Agricultural Education and Communication PO Box 110310 Gainesville, FL 326110310 352.273.3539 terrys1@ufl.edu

PAGE 194

194 APPENDIX E INTERNAL PANEL SURVEY

PAGE 195

195

PAGE 196

196

PAGE 197

197

PAGE 198

198

PAGE 199

199

PAGE 200

200

PAGE 201

201

PAGE 202

202 APPENDEX F INTRODUCTION E -MAIL Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Good morning, The Florida Cooperative Extension Service is supporting a research study on the essential elements of an exemplary local \ co unty extension office. Understanding these elements will help all of us by improving the capacity of local county extension offices. As the designated administrator for Extension in your [ state \ county] your input is important to the success of the study In the next day or so, you will receive an e -mail from Bryan Terry requesting your participation. If you would like to designate another administrator to complete the survey, please forward Bryans e -mail to the appropriate person and send an e -mail copy to Bryan so he can update his records. The survey is short and can be completed in 10 minutes. Thanks for your help, Larry

PAGE 203

203 APPENDIX G PARTICIPATION E MAIL Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Good morning [Name of Participan t] On Thursday Dr. Larry Arrington, Dean & Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service alerted you to a research study that is being supported by UF \ IFAS Florida Cooperative Extension Service. As Director for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service and an expert in Extension, we need your input. The objective of this study is to establish consensus on the essential elements of an exemplary local \ county extension office among State Extension Directors, County Administrators and County Extens ion Directors. To accomplish this, we need your assistance. The study involves two steps. The first step is for you to take an online survey and respond to questions related to county office operations. In about 10 days or so, you will be sent the re sults of the first survey and given the opportunity to change your initial response if you desire. If you are satisfied with you responses to the initial survey you can simply respond to the follow up e mail I do not wish to change my original responses ". If you would like to designate another administrator to complete the survey, please forward this e -mail to the appropriate person in your organization and send an e -mail copy to terrys1@ufl.edu so I can update my records. The survey is short and can b e completed in 10 minutes. Below is the link to the online survey. We hope you will consider participating. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=4bVdZhZkVRCMnjDrAzjuIQ_3d_3d Bryan Terry Agricultural Education and Communication PO Box 110310 Gainesvil le, FL 326110310 352.273.3539 terrys1@ufl.edu

PAGE 204

204 APPENDIX H ROUND 1 SURVEY

PAGE 205

205

PAGE 206

206

PAGE 207

207

PAGE 208

208

PAGE 209

209

PAGE 210

210

PAGE 211

211

PAGE 212

212

PAGE 213

213 APPENDIX I FOLLOW -UP E -MAIL Good morning [Name of Participant], About a week ago, Dr. Arrington and I sent an e -mail related to a research study that is currently being conducted by Florida Cooperative Extension. Unfortunately, I have not received a response from you or your institution as of yet. You can help by completing this survey. A link is provided below. The study involves two steps. The fir st step is for you to take an online survey and respond to questions related to county office operations. In about 10 days or so, you will be sent the results of the first survey and given the opportunity to change your initial response if you desire. If you are satisfied with you responses to the initial survey you can simply respond to the follow up e mail I do not wish to change my original responses". If you would like to designate another administrator to complete the survey, please forward this e -mail to the appropriate person in your organization and send an e -mail copy to terrys1@ufl.edu so I can update my records. The survey is short and can be completed in 10 minutes. Below is the link to the online survey. We hope you will consider particip ating. Thanks [Name of Participant] for your support! http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=4bVdZhZkVRCMnjDrAzjuIQ_3d_3d Bryan D. Terry Extension Youth Development Specialist Family, Youth and Community Sciences UF \ IFAS PO Box 110310 Gainesville, FL 326110310 352.273.3539 terrys1@ufl.edu

PAGE 214

214 APPENDIX J ROUND 2 PARTICIPATION E -MAIL Good Afternoon, Thank you for participating in the initial phase of the Cooperative Extension Service Survey. Attached are the results of the study together with your i ndividual responses. The initial survey asked respondents to identify any additional essential elements of an exemplary county\ local Extension office. These comments were peer reviewed and resulted in 12 additional questions. In this final phase you have to options to choose from. Option 1: If after reviewing the results you are satisfied with your initial responses and only want to respond to the 12 additional questions, follow the link below and complete the survey. Option 2: If however after reviewing the results and you would like to adjust your responses in addition to responding to the 12 additional questions follow the link below. Thank you in advance for taking the time to help. Your input will better enable the Cooperative Extensi on Service to meet its goals. Please respond by December 9, 2008. Sincerely, Bryan D. Terry PO Box 110310, UF Gainesville, FL 326110806

