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Competencies Essential for Florida Early Career 4-H Agent Success

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Title:
Competencies Essential for Florida Early Career 4-H Agent Success
Creator:
Toelle, Andrew E
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Florida
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University of Florida
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english
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1 online resource (155 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
Agricultural Education and Communication
Committee Chair:
Osborne,Edward Wayne
Committee Co-Chair:
Carter,Hannah S
Committee Members:
Place,Nick T
Pracht,Dale

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
4-h -- competencies -- delphi
Agricultural Education and Communication -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
born-digital ( sobekcm )
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Agricultural Education and Communication thesis, Ph.D.

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Abstract:
The Cooperative Extension service was established in 1914 with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act. It is the role of Cooperative Extension to give non-formal, research-based education to the people. Cooperative Extension is a partnership between the federal, state, and county government and the state Land Grant Universities. 4-H is the youth development arm of the Cooperative Extension System and is housed Florida at the University of Florida. The people who deliver the 4-H program education are known as 4-H agents and the University of Florida has developed many different approaches for preparing 4-H agents early in their careers for success including mentoring, professional support, and professional development opportunities. These supports are based on the competencies, knowledge, skills, and personal characterless, needed for outstanding performance. Many competencies have been identified for agent job success in Florida (Brodeur et al. 2011; Harder, 2015). However, the competencies required for early career 4-H agent success had not been identified. This Delphi study asked three expert panels to identify the competencies required for early career 4-H agent success. The panels were entry-level 4-H agents, 4-H agent mentors, and Regional Specialized 4-H agents. Each panel independently identified competencies essential for early career 4-H agent success. The panels identified 55 year-one and 67 year-three competencies that fall into 16 competency areas. Results of this study help to establish the essential competencies for early career 4-H agent success in the first and third year of employment. These competencies can be used to develop professional training programs to meet the needs of these early career agents. ( en )
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In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
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Includes vita.
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Includes bibliographical references.
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Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
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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.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2019.
Local:
Adviser: Osborne,Edward Wayne.
Local:
Co-adviser: Carter,Hannah S.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Andrew E Toelle.

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UFRGP
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Applicable rights reserved.
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University of Florida Theses & Dissertations

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COMPETENCIE S ESSENTIAL FOR FLORIDA EARLY CAREER 4 H AGENT SUCCESS By A NDREW ERNEST TOELLE A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEG REE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2019

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2019 Andrew E rnest Toelle

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To my family: Stephanie, Drew, and Courtney

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I would not have been able to complete this journey of a doctoral program if not for the support of my family. Team Toelle celebrations throughout this process allowed me to push through when the going got rough and the road long and winding. I especially want to thank my wife Stephanie for understanding of the many evenings and weekends that I spen t working towards this goal. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. I would like to thank Dr. Osborne for his support and guidance. I did not realize when I started this journey how much I would lean on your advice a nd wisdom, not only in dissertations but in life. Your guidance helped me to become a better writer and researcher and your wisdom a better person. For this, I am most grateful. I would like to thank my committee of Dr. Place, Dr. Carter, and Dr. Pracht. You challenged me to be my best and I thank you. Thank you to the faculty of the Agricultural Education and Communication department. You were great teachers and I have become your biggest recruiter. Finally, a hearty thank you to my CED Mike Sweat and DED Dr. Simonne for supporting me for the five years it has taken to complete this journey.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 12 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 14 Early Career Agent Success ................................ ................................ ............ 17 Professional Development ................................ ................................ ................ 18 Professional support ................................ ................................ .................. 19 Mentoring for success ................................ ................................ ................ 19 New agent orientation/Job training ................................ ............................. 20 Competencies ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 21 Problem Statement ................................ ................................ ................................ 22 Purpose and Objectives ................................ ................................ .......................... 23 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 23 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 24 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 25 Assumptions ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 26 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 26 2 LITERATURE REVIEW ................................ ................................ .......................... 28 Theoretical Framework ................................ ................................ ........................... 29 Systems Theory ................................ ................................ ............................... 29 Competencies ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 30 4 H Professional Research Knowledge and Competencies ............................. 30 Career Stages ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 32 Pre Entry ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 33 Entry ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 34 Colleague ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 34 Counselor ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 34 Advisor ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 35 Pre vious Research ................................ ................................ ................................ 35 Agent Attrition ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 35 Professional Development ................................ ................................ ................ 37 Compe tency based Professional Development Models ................................ ... 39 Barriers to Agent Competency Building ................................ ............................ 44

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6 Summary and Conceptual Model ................................ ................................ ............ 45 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 48 Research Design: Delphi Method ................................ ................................ ........... 49 Population and Sample ................................ ................................ ........................... 51 Panel 1: Entry level 4 H Agents ................................ ................................ ....... 51 Panel 2: Agent Mentors ................................ ................................ .................... 52 Panel 3: Region al Specialized 4 H Agents ................................ ....................... 52 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 52 Round 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 53 Round 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 54 Round 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 55 Round 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 56 Validity ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 56 Reliability ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 57 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 58 Chapter Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 59 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 60 Objective 1: Describe the Demographic Characteristics of Each Panel. ................. 61 Objective 2: Identify the Essential Comp etencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent Success in Years One and Three, as Perceived by Entry Level 4 H Agents. ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 61 Delphi Round 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ 61 Delphi Round 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ 61 Delphi Round 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ 62 Delphi Round 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ 63 Objective 3 : Identify the Essential Competencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent success in Years One and Three, as Perceived by Mentors. .................... 63 Delphi Round 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ 63 Delphi Round 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ 63 Delphi Round 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ 64 Delphi Round 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ 64 Objective 4: Identify the Essential Competencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent Success in Years One and Three, as Perceived by RSAs. ....................... 65 Delphi Round 1 ................................ ................................ ................................ 65 Delphi Round 2 ................................ ................................ ................................ 65 Delphi Round 3 ................................ ................................ ................................ 66 Delphi Round 4 ................................ ................................ ................................ 66 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................ .. 83 Methods ................................ ................................ ................................ .................. 83 Summary of Findings ................................ ................................ .............................. 84 Conclusions ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 89