PAGE 215

215 APPENDIX K ROUND 2 SURVEY

PAGE 216

216

PAGE 217

217

PAGE 218

218

PAGE 219

219

PAGE 220

220

PAGE 221

221 LIST OF REFERNCES Ackoff, R.L. (1983). Beyond Predictions and Preparation. Journal of Management 5 Adams, J.S. (1965). Inequity in Social Exchange. In L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in Experimental S ocial P sychology New York: Academic Press. Adler, M., & Sainsbury, R. (1996). Alternative approaches to the computerization of soc ial security: Reflections on a Delphi exercise. In M. Adler, & Ziglio, E. (Eds.), Gazing into the oracle: The Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health (pp. 176 192). London: Kinsley Publishers. Ahearn, M., Yee, J. & Bottum, J. (2003). Regional trends in Extension system resources. Washington, DC: United States Department of Agriculture. Albright, B. B. (2000). Cooperative Extension and the information technology era: An assessment of current competencies and future training needs of county Extension agents (Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University, 2000). Dissertation Abstracts International, 61, 2668. Allen, G. (1998). Supervision. Retrieved July 2, 2007, from http://ollie.dcccd.edu A ltschuld, J. W., (1993). Delphi technique. Lecture: evaluation methods: Principles of needs assessment II. Department of Educational Services and Research. Columbus: The Ohio State University. Amend, E. H. (1984). Communication Strategies. Journal of Extension, 22(2). Retrieved June 7, 2007 from http://www.joe.org Amons, D. (1999). Municipal Benchmarks: Assessing Local Performance and Community Standards Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Andreassen, W. (1994). Satisfaction, Loyalty, and Reputation as Indicators of Customer Orientation in the Public Sector. International Journal of Public Sector Management 7 (2), 16 34. Anglin, G. L. (1991). Instructional technology past, present and future Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited Inc. Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C. & Razavieh, A., Sorensen, C. (2006). Introduction to research in education (7th ed.). California: Thomson Wadsworth. Ayers, D. & Stone, B. (1999). Extension Organiztion of the Future: Linking Emotional Intelligence and Core Competencies. Journal of E xtension 37(6). Retrieved June 7, 2007 from http://www.joe.org

PAGE 222

222 Barnett, J.H. & Karson, M.J. (1989). Managers, Values, and Executive Decisions: An Exploration of the Role of Gender, Career Stage, Organizational Level, F unction, and the Importance of Ethics, Relationships and Results in Managerial Decision Making. Journal of Businesss Ethics, 8 747771. Bates, T. S. & Snell, S. (2007). Management: Leading and Collaborating in a Competitive World (7th ed.). McGraw Hill. Barth, J. A., Stryker, B. W., Arrington, L. R., and Syed, S. (1999). Implications of increased alternative revenue for the Cooperative Extension system: Present and future strategies for success. Journal of Extension, 37(4). Retrieved June 7, 2007 from http://www.joe.org Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass & Stogdill's handbook of leadership: Theory, research and managerial applications (3rd ed.). New York: The Free Press. Beal, G. M., Blount, R. C., Powers, R. C., and Johnson, H. J. (1969). Social Action and Interaction in Program Planning. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press. Bedeian, A. G. (1993). Management (3rd ed.). New York: Dryden Press. Bennis, W. G. (1989). On Becoming a Leader New York: Addison Welsey Publising Co mpany, Inc. Bennis, W. G. (1990). Why Leaders Cant Lead. San Francisco: JosseyBass Publishers. Bennis, W. G., Benne, K. D., Chin, R., & Corey, K. E. (1969). The Planning of Change (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. Bennett, C. (1975). Up the hierarchy. Journal of Extension 13(2). Retrieved June 9, 2007 from http://www.joe.org Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: The Impact of Physical Surroundings on Customers and Employees Journal of Marketing, 56(April). Black, P. & Harrison, G (1994). Technological Capability. I n R. McCormick, P. Murphy & M. Harrison ( E ds.), Teaching and Learning Technology (pp. 5157). New York: AddisonWesley. Blake, R. R. & Mouton, J. S. (1985). The Managerial Grid II I. Houston, TX: Gulf Publishing. Blanchard, K H. & Hersey, P. (1993). Management of Organizational Behavior (6th ed.). Englewood Cliffs: NJ: Prentice -Hall. Boldt, W. G. (1988). Image: Creating a unique and unified one for Extension. Journal of Extension 26(1). Retrieved June 9, 2007 from http://www.joe.org

PAGE 223

223 Boone, E. J. (1985). Developing Programs in Adult Education. Englewood Cliff, New Jersey: Prentence Hall Boone, E. J. (1992). Developing Programs in Adult Education. Prospect Heights Illinois: Waveland Press Boone, E. J., Dolan, R .J., & Shearon, R. W. (1971). Programming in the Cooperative Extension Service, a conceptual schema Department of Adult and Community C ollege Education, North Carolina State University. R aleigh. Boone, J. E., Safrit, R. D., & Jones, J. (2002). Developing programs in adult education: A conceptual programming model (2nd ed.) Prospect Heights, Il: Waveland. Booth, C. & Rowlinson, M. (2006). Management and organizational history: Prospects. M anagement and Organizational History 1 (1). Bowen, B. E., & Radhakrishna, R. B. (1991). Job Satisfaction of Agricultural Education Faculty: A Constant Phenomena. Journal of Agricultural Education, 32(2). Boyle, P. (1997, May/June ). What's the impact? Epsilon Sigma Phi Newsletter 68, 1 4. Brennan, M. A. (2005). IFAS Community Development: The Importance of Local Community Action in Shaping Development Retrieved November 5, 2007, from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu Bro wn, B., Clouser, R., Cothran, H., & Townsend, D. (1995). A Comparative Trend Analysis of Florida AES and CES With other States Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Brown, D. V. (1991). Development of S ca les for Effective Performance of C ounty E xtension D irectors Unpublished doctoral thesis, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Brown, J. L. & Kiernan, N. E. (1998). A Model for Integrating Program Development and Evaluation. Journal of Ext ension, 36 (3). Retrieved June 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Brown, J. S. & Duguid, P. (2001). Knowledge and Organization: A Social -Practice Perspective. Organization Science 12(2). Brown, J. S. & Gray, E.S. (1995) The People are the Company. Fast Company 1 (1), 78 79. Brooks, K. W. (1979). Delphi technique: Expanding applications. North Central Association Quarterly 54(3), 377385. Buck, S. (1997). Valuing Differences. Journal of Extension, 35(1). Retrieve d June 4, 2007, from http://www.joe.org

PAGE 224

224 Buford, J. A., Bedeian, A. G., & Lindner, J. R. (1995). Management in Extension (3rd ed.). Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Extension. Bull, N. H., Cote, L.S., Warner, P. D., & McKinnie, M. R. (2004). Is Extension Relevant for the 21st Century? Journal of Extension, 42(6). Retrieved June 4, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Burns, J. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper & Row. Byham, W.C. & Moy er, R.P. (1996). Using Competencies to Build a Successful Organization. Pittsburg, PA: Development Dimensions International. Caffarella, R. S. (2002). Planning programs for adult learners (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Castaldi, B. (1994). Educat ional facilities: Planning, modernization and management (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon, Inc. Camp, R. C. (1993). Benchmarking: The search for industry best practices that lead to superior performance Norcross, GA: Industrial Engineering and Ma nagement Press. Carleton, W. M. (1963). Hand Labor Versus the Machine. Agricultural Engineering 44(3), 139. Carroll. S. J. & Gillen, D. J. (1987). Are the Classical Management Functions Useful in Describing Managerial Work? The Academy of Management Re view 12(1), 38 51. Chappell, V. G. (1990). Use creative platforms for better marketing communications. Journal of Extension 28(4). Retrieved June 9, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Chappell, V. G. (1994). Marketing plann ing for Extension systems. Journal of Extension, 32(2). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Chizari M., Karbasioun M., & Lindner, J. R. (1998). O bstacles F acing E xtension A gents in the Development and Del ivery of Extension Educational Programs for Adult Farmers in the Province of Esfahan, Iran. Journal of Agricultural Education, 39(1). Collins, J. (2001). Good to great : why some companies make the leap and others dont. NY: Harper Collins Publishers. Co mer, M.A., Campbell, T., Edwards, K., & Hillison, J. (2006). Cooperative Extension and the 1890 Land Grant Institution: The Real Story. Journal of Extension, 44(3). Retrieved June 4, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Cooper, A. W. & Graham, D. I. (2001). Competencies Needed to be Successful County Agents and County Supervisors Journal of Extension, 39(1), Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Covey, S. R. (1991). Principle -c entered leadership New York: Simon and Schuster.