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7 Discussion and Implications ................................ ................................ .................... 90 Recommendations for Practice ................................ ................................ ............... 98 Recommendations for Further Research ................................ ................................ 99 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL ................................ .................. 100 B ASSOC IATE DEAN INTRODUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS ................................ 102 C ROUND 1 PARTICIPATION EMAIL MENTOR PANEL ................................ ........ 103 D ROUND 1 PARTICIPATION EMAIL ENTRY LEVEL PANEL ............................... 104 E ROUND 1 PARTICIPATION EMAIL RSA PANEL ................................ ................ 105 F ROUNDS 1 4 PARTICIPANT FIRST REMINDER EMAIL ................................ .... 106 G ROUNDS 1 4 PARTICIPANT SECOND REMINDER EMAIL ............................... 107 H ROUND 1 SURVEY MENTOR AND ENTRY LEVEL PANELS ............................ 108 I ROUND 1 SURVEY RSA PANEL ................................ ................................ ......... 112 J ROUND 2 SURVEY INTRODUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS ............................... 116 K ROUND 2 SURVEY MENTOR PANEL ................................ ................................ 117 L ROUND 2 SURVEY ENTRY LEVEL PANEL ................................ ........................ 121 M ROUND 2 SURVEY RSA PANEL ................................ ................................ ......... 125 N ROUND 3 I NTRODUCITON EMAIL ALL PANELS ................................ ............... 128 O ROUND 3 SURVEY MENTOR PANEL ................................ ................................ 129 P ROUND 3 SURVEY ENTRY LEVEL PANEL ................................ ........................ 130 Q ROUND 3 SURVEY RSA PANEL ................................ ................................ ......... 131 R ROUND 4 INTRODUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS ................................ ............... 132 S ROUND 4 SURVEY MENT OR PANEL ................................ ................................ 133 T ROUND 4 SURVEY ENTRY LEVEL PANEL ................................ ........................ 136 U ROUND 4 SURVEY RSA PANEL ................................ ................................ ......... 139

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8 V COMPETENCY AREAS ESSENTIAL FOR FLORIDA EARLY CAREER 4 H AGENT SUCCESS ................................ ................................ ............................... 142 W INTEGRATED COMPETENCY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL ...... 146 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ............................. 147 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 155

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1 1 Definition of Terms ................................ ................................ ............................. 24 4 1 Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics: Entry level panel. ................................ ................................ ................................ 67 4 2 Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics: Mentor panel. ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 68 4 3 Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics: RSA panel. ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 69 4 4 Round 1 competencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: Entry level panel. ................................ .................. 69 4 5 Round 2 freque ncy and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: Entry level panel. ...... 71 4 6 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on com petencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year one: Entry level panel. ......... 73 4 7 Round 1 competencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in y ear three: Mentor panel. ................................ ........................ 74 4 8 Round 2 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: Mentor panel. ............ 76 4 9 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year one: Mentor panel. .............. 78 4 10 Round 1 competencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: RSA panel. ................................ ............................ 79 4 11 Round 2 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies ess ential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: RSA panel. ................ 80 4 12 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent suc cess in year one: RSA panel ................... 82 5 1 The essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents. ............................ 85 5 2 The essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by agent mentors. ................................ ........ 87

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10 5 3 The essential comp etencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by RSAs. ................................ ..................... 88 V 1 Competency areas identified by panels in years one and three with the associated competen cies. ................................ ................................ ................ 142 W 1 Integrated professional development model for Florida early career 4 H agents by component and competency area. ................................ ................... 146

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11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Florida Entry Level C ompetency/Skills Training Model ................................ ...... 42 2 2 Conceptual Model for the Study and Development of 4 H Agen t Success. ........ 47

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12 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy COMPETENCIES ESSENTIAL FOR FLORIDA EARLY CAREER 4 H AGENT SUCCESS By Andrew E rnest Toelle August 2019 Chair: Edward Wayne Osborne Major: Agricultural Education and Communication The Cooperative Extension service was established in 1914 with the passage of the Smith Lever Act T he role of Cooperative Extension to give non formal, research based education to the people. Cooperative Extension has been a partnership between the federal, state, and county government and the state l and g rant u niversities. 4 H has been the youth de velopment arm of the Cooperative Extension System and has been housed in Florida at the University of Florida The people who deliver the 4 H program education have been known as 4 H agents and the University of Florida has developed many different approa ches for preparing 4 H agents early in their careers for success including mentoring professional support, and professional development opportunities. These supports have been based on the competencies, knowledge, skills, and personal character istics nee ded for outstanding performance. Many competencies have been identified for agent job success in Florida (Brodeur et al. 2011; Harder, 2015). However, the competencies required for Florida early career agent success had not been identified. This Delphi stu dy asked three expert panels to identify the competencies required for Florida early career agent success in years one and three The panels were