PAGE 225

225 Crosby, G. & Hamernik, D. (2002). Exploring new opportunities for Extension. Washington, D.C.: Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. Cummings, T. G. & Worley, C. G. (2001). Organiz ational Development and Change (7th ed.). Minneapolish, MN: SouthWestern College Publishing. Custer, R. L., Scarcella, J. A., & Stewart, B. R. (1999). The modified Delphi technique: A rotational modification. Journal of Vocational and Technical Education, 15(2), 1 10. Cyfert, F.R. & Gant, W.L. (1971). The Delphi technique: A case study. Phi Delta Kappan, 52, 272273. Dalkey, N.C. (1969). The Delphi method: An experimental study of group opinion. Research Rep. (RM 5888-PR). Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation. Dalkey, N. C. & Helmer, O. (1963). An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts. Management Science 9 (3), 458467. Dalk ey, N. C. & Rourke, D. L. (1972). Experimental assessment of Delphi procedures with group value judgments. In N. C. Dalkey, D. L. Rourke, R. Lewis, & D. Snyder (Eds.). Studies in the quality of life: Delphi and decision -making (pp. 55 83). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. Danbom, D. B. (1997). Past Visions of American Agriculture In W. Lockeretz (Ed.), Visio ns of American Agriculture (pp. 3 16). Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. Dejong, W. (1997). Building change into new buildings. School Administrator 54(6), 1013. Delbecq, A. L., Van de Ven, A. H. and Gustafson, D. H. (1975). Group techniques f or program planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi processes Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, and Company. Dillman, D. A. (2007 ). Mail and Internet Suveys: The tailored design method (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Dodge, B.J. & Clark, R.E. (1977). Research on the Delphi Technique. Educational Technology 5860. Draggon, S. L. (2005). Perceptions of Farmers, Students and Faculty Regarding University Based Extension: A Case Study From Earth University, Costa Rica. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville. Durost, D. D. & W. R. Bailey. (1978). Whats happened to farming. In R. D. Roderfeld, J. Flora, D. Voth, I. Fujimoto, and J. Converse (Eds.), Change in Rural America: causes, consequences, and alternatives (p 15 19). Saint Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company. Eisenhardt, K. M. & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic Capabilities: What are They? Strategic Management Journal 21(10), 1105.

PAGE 226

226 Eisinger, P. (2002). Organizational Capacity and Organizational Effectiveness Among Street Level Food Assistance Programs. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 31(1), 115130. Ewert, D.M. & Grace, K.A. (2000). Adult education for community action. In A.L. Wilson,& E. R.Hayes, (Eds.) Handbook of adult and continuing education: New e dition San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. (1995). Framing the Future : Strategic Framework for a System of Partnerships Unpublished manuscript. Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. (2000). Studies of the Future of the Land Grant Universities and Colleges of Agriculture Unpublished manuscript Extension Committee on Organization and Policy. (200 2 ). The Extension System: A vision for the 21st century. Unpublished manuscript. Extension Committee on Orga nization and Policy. (2003). The Cooperative Extension System: More relevant today than ever. Unpublished manuscript. Fayol, H. (1949). General and Industrial Management London, England: Pittman. Finger, M. & Asun, J. M. (2001). Adult education at the cr ossroads: Learning our way out London: Zed Books. Fink, A., Kosecoff, J., Chassin, M., & Brook, R. H. (1984). Consensus methods: characteristics and guidelines for use. American Journal of Public Health, 74 97983. Fischer, R. G. (1978). The Delphi met hod: A description, review, and criticism Journal of Academic Librarianship, 4 (2). Retrieved March 24, 2007 from http://www.ebscohost.com Fritz, S. Boren, A. & Egger, V. (2005). Diamonds in the Rough: A Case S tudy of Team Development Across Disciplin es, Distances, and Institutions. Journal of Extension, 43(51) Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Geiger DuMond, A. H., & Boyle, S. K. 1995. Mentoring: A practitioner's guide. Training and Development 49, 5154. Gerrior, S. A. & Crocoll, C.E. (2008). USDA CSREES Role in Broadening Support for an Aging Nation. Journal of Extension, 46(1). Retrieved August 5, 2008 from http://w ww.joe.org Glisson, C. & Durick, M. (1988). Predictors of Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment in Human Service Organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly 33, 61 81. Goodman, C. M. (1987) The Delphi technique: a critique. Journal of Adv anced Nursing 12, 729734.

PAGE 227

227 Grant, P.M., Field, T. G., & Rollin, B. E. (2000). The importance of comprehensive agricultural education in land -grant institutions: A historical perspective Journal of Animal Scienc e, 78, 16841689. Gray, A. & Jenkins, B. (1995). From Public Administration to Public Management: Reassessing a Revolution. Public Administration 73(1), 75 99. Griffiths, D. (1964). Administrative Theory and Change in Organizations. In M. B. Miles (Ed.), Innovation in Education. New York: T eachers College, Columbia University. Hambridge, G. (1978). American Agriculture the first 300 years. In R. D. Rderfeld, J. Flora, D. Voth, I. Fujimoto, and J. Converse (Eds.), Change in Rural America: causes, consequences, and alternatives (p. 15 19). Saint Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company. Hansen, G. L. (1993). When "Grassroots" Belief and "Research Based" Information Conflict Journal of Extension, 31(2). Retrieved June 6, 2007 from http://www.joe.org Hatch Act. (1887). Hatch Act of 1887. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from: http://www.csrees.usda.gov Hatry, H. P. (1999). Performance Measurement: Getting Results Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute Press. Helmer, O. (1983). Looking forward: A guide to future research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Herman, H.E. (1999). Hold on to the People You Need. HR Focus 76(6). Hersey, P., Blanchard, K., & Johnson, D. E. (2001). Management of organizational behavior: Leading human resources (8th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B. B. (1959). The mM tivation to W ork New York: John Wiley & Sons. Heskett, J. L., Jones, T. O., Loveman, G., Sasser, W. E. Jr., & Schlesinger, L. A. (1994). Putting the service -profit chain to work. Harvard Business Review March April. Higgins, J. M. (1994). T he management challenge (2nd ed.). New York: Macmillan. Hill, K. & Fowles, J. (1975). Methodological worth of Delphi forecasting technique, Technological Forec ast and Social Change, 70 (4), 179 192. Hill, L. G. & Parker, L. A. (2005). Extension as a Delivery System for Prevention Programming: Capacity, Barriers, and Opportunities Journal of Extension, 43(1). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Hom, P. W. & Kinicki, A. J. (2001). Toward a Greater Understanding of How Dissatisfaction Drives Employee Turnover. Academy of Management Journal 44(5), 975987.

PAGE 228

228 Hsu, Chia -Chien & Sandford, Brian A. (2007). The Delphi T echnique: Making Sense of Consensus. Practical Assessment Research & Evaluation 12(10). Hughes, E. T. (1998). Leadership Development Program Serves As a Change Agent in Community Development. Journal of Extension, 36(2). Retrieved June 8, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Huselid, M. A., Jackson, S. E., & Schuler, R. S. (1997). Technical and Strategic Human Resource Management Effectiveness as Determinants of Firm Performance. Academy of Management Journal 40(1), 171188. Ingram, P. D. (2006). The Change Agent States for Diversity Project: The Catalyst Team Approach Journal of Extension, 44(5). Retrieved August 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Jackson, D.G. & Johnson, L. (1999). Whe n to look a gift horse in the mouth. Journal of Extension 37(4). Retrieved on July 15, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Jacobs, J. M. (1996). Essential assessment criteria for physical education teacher education programs : A Delphi study Unpublished doctoral dissertation, West Virginia University, Morgantown. Jillson, I. (1975). Developing guidelines for the Delphi method, Technological Forecast and Social Change, 70(4), 221 222. Johnson, R.A., Neelankavil, J.P. & Jadha v, A. (1986). Developing the Executive Resource. Business Horizons, 29 (33). Judd, R. C. (1972). Use of Delphi methods in higher education. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 4 (2), 173 186. Katz, D. & Kahn, R. (1978). The Social Psychology of Organizations (2nd ed.). New York: Wiley. Kawasaki, J. L. (1994). Information related competencies for Montana Extension Service professionals (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 378945). Kelsey, L. D. & Hearne, C. C. (1955). Cooperative Extens ion Work (2nd ed). Ithaca, New York: Comstock Publishing Associates. Kemp, R. (2008). County Government: Past, President, and Future Public Management 90(6), 5 7. Kerlinger, F. N. (1973). Foundations of behavioral research. New York: Holt, Rinehar t, and Winston, Inc. Kettl, D. F. (1997). The Global Revolution in Public Management: Driving Themes, Missing Links. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management 16(3), 446462.

PAGE 229

229 Kloman, H.F. (2001). Four cubed. Risk Management 48(9). Knowles, M. S. (19 70). The Modern Practice of Adult Education: Andragogy versus Pedagogy New York: Association Press. Knowles, M. S. (1984). The adult learner: A neglected species (3rd ed.). Houston: Gulf Publishing. Kolb, D. (1984). Experiential learning. Experience as the source of learning and development Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Kotter, J. P. (1990). A force for change: How leadership differs from management New York: Free Press. Kovach, K. A. (1987). What Motivates Employees? Workers and Supervi sors Give Different Answers. Business Horizons, 30. Kreitner, R. (1995). Management (6th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. Kutilek, L. M. & Earnest, G. W. (2005). Supporting Professional Growth Through Mentoring and Coaching Journal of Extensi on, 39(4). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Langdon, D. G. (2000). Aligning performance: improving people, systems and organizations San Francisco, CA: Jossey -Bass/Pheiffer Publishers. Langdon, D. G. & Whiteside, K. (2004). re/Organizing a Department in 9 Steps. Retrieved July 2, 2007, from http://www.bptrends.com Leibhart, M. L. (1991). Public Risk Management. Journal of Extension, 29 (3). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Leonard Barton, D. (1992). Core Capabilities and Core Rigidities: A Paradox in Managing New Product Development. Strategic Management Journal 13(Summer), 111 125. Levine S. J. (1995). Taking Advantage of New Technology for Education. Journal of Extension, 33(4). Retrieved July 15, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Levy, M (1999). Revoluti onizing the Retail Pricing Game. Discount Store News 38(September) Linden, R (2003). What Does Value Added Mean in the Public Sector? Available:http://www.russlinden.com/html/article_1.htm Lindner, J. R. (1998). Understanding Employee Motivation. Journal of Extension, 36(3), Retrieved on Au gust 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Linstone, H. A., & Turoff, M. (1975). The Delphi method: Techniques and applications. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Publishing Company.