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13 entry level 4 H agents, 4 H agent mentors, and 4 H Regional Specialized A gents. Each panel independently ident ified competencies essential for Florida early career agent success. The panels identified 55 year one and 67 year three competencies that fall into 1 5 competency areas Results of this study help ed to establish the essential competencies for Florida early career agent success in the first and thi rd year of employment These competencies can be used to develop professional training programs to meet the needs of these early career agents.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INT R O DUCTION Background In 1862, the United States of Amer ica was engaged in the titanic struggle of the Civil War. Even in this dark time, forward l ooking legislators were working to impact agricultural education, a move that would extend into the next two centuries. Justin Morrill, a representative from Vermont pus hed for and led pass age of the Morrill A ct of 1862. This act, when signed on July 2 by President Abraham Lincoln, established a law that donated public lands that were to be sold by the states and the proceeds used to create a college for mechanical a nd agricultural arts. These new colleges became known as l and g rant i nstitutions. The Hatch Act of 1887 expanded the role of the land grant institutions by funding research stations. The original act allocated $15,000 to develop agricultur al research fundi ng. This act was followed by the Morrill act of 1890 which expanded the land grant status to the states of the former Confederacy a nd made provisions for creating colleges for black students (National Archives, 2018) The first land grant institution in Florida was the Florida Agriculture College, founded in 1884 This college was combined with three others by the Buckman A ct of 1905, including East Florida Seminary, Normal and Industrial School at St. Petersburg, and South Florida Military College to fo rm the University of the State of Florida in Gainesville. In 1909, this name would be shortened to The University of Florida ( Laws of Florida, 1905 ) It was not until the passage of the of the Smith Lever Act in 1914 that the Cooperative Extension Service w as created. The role of the Cooperative Extension S ervice

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15 Lever, 1914). This practical instruction was to be provided by the local county extension agent and c ounty e xtension agents have continued to fill this mandate today These extension agents have provide d educational programs to people across the state in agriculture, family and community sciences, 4 H and other areas. The story of 4 H has mirrored the st ory of the American 20th century. From its humble roots in the rural youth of America, through wars, civil upheaval, and demographic change, 4 H has changed to remain relevant to the needs of the people of America 4 H ha d its beginnings in 1902 when coun ty agent A. B. Graham started the first agriculture club in Ohio which focused on boys and girls in rural America Graham started the club because he was attempting to teach new agriculture techniques to adults, who were not receptive to change. He convin ced the adults to allow their boys to grow corn using his techniques as a contest. The result was a higher yield for the youth acreage and an adoption of practice for the adults. Thus the first 4 H clubs were used to convince adults to adopt new practices This rural youth club idea grew to other regions. Club work spread to Illinois as another agent, W. B. Otwell started the corn growing contest, which attracted 500 boys in its first year and thus began the segregatio n of boys and girls club work. Thi s club network expanded from the Midwest to other regions as well, including Georgia, Oregon, and Iowa, though they were not yet identified as 4 H. Boys focused on production agriculture, while girls focused on the home arts, such as canning, sewing, and baking. Tomato canning clubs, mostly when Seaman Knapp agreed to sponsor the to mato canning effort for girls. The hiring of county agents T. H. Campbell at Tuskegee University and J B. P ierce at Hampton University brought

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16 the children of black farmers together to form their own clubs. The year 1906 saw the first use of H on a three leafed clover to name the youth club work that was emerging. The original Hs were head, hear t and h ands. The fourth H, hea lth, was later added and in 1913, the title 4 H was adopted ( True, A. 1928; Hinshaw, 1935 ; Reck, 1951 ; Wessel & Wessel, 1982 ) With the passage of the Smith Lever Act in 1914, club work became part of the newly formed Cooperative E xtension Service. Today, the Cooperative Extension Service and 4 H form a multi role partnership with federal, state, and county government partners. Nationally, the Cooperative Extension Service and 4 H are organized in the United States Department of Ag riculture (USDA) under the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). State land grant universities are where 4 H programs are housed. In addition to the government partners, programs work with advisory committees, other non profits, volunteers, an d community coalitions to meet the needs of the people. Every American state and territory offer s 4 H programs. These programs reach over six million youth, engage over 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4 H program staff. The Florida 4 H program engages 200,000 youth and 11,000 volunteers supported by 86 4 H agent FTEs and every extension agent regardless of program area has a 5% 4 H appointment The project activities have expanded substantially from the corn and tomato club days. The 4 Her of today can enga ge in hundreds of projects with supporting research based curriculum in leadership, agricultural science, STEM, healthy living, environmental science, and creative arts. members, scientists, educators, administrative staff, and volunteers, all working to

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17 Florida 4 H has developed into an agent led, volunteer delivered program for teaching life skills to youth. The mission has involved using a learn by doing approach and caring adults to help youth gain the knowledge and life skills they need to H agent has been the p rogram staff responsible for delivering and overall leadership of t he 4 H program in a county. Early Career Agent Success Dalton et al (1997) developed a model that was adapted by Kutilek et al (2002) and expanded by Harder et al (2010) for describing career stages. The stages are pre entry, entry, colleague, and cou nselor/advisor. These stages represent the progression that professionals move through during their careers. The University of Florida system has required that Extension agents apply for permanent status a status similar to tenure n o later than their s eventh year of employment (Tenure and promotion, 2018). This time period from hire to permanent status has mark ed the entry stage of Florida 4 H extension agents. Hensley (2018) discovered that from 2005 2017, the median time that a 4 H agent remained in t he UF/IFAS extension system was 5.52 years. Thus, 4 H agents have most often left Extension before they moved to the colleague stage of their careers. Hiring and training new faculty and then watching them leave has been very costly for Extension over the years. Kutilek (2000) estimated that agent turnover and position vacancies have cost $80,000 annually for Ohio Extension. A report by Gallup found that 21% of the Millennial generation, those born between 1980 and 1996, reported changing jobs in the past y ear three times more than any other generation. This turnover has cost the US economy $ 30.5 billion annually (Gallup, 2016). The costs