PAGE 230

230 Linstone, H. A., & Turoff, M. (2002). The De lphi meth od: Techniques and applications, Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://www.is.njit.edu/pubs/delphibook/ Logsdon, G. (1975). The last farmer. Farm Journal Magazine 26(4). Ludwig, B. G. (1994). Internationalizing Extension: An exploration of the characteristics evident in a state university Extension system that achieves internationalization. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus. Ludwig, B. (1997). Predictin g the future: Have you considered using the Delphi methodology? Journal of Extension, 35(5). Retrieved November 2 2008 from http://www.joe.org Luloff, A. E. & Bridger J (2003). Community Agency and Local Development I n D. Brown & L Swanson (Eds.) Challenges for Rural America in the Twenty First Century (pp. 203213). University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press. Maccoby, M. (1976). The Gamesman New York: Simon and Schuster. Maddy, D. J. & Kealy, L .J. M. (1998). Integrating a marketing mindset: Building Extensions future in the information marketplace. Journal of Extension, 36(4). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review July 1943. McDowell, G. R. (2001). Land-Grant Universities and Extension: into the 21st Century. Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. McDowell, G. R. (2004). Is Extension an Idea Whose Time has Come and Gone Journal of Extension 42(6). Retrieved August 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org McNamara, C. (n.d.). Management Function of Organizing: Overview of Methods Retrieved July 3, 2007, from http://www.managementhelp.org/orgnzing/orgnzing.htm McNamara, R. L. (1978). Impact of rural migration on the city. In R. D. R o defeld, J. Flora, D. Voth, I. Fujimoto, and J. Converse (Eds.), Change in Rural Amer ica: causes, consequences, and alternatives (p. 15 19). Saint Louis: The C.V. Mosby Company. Morrill Act. (1890. Morrill Act of 1890. Retrieved January 14, 2007, from http://www.higher -ed. org/resources/morrill2.htm Moynihan, D. P. (2006). Managing for Results in State Government: Evaluating a Decade of Reform. Public Administration Review 66(1), 77 89. Mulkey, D.R. (2001). Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Budget Analysis G ainesville, FL: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

PAGE 231

231 Northouse, P. (2001). Leadership theory and practice (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Osborne, D. & Gaebler, T. (1992). Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Government is Transforming the Public Sector Reading, MA: Addison -Welsey. Osborne, J O. (1991). Advisory Committee Members and Extensionalists Perception of the D elivery of Q uality P rograms for T wo S taffing P atterns of the Ohio Cooperative Extension Service. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, The Ohio State University, Columbus. Owen, M. B. (1997). Defining Key SubCompetencies for Administrative County Administrators. Journal of Extension, 42(2). Retrieved June 4, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Pancer, S. M. & Westhues, A. (1989). A Developmental Stage Approach to Program Planning and Evaluation. Evaluation Review 13(1). Patterson, T. F., Jr. (1998). Commentary II: A New Paradigm for Extension A dministration Journal of Extension, 36(1). Retrieved June 6, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Patto n, M. Q. (1994). Developmental E valuation. Evaluation Practice 15(3). Peters, B. G. & Pierre, J. (2003). Handbook of Public Administration Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Peters, S. J. (2002). Rousing the People on the Land: The Roots of the Educational Organizing Tradition in Extension Work Journal of Extension, 40(3). Retrieved June 7, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Peters, J. M. & Kozoll, C. P. (1980). A Systems Approach to Examining Adult Education and Organization in the Field. In J. M. Peters and Associates (Eds.), Building an Effective Adult Education Enterprise San Francisco: Jossey Bass Peters, S. J. & Morgan, P. A. (2004). The Country Life Commission: Reconsidering a Milestone in American Agricultural History. Agricultural History 78(3), 289316. Peters, T. J. & Waterman, R. H. (1982). In Search of Excellence: Lesson s from America's B est -R un Companies New York: Harper and Row. Pfeifer, J. (1968). New Look at Education. New York: Odyssey Press. Pigg, K. E. (1983). Shades of Seaman Knapp. Journal of Extension, 21(4). Retrieved June 6, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Pollard, C., & Pollard, R. (2004). Research priorities in educational technology: A Delphi study. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 37(2), 145160. Retrieved May 4, 2007, from http://www.ebscohost.com

PAGE 232

232 Posner, B.Z. & Schmidt, W.H. (1984). Values and the American Manager. Management Review 26(3), 202216. Post, J. E. & Altman, B. E. (1994). Managing the environmental change process: Barriers and opportunities Jorunal of Organizational Change Management 7 (4). Powell, C. (2003). The Delphi technique: Myths and realities. J ournal of Advanced Nursing 41(40, 376 382. Retrieved May 5, 2007, from http://find.galegroup .com Powell, R. M. (2006). Lines of Excellence. Air and Space Power Journal 23(3). Prawl, W., Medlin, R., & Gross, J. (1984). Adult and Continuing Education Through the Cooperative Extension Service Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Extension. Rabin, J Hildreth, W. B & Miller G. J. (1996). Budgeting: Formulation and Execution. Athens, Georgia : Carl Vinson Institute of Government, The University of Georgia. Radhakrishna, R., Yoder, E. P., & Baggett, C. D. (1994). Leadership Effective ness of County Extension Directors Journal of Extension, 32 (2). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Ragins, B. R., Cotton, J. L., & Miller, J. S. (2000). Marginal Mentoring: The Effects of Type of Mentor Quality of Relationship, and Program Design on Work and Career Attitudes. The Academy of Management Journal 43(6), 11771194. Ramsay, M. (1996). Community, Culture, and Economic Development Albany, NY: State University of New York Press. Rasmussen, W. D. (1989). Taking the university to the people: Seventy -five years of cooperative extension Ames, Iowa: Iowa State University Press. Reichhel d, F. F. (2000). Loyalty -based M anagement. Harvard Business Review November December. Rogers, E. M. (200 3). Diffusion of Innovations (5th ed.). New York: Free Press. Roelofsen, P (2002). The impact of office environments on employee performance: The design of the workplace as a strategy for productivity enhancement Journal of Facilities Management, 1 (3). Rossi, P. H., Freeman, H. E. & Lipsey, M. W. (1999). Evaluation: A Systematic Approach (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Russell, M. M. (1991). Cooperative Extension and the land-grant university: A futures history. Journal of Extension 29(2). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Rynes, S. L. & Barber, A. E. (1990). Applicant Attraction Strategies: An Organizational Perspective. Academy of Management Review 15(2), 286310.

PAGE 233

233 Schee r, S. D., Ferrari, T. M., Earnest, G. W., & Conners, J. J. (2006). Preparing Extension Professionals: The Ohio State Universitys Model of Extension Education. Journal of Extension, 44(4). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Schroeder, W. (1980). Typology of Adult Learning Systems. In J. M. Peters and Associates (Eds.), Building an Effective Adult Education Enterprise San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Schuler, R. S. & Jackson, S. E. (1987) Linking competi tive strategies with human resource management practices. Academy of Management Executive 1 207220. Scott, R. V. (1971). The reluctant farmer: The rise of Agricultural Extension to 1914. Urbana: University of Illinois Press Seevers, B., Graham, D. Gamon, J., & Conklin, N. (1997). Education through Cooperative Extension Albany, NY: Delmar. Shieh, W.V. (1990). Using the Delphi technique to determine the most important characteristics of effective teaching in Taiwan Unpublished masters thesis, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio. Sheridan, J. C. (1992). Organizational Culture and Employee Retention. The Academy of Management Journal 35(5), 10361056. Shields, M. & Deller, S. C. (2003). Using Economic Impact Models as an Educational Tool in Community Economic Development Programming: Lessons from Pennsylvania and Wisconsin Journal of Extension, 41(3). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Shore, D. (1997). Shores Commandments for S uccessful Marketing Strategies. Medical Meetings Dec. 1997. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior New York: Free Press. Smith, G. P. (1994). Motivation. In W. Tracey (ed.), Human resources management and development handbook (2nd ed.). Ne w York: Amacom. Smith, M. F., (1991). Criteria for judging excellence. Journal of Extension, 29(1 ). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Smith Lever Act. (1914). Smith -Lever Act of 1914 Retrieved Janu ary 14, 2007 from: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/about/offices/legis/pdfs/smithlev.pdf Somers, M. J. (1995). Organizational commitment, turnover and absenteeism: an examination of direct and interaction effects. Journal of Organization Behavior 16, 49 58. SPSS Inc. (2008 ). SPSS 15.0 for Windows [Computer software]. Chicago: SPSS Inc.