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18 coupled with a generation of young professionals looking to change jobs, have heightened the importan ce of train ing an d equipp ing 4 H agents to perform their duties very early in the entry stage of their careers. Professional Development Professional development is the combination of organizational and individual efforts aimed at helping an individual grow and develop on the job (Vergot, 2000). The 4 H agent has held a big responsibility. As the leader of the local 4 H program, they have been responsible for assessing, planning, promoting, delivering, and evaluating the local 4 H program. Other duties have include d scree ning, interviewing, training, and managing volunteers and maintaining oversite of any 4 H association funds held in the county. Finally, 4 H agents have oversee n compliance, child protection, and risk management. In 2019, Florida 4 H ha d over 230,000 membe rs, 11,000 youth and adult volunteers, 40 different project areas and 50 events in which 4 Hers c ould participate (Florida 4 H, 2019). The Program Development and Evaluation Center (PDEC) has been responsible for new agent training for all Extension progra m areas, including agriculture, family, youth, communities, and 4 H. program development and evaluation processes and the enhancement of professional competencies based on the science of Extension. (PDEC, 2019) PDEC has further support ed the UF/IFAS mentor program and has act ed as the clearinghouse for UF/IFAS sponsored professional development. Other professional development opportunities have been sponsored through the 4 H state headqua rters, professional associations, and external partners Kutilek et al (2002) suggested multiple

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19 strategies that can be employed for extension agent success through professional development including professional support, mentoring, and orientation/job t raining Professional support 4 H agent success has continued to be a major push in Florida extension. UF/IFAS has committed to several actions to build 4 H agent success. UF/IFAS has utilized a number of strategies to support new agent success. An initia tive from the Florida state legislature in 2005 allowed 4 H to hire 4 H Regional Specialized Agent (RSA) positions to support 4 H county extension agents. One of the main priorities for these positions was to mentor and train new 4 H agents through their f irst years on the job. The importance of these positions to the overall 4 H program was further affirmed in 2016 when funding for the RSA positions was vetoed in the state budget, and UF/IFAS continued to fund the positions. At the time of this veto, a ne w research initiative was launched to delve into the issue of 4 H agent attrition. This initiative included research that investigated agent satisfaction and 4 H agent attrition. The addition and continued pursuit of the RSAs was a personnel component that UF/IFAS pursued to support 4 H agent success and has continue d to be a priority for UF/IFAS Other individuals in Extension who have support ed the success of early career 4 H agents have included c ounty and d istrict d irectors and various state subject mat ter specialists. Mentoring for success provided both formal and informal mentoring programs (Safrit, 20 06). The positive benefits of

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20 extension mentoring programs were found throughout the literature. Kutilek and Earnest (2001) reported that mentee s increased skills and gained a better understanding of workplace climate. Place and Bailey (2006) reported that both mentors and mentees benefited from the mentoring relationship and called for a statewide mentoring program to be developed in UF/IFAS. The University of Florida heeded the call from Place and Bailey (2006) and he goal of the UF/IFAS Extension Mentoring Program is to establish faculty partnerships through the mentoring program that will contribute to a strong Extension educational program and a smooth transition into the or training program has been available on demand and has cover ed mentoring roles and responsibilities, mentoring interaction, establishing a healthy work/life balance, program development, methods of teaching and learning, and helping new faculty integrate into the organizational culture (PDEC, 2019). Career development was strongly supported as an outcome of mentor/mentee relationships, with information about program development and technical skills being the most useful (Mincemoyer, & Thomson, 1998). Denn y (2016) and others (Stone & Bieber, 1997; Brodeur et al., 2011) identified mentoring as a vehicle for developing competencies in new hires. Finally, Smith et al (2011) identified having a mentor as important to new agent success. New a gent orientation/J ob t raining The first three years have been critical in the su ccess of the new agent (Brodeur et al ., 2011). UF/IFAS has provided a robust new agent training program. All new agents have attend ed an Extension Faculty Development Academy. This program has

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21 i ncluded two sections that are required in the first year of employment. 4 H has been given an additional afternoon of 4 H specific training that has been managed through the state 4 H office. UF/IFAS has committed many resources to supporting new 4 H agent s for early career success. W hether a new 4 H agent has been mentored, coached, or trained, the proper information should be given at the proper time to the correct audience. Extension and 4 H ha ve developed a strategy for doing this, using a competency ba sed professional development approach Competencies McClellen (1973) made the argument that competencies, rather than intelligence, should be considered in the testing of job ability. Competences have been described as ical skills and personal characteristics leading to p. 1 ). Brodeur et al ( 20 11 ) expand ed on this by suggesting that competences be used as the basis for professional development programs They further suggest ed that critical competencies are required during specific times in new agent development F or PDEC mentors, or other supporting personnel to adequately develop new agents, they first must determine the skill s and competencies needed for agents to be succ essful in their positions. To be prepared for the leadership position of a county 4 H program, 4 H agents must develop certain competences to be successful. In 2004 the national professional development task force creat ed the 4 H Professional Research Kno wledge and Competencies ( 4 H PRKC ) M odel. Providing the framework for 4 H agent professional development, t his model identified the six domains of youth development ; youth program development ; volunteerism ; access, equity, and opportunity ; partnership s; an d

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22 organizational systems (Stone & Rennekamp, 2004). Each domain further include d topics, components, and competencies. Development of the 4 H PRKC model was a significant project with each domain containing between fifteen and twenty four competencies. Sh ortly after this development, the Extension Committee on core competency information for Extension staff (p. 32 ) This has led to researchers breaking down the individu al competencies into manageable groups Harder and Dooley (2007) attempted to identify the most important competencies needed by 4 H agents compare d to those in 4 H PRKC They discovered many competencies that were not part of the 4 H PRK model and were, instead, based on job experience. Thus, the use of state specific competencies in conjunction with the 4 H PRKC m odel has become necessary when id e ntifying competencies needed by 4 H agents. Therefore, in order to develop a research based, competency base d professional development program for Florida 4 H agents, the 4 H PRKC must be considered alongside Florida based assessments when identify ing the unique competencies required for new 4 H agent success in the Florida Extension system. Further, time and re source con straints have required that specific competencies be developed with new 4 H agents in a timely manner Problem Statement A gent early career success has been very important and UF/IFAS has devoted many resources to meet this goal Many competenc ies have been identified for agent job success in Florida ( Brodeur et al ., 2011 ; Harder, 2015) However, the competencies required for Florida early career 4 H agent s uccess ha d not been identified.

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23 Purpose and Objectives The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success The objectives of the study were to: 1. D escribe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel ; 2. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent succe ss in year s one and three as perceived by entry level 4 H agents ; 3. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three as perceived by agent mentors; and 4. Identify the essential competencies for Florida ear ly career 4 H agent success in year s one and three as perceived by RSAs Significance of the Study This dissertation wil l greatly benefit UF/IFAS and the Florida 4 H program Once the early career competencies have been identified, the University of Flori professional development program for new 4 H agents can be adjusted to target the competencies identified 00 ) findings, i f more agents have early career success UF/IFAS will avoid the significant costs of hiring and training ne w agents. Further, 4 H programs around the state will experience greater continuity, leading to a team of more successful 4 H agents who are better prepared to meet the needs of the youth of Florida. Mentors w ill benefit by knowing the competencies to addr ess in the mentoring context. CEDs, DEDs, and RSAs will benefit from these findings by having a focused set of competencies essential for Florida early career agent success. Finally, the identified competences can act as a starting point for other Extensio n program areas, as they develop their own competency based professional development program s.

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24 Definition of Terms Table 1 1 Definition of Terms Term Definition 4 H p rogram comprehensive set of activities that includes an educational component tha t is intended to bring about a sequence of outcomes among targeted (youth) ( Israel, Harder, & Brodeur, 2018 p. 1 ) 4 H agents County extension agents with a majority of their appointment assigned to 4 H programming within their county of employment. Agent mentor An agent mentor who (1) had a majority assignment in 4 H programming, (2) had been assigned as a mentor to new 4 H agents in the current year or past year, and (3) had completed the UF/IFAS Extension Mentoring program. Competencies The appli cation of knowledge, technical skills and personal characteristics leading to outstanding performance (Stone & Bieber, 1997). County extension agent (agent, county agent, extension agent) Extension faculty for the University of Florida who work ively with the appropriate State Extension Program Leader, the County Extension Director, and the District Extension Director to develop a county program Directors, 2018). County Extension Direc tor (CED) The administrative leader of all extension programs, regardless of the focus area, within a county (UF/IFAS District Extension Directors, 2018). District Extension Director (DED) leadership and su pport for the administration and supervision of the total extension program within the District Extension Directors, 2018). Early career 4 H agents in their first three years of initial employment in F lorida extension.

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25 Table 1 1. Continued Term Definition Regional Specialized Agent (RSA) Permanent status track agents who serve one of the five a higher level of programmatic expe rtise compared with a (UF/IFAS District Extension Directors, 2018). State Specialized Agent (SSA) (UF /IFAS District Extension Directors, 2018). University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) The location within the University of Florida system where Extension is housed. UF/IFAS is a compilation of 16 departments and schoo ls, 16 research and education centers, the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and Florida Extension ( IFAS Divisions: Schools and departments, 2018). Limitations This study focused on identifying the competencies essential for Florida early career agent success in the Florida Cooperative Extension System, and the findings should be approached with caution when considering their application to other state Extension systems. The sample used will limi t the generalizability of the results to Florida 4 H agents. The sample pool was small, and future research should work to expand the inclusion factors while not diluting the expertise of the panels. Further, the agent pools were not diverse and skewed hea vily towards married white women. Therefore, the competencies generated may reflect this bias. The data base was confusing and contained errors, thus some panel members may have inadvertently been missed. Some participants opted ou t over the course of th e study which may have impacted the findings. The findings generated through this study g a ve a look at a

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26 point in time. As time passes and priorities shift and change, the findings may become less applicable. Assumptions The researcher made several assu mptions for this study. The first was that all Delphi panel members provided their honest opinions about the competencies essential for Florida early career agent success. Second ly the competencies identified by all p anel s were assumed to represent the co mpetencies needed for Florida early career agent job success. The researcher a lso assumed that a unique set of competencies is needed for career success in Extension and those for early career success are a subset of this group All panel members were hea vily engaged in 4 H programming and were, thus, assumed to be inherently motivated to participate in the study. The final assumption was the combined input from the three Delphi panels would represent the competencies needed for Florida early career 4 H ag ent success in Florid a Chapter Summary This chapter outlined the history of E xtension and explained how 4 H fits within this system. T he need for a well trained staff for a strong 4 H program through competency based professional development was also expl ored Agent success especially in 4 H, has been identified as a critical area of focus. UF/IFAS has implemented a diverse strategy to support early career 4 H agent success including RSA hires, mentoring and professional development opportunities. The d evelopment of competency based models for professional development was identified as an excellent method to support early career 4 H agent success. The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent succ ess The impact of this study will potentially be broad and positive for the 4 H program. The list of

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27 competencies needed by early career 4 H agents can help Extension administrators make more informed decisions about 4 H agent hiring and professional deve lopment. Other state Extension programs can use the identified competencies as a starting point in developing their own competency based professional development programs.

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28 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Chapter 1 discussed the history of Extension and how 4 H became p art of this mission The impact of agent turnover in extension was explored as was the efforts to support early career 4 H agent success Chapter 1 further discuss ed competencies and how they fit into a professional development model and the n eed to identify competencies for early career success in 4 H agents. The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success Four objectives were identified to guide the researcher in discovering th ese competencies. These objectives were to : 1. D escribe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel ; 2. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents ; 3. Identi fy the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by agent mentors; and 4. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by RSAs Chapter 2 will explore the literature on competencies related to agent success. This review will be driven by a combination of s ystems t heory, c ompetencies, and c areer stage approaches which will lead to the development of a conceptual framework for com petencies essential for Florida early career agent success Th is chapter is divided into the following broad headings : theoretical framework agent attrition, building competency based professional development models, summary, and conceptual model.

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29 Theoret ical F ramework Systems Theory Systems theory originated in the post World War II era. The early work in s ystems t heor y c a me from V on Bertalanaffy (1968) in his seminal work General S ystems T heory: Foundation, D evelopment, A pplication V on Bertalanaffy prop osed that n characteristics are not explainable from the characteristics of the isolated parts. The characteristics of the complex, therefore, appear as new or emergent... (p. 55 ) Sinc e this publication, systems theory has developed into a multidisciplinary approach that has been used in management, social science, natural sciences, institutions, technologies, and ecosystems (Von Bertalanffy, 1972 ; Mele, Pels, & Polese, 2010). The major tenets of systems theory are homeostasis, self regulation, and equilibrium. Homeostasis is the desire for a system to become balanced or reach equilibrium. Self regulation is the method that a system uses to get to a balanced state, while equilibrium is t he term used to describe a system s state through self regulation and homeostasis (Mele, Pels, & Polese, 2010). Systems theory has been applied to the field of career development. Patton and McMahon (1999) proposed that career development i s dynamic and th at systems theory [are] at th e individual micro (workplace) and macro (political decisions) scale influencing career growth.

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30 Competencies Competencies were introduced by McClellen in 1973 as a reaction to the testing movement within business. McClellen (1973) proposed testers have got to get out of their offices where they play endless word and paper and pencil games and into the (p. 7 ) Stone and Bieber (1997) made the call for competency modeling in E xtension in or der to remain useful and relevant and maintain high quality educational program s. critical strategic issues facing the Cooperative Extension System is how to create an & B ie ber, 1997 p. 1 ). To create the infrastructure to do this, Stone and Beiber (1997) suggested that E xtension should use competency models as decision making tools and defined and personal characteristics leading to outstanding performance (p. 1) Finally, Stone and Beiber (1997) suggest ed based training encourages e xtension educators to assess their level of competence in a given area and participate in train ing that is relevant, useful and often customized to their learning styl e (p. 2 ) 4 H Professional Research Knowledge and Competencies Stone and Rennekamp (2004) published the seminal work for 4 H competencies, New F oundations for the 4 H Y outh D evelopm ent P rofessio n, which became known as 4 H PRKC This study was a nationwide effort to update the professional research knowledge taxonomy ( 4 H PRK) developed by Mississippi State University and Ohio Cooperative Extension Service in 1985 (Hayes & Facinoli, 1988). 4 H PRKC was a qualitative effort led by the National Professional Development Task Force. The task force set three goals:

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31 Update the existing professional research and knowledge base for 4 H ; Identify competencies essential to conducting 4 H youth development ; and Create a foundation for 4 H professional development work The National Professional Development Task Force divided itself into domain teams that were to identify omissions, recommend language that is useful in communicating the body of k nowledge, and establish congruence with current scholarship. Once an environmental scan was completed a draft document was developed shared with a team of experts and posed online for comment. The input from all groups w as then considered for publicatio n in a final document This work identified the following six domains for 4 H a gent competencies : Youth development Utilizing the knowledge of the human growth and development process to create environments that help youth reach their full potential ; Yo uth p rogram d evelopment Planning, implementing, and evaluating programs that achieve youth development outcomes ; Volunteerism Building and maintaining volunteer management systems for the delivery of youth development programs ; Equity, a ccess, and o p portunity Interacting effectively and equitably with diverse individuals and building long term relationships with diverse communities ; Partnerships Engaging youth in community development and the broader community in youth development ; and Organizatio nal s ystems Positioning the organization and its people to work with and on behalf of young people most effectively (Stone & Rennekamp, 2004) An additional six or more components with two or more competencies per component were identified within each do main 4 H PRKC was adopted by the National 4 H Leadership Trust which recognized that:

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32 The study to revise the current 4 H PRK was designed and conducted with methodological rigor and the results reflect the most current research and thinking in 4 H yout h development. The domains and topics listed in the 4 H PRKC (2004) reflect the complexity and sophistication of the 4 H youth development profession and can be used with confidence to guide the 4 H youth development profession academic base. Examples of u se may include research agendas, graduate study, scholarly activities, and youth development degrees and certificate programs. The competencies identified in the 4 H PRKC (2004) represent a composite of the knowledge, skills and behaviors demonstrated by o utstanding 4 H youth development professionals The 4 H PRKC (2004) can be used with confidence in designing job descriptions, individual learning plans, performance management, broad professional development strategies, and professional association initia tives. The 4 H PRKC (2004) will be housed at National 4 H Headquarters. The authority to request modifications or regular updates will be with the National 4 H Leadership Trust. The responsibility of updating the 4 H professional research and knowledge bas e lies with the Director of Youth Development a t CSREES/USDA or their designee(s) at National 4 H Headquarters ( Stone & Rennekamp, 2004 p. 3 ) This was followed by the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) (2005) call for the development o f core competencies for extension staff. Career S tages Dalton, Thomson, and Price (1977) proposed a model of four distinct stages of careers, with each stage representing a different set of tasks that must be mastered for successful career progression. St age I is the apprentice. The apprentice is a learning stage and helping stage often under the tutelage of individuals f a rther along the career stage model. S tage II is the colleague. The colleague is ready to become more independent and has developed a re putation of competence. Many people are content at S tage II and never progress further. Stage III is the mentor. Mentors have

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33 successfully completed S guiding, influencing and developing other peop p. 29 ) S tage IV is the sponsor. Sponsors have successfully moved through all the previous stages and can be described as the influencers of organizational direction. Rennenkamp and Nall (1994) proposed that E xtension should look to the Dalton et al. (1977) model for extension. Rennenkamp and Nall (1994) proposed that the e xtension model have four stages : entry, colleague, counselor, and advisor. Kutilek, Gunderson, and Conklin (2002) further expanded the Rennekamp and Nall (1994) model by defining the different tasks (competencies) that need to be mastered at each stage and the ir impact on professional development. The model was later expanded to include a pre entry stage for county extensio n agents (Harder, Place, & Scheer, 2010 ; Benge, Harder, & Carter, 2011). The Harder et al (2010) study used the Delphi technique to future the pre entry competencies needed for extension agents. The twelve panelists developed a consensus around nineteen competencies. The Benge et al study (20 11) built on the Harder et al (2010) study and surveyed 152 Florida extension agents, identifying 2 4 pre entry competencies. Benge et al (2011) then proposed adding the pre entry competencies to the career stage model. Pre Entry The pre he stage of one's career immediately prior to entering et al. 2011). People functioning in this stage are those actively seeking employment in extension. This may include both graduate and undergraduate college students or people wishing to transfer into extension from another field. Benge et al. (2011) identified six major competencies people in this stage need to master: s elf

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34 management, program development process, communication skills, interpersonal skills, technical/subject matter ex pertise, and teaching skills. Entry This stage represents those beginning their extension career. The major motivators for this stage are understanding the organization, organizational structure and culture, and essential skills needed for job performance (Kutelik et al. 2002). This can be an overwhelming time for the new employee, thus Kuteli k et al. (2002) proposed using a multi faceted systems approach to assist new agents as they move through this stage to include peer mentoring, professional support and orientation/job training. Colleague This stage is marked with individual growth in professional knowledge, independence and autonomy (Kutilik et al. 2002). Rennekemp and Nall (1994) also noted that members at this stage have been accepted as members of the profession and some individuals never move beyond this stage. The main motivators for those in the colleague stage are (a) developing an area of expertise (b) becoming an independent contributor in problem solving (c) developing a professional id entity (d) gaining membership in the professional community (e) expanding creativity and innovation and (f) moving from independence to interdependency (Rennekemp & Nall, 1994). Counselor Th ose in the counselor stage are ready to assume roles to develop other professionals within the organization (Rennekemp & Nall, 1994). They may seek leadership roles on committees and seek opportunities for professional renewal (Kutilik et al 2002). The main motivators identified for those in the counselor stage are

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35 acquiring broad based expertise, attaining leadership positions in professional circles, developing networks with other organizations, stimulating thought in others, counseling other professionals, developing coaching and mentoring relationships, and facil itating self renewal and rebirth (Rennekemp & Nall, 1994). Advisor Advisors are the faculty members wh o s eek key roles within the organization and want to function in roles a ffecting the future of the organization. Those in this stage have a thorough under standing of extension. The motivators for advisors ar e to b ecom e involved in strategic organizational planning ; achiev e the respect of others in the organization ; engag e in innovation and risk taking ; understand complex relationships ; achiev e a position of influence ; "sponsor" individuals, programs, and peopl e ; and assume increas ed responsibility (Rennekemp & Nall, 1994). The Counselor and Advisor stage s are often viewed as similar and are often reported as a single stage (Kutilek, et al 2002; Benge et al 2011) Previous Research Agent A ttrition According to Bradley, Driscoll, and educators often leads to a loss of accumulated knowledge and experience; loss of valuable relationships in the community; temporary vo ids in programming and volunteer participation; and additional strain on the remaining staff (p. 1 ) Filling open positions with persons who are not a good fit can further exacerbate the problem (Arnold & Place, 2011). A heavy financial cost is extracted on extension when replac ing agents (Kutelik, 2000). In addition, those that remain have an additional workload to bear (Brodeur, Higgins, Galindo Gonzales, Craig, & Haile, 2011).

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36 P eople have left E xtension for a myriad of reasons Strong and Harder (2009) conducted a thorough review of the literature related to agent turnover. In this review, the researchers identified maintenance and motivat ional factors for career satisfaction/dissatisfaction. Motivators were found to influence career satisfaction more th an maintenance factor s (Strong & Harder, 2009) This review found the recurring maintenance factors of work/life balance and salary led to job dissatisfaction. Few studies have identified recurring motivators, yet the literature review identified reward sy stems, job satisfaction, and mentoring as motivators Building on motivation, Harder, Gouldthorpe, and Godwin (2014) surveyed county extension staff in Colorado to identify the degree to which presented factors were motivators. The top two motivators ident daily job duties youth rounding out the top five motivators Job Embeddedness T heory was appli ed to E xtension by Young, Stone, Aliaga, and Shuck (2013) to determine why employees stay. The three major areas of study were fit how well employee s perceived that their view s were in alignment with both the organization and the community; links the c onnections with people or the institution; and sacrifice what the employee would be giving up when leaving a current position. They found extension agents had high levels of fitness. Agents also perceived a higher sacrifice to leaving, however, salaries and promotions scored lowest. The area of concern was with links, with agents reporting low linkage within the organization. Martin and Kaufman (2013) investigated the correlation between job satisfaction and commitment and agents intent to leave E xtensio n. The researchers surveyed 480

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37 agents from the southern United States with six or fewer years of extension experience. The intent to leave was highly correlated with both job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Martin and Kaufman went further to s uggest that an assessment of the employment environment and organizational commitment should be conducted to modify practices to improve both and subsequently reduce employee intent to quit. External factors can also have an impact o n extension agent reten tion. Feldhues and Tanner (2017) explored the relationship between funding and agent turnover. The researchers found that staff turnover increase d dramatically when county office funding f ell below $2.00 per capita, while those with $6.00 per capita fundin g were the most stable. An interesting caveat was that volatile, inconsistent funding was also indicative of agent turnover. Generational shift has been identified as a nother external factor that can impact attrition. Millennials have begun comprising a la rger portion of the workforce. Gallup (2016) found that adults of the m illennial generation were three times more than any other generation to report changing jobs in the past year. Further, m illennials want a job with purpose, a coach, constant feedback, where they can use their strengths, and a job that is not their life. Millennials have been the least engaged with their jobs, where engagement is behaviorally and emotionally connected and engagement increases, as does performance, with regular feedback from management. Likewise, Ensle (2005) reviewed several s tate Extension efforts to reduce attrition. She found that difference s in generational work/life expectations can lead to attritio n. Professional Development many types of educational experiences (Mizell, 2010 p. 3 ). This can take place through formal

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38 trainings or informal discussions Extension systems have implement ed various professional development programs to assist facult y. For Extension, p rofessional development has provide d educational opportunities meant to enhance competencies (Garst, Baughman, & Franz, 2014). A review of professional development literature reveal ed many strategies that E xtension uses for professional development. Mentoring and coaching were suggested by K utilek and Earnest (2001) while Senyurekli, Dworkin, and Dickinson (2006) identified workshops/seminars, traditional classroom courses, video conference, online classes and interactive television. Mo re recently, Garst et al (2014) expanded the list to include communities of practice (CoPs), blogs, personal learning environments (PLEs), and massive open online courses (MOOCS). Again, generational differences were discovered as to how extension agents like to receive information, with younger agents being more open to online strategies (Baker & Hadley, 2014). Mentoring unlike most other professional development strategies, is a one on one relationship between fective method of 2010, p.1). Zimmer and Smith (1992) evaluated the mentoring program for Ohio Extension. They found that for the mentor/mentee relationship to be most s uccessful, mentors must be willing to give the time necessary to mentor the early career agent. Further, the greatest benefits from the relationship for the mentee w ere knowledge of Extension policy and procedures and expertise. Vines et al (2018) conduct ed a series of focus groups involving early career agents. They found that early career agents struggled with not knowing mentoring expectations and that their mentors either did not

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39 know how to approach mentoring or lacked the time to effectively mentor. Place and Bailey (2006) conducted a pilot agent mentoring study. This study formed 10 mentor/mentee pairs and evaluated the benefit to both the early career agent and the mentor. They found that mentees benefited by gaining knowledge in managing volunteers developing relationships with clientele, technical skills, and reporting. Mentors reported gaining personal satisfaction and fresh new perspectives on extension and their programs. The study concluded with a call to develop a statewide mentoring program in Extension, outlining seven steps to accomplish this goal. Regardless of the strategy for dissemination, professional development needs to be competency based with the content tied to strategic issue s in Extension (Stone & Bieber, 1997). Identifying and prioritizing competencies i s important when developing competency based professional development models (Harder, 2015) T he career stage should be considered to determine which competency is most impactful (Brodeur et al. 2011) C ompetency b ased Profess ional D evelopment M odels Stone (1997) introduced systems theory to professional development competency modeling for county extension agents. This work suggested that competency based professional development programs are an our on g oing ability to learn as individuals and to accelerate the mission of the organization (p. 2 ) Developing competency models has been described as a participatory process (Brodeur et al 2010). The five stages identified t hrough this process were i dentify ing areas of opportunity, targeting potential audiences, collecting competency data and associated behaviors, building competency models, and communicating the new language of competencies (Stone 1997).

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40 Harder and Dooley (2007) took a career stage approa ch to identify ing competencies for success of new 4 H agent s at the pre entry, entry, and beyond entry stage s Th eir study interviewed opinion leaders to identify career stage based competencies that were then compared with the 4 H PRKC model Pre entry co mpetencies included communication, organizational and people skills. Entry competencies include d conflict management, work/life balance, and multitasking as well as adult education, a competency not found in 4 H PRKC. For the beyond entry stage, the compe tencies identified for the pre entry and entry level stages were still necessary. This suggest ed that to progress, these early career competencies must be mastered. Finally, the competencies learned through experience were the ones least likely to be captu re d in the 4 H PRKC