PAGE 234

234 Stacey, N. (1999). Overview of the conference. In How Adults Learn: A Conference Held April 6 8, 1998, Georgetown University Conference Center, Washington, D.C. Sponsor ed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and U.S. Department of Education. U.S. Government Printing Office. ISBN 0 160501482. Stevenson, W. B. (1990). Individual Discretion and Organizational Accountability: Evaluating the Perfor mance of Public Bureaucrats. Sociological Perspectives 33(3), 341354. Stewart, J. (2001). Is the Delphi technique a qualitative method? Medical Education, 35(10) 922923. Stone, B. B. (1997). A Systems Approach to Professional Development. Journal of Extension, 35(2). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org Taylor, A., Aldrich, R. A., & Vlastos, (1998). Architecture Can Teachand the lessons are rather fundamental. Trans forming Education, Winter 1998. Retrieved November 1 1 2007 from http://www.context.org/ICLIB/IC18/Taylor.htm Taylor Powell, E., Douglah, M. & Stanek, K. (1995). Performance monitoring Bringing the L ocal P erspective Pa per presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Evaluation Association, Vancouver, British Columbia. Teece, D. J., Pisano, G., & Shuen, A. (1998). Dynamic Capabilities and Strategic Management. Strategic Management Journal 18(7), 509533. Taylor, C. L., & Summerhill, W. R. (1994). Concept of state major programs and design teams Fact Sheet PE 56. Florida Cooperative Extension Service. IFAS. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. Taylor, R. E., & Judd, L. L. (1989). Delphi method applied to tour ism. In S. Witt, & L. Moutinho, (Eds.). Tourism marketing and management handbook New York: Prentice Hall. Thompson, A. A. Jr. & Strickland, A. J. (2003). Strategic Management: Concepts and Cases (Thirteenth ed.). New York: McGraw Hill. Tranter, A. (2005). More Than Just a Space: The Role of Facilities in Adding Community Value Paper presented at the conference on Community and Leisure Facilities, Melbourne, Australia True, A. C. (1928). A history of agricultural extension work in the United States, 17851923. USDA, Miscellaneous Publication No. 15. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Tyler, R. W. (1949). Basic Principles of Curriculum and Instruction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. UF/IFAS Extension. (2006). Cooperative extension system. Retrieved January 29, 2007, from http://solutionsforyourlife/ additional_pages/who_what.html

PAGE 235

235 UF \ IFAS Extension. (2004). UF \ IFAS Extension Annual Report Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Service UF \ IFAS Extension. (2007). UF \ IFAS Extension Annual Report Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Cooperative Extension Service. Van Buren, M.E. (2001). State of the industry report 2001. Alexandria, Va.: American Society for Training and Development. Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and M otivation New York: Wiley. Warner, P.D. & Christenson, J.A. (1984). The Cooperative Extension Service: A national assessment. Boulder, CO: West view Press. Weaver, W. T. (1971). The Delphi forecasting method. Phi Delta Kappan, 52 (5), 267273. Williams, P.L., & Webb, C. (1994). The Delphi technique: A methodological discussion. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 19, 180186. Wilkinson, K. (1991). Th e Community in Rural America New York, NY: Greenwood Press Wilson, D. & Gill, S. (2003). Promoting Institutional and Organizational Development London: United Kingdom, Department for International Development Woodruff, R. B. (1997). Customer Value : The Next Source for Competitive Advantage. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 25(2), 139 153. Worthen, B.R., Sanders, J.R. & Fitzpatrick, J.L. (1997). Program E valuation: Alternative A pproaches and Practical G uidelines (2nd ed.). New York: Addison Wesley Longman. Youmans, D. (2004). Toward Cross -Cultural Outreach: The Washington State Experience Journal of Extension, 42(2). Retrieved August 5, 2007, from http://www.joe.org

PAGE 236

236 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Bryan Dani el Terry was born in Sioux Falls, SD and grew up in Gainesville, FL where he attended Buchholz High School. After graduating high school, Bryan attended Santa Fe Community College for two years. Prior to graduating with a bachelors degree from the Univer sity of Florida in 1996, Bryan owned and operated movie theatres in Florida. Upon graduation from the University of Florida, Bryan accepted a position as an Extension Agent for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Raleigh, NC. During his tim e as an Extension Agent, Bryan provided administration and leadership for the 4 H Youth Development program in Durham, NC. Bryan attended Kansas State University where he earned a masters degree in agricultural business. In 2000, while completing his thes is, Bryan accepted the position as Coordinator for Statistical Research at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. His primary responsibility was to manage and provide statistical data to support organizational accountability requirements of the Inst itute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. In 2003, Bryan entered the Ph.D. program in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication with an emphasis on extension administration. In addition to his graduate studies, Bryan continued full time employment at the University of Florida. In August, of 2007 Bryan accepted his current position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences at the University of Florida. Bryan is a member of two honor societies, Alpha Tau Alpha and Gamma Sigma Delta. Mr. Terry was married to Tracy Hanna in December of 1991 They have two daughters Shannon and Heather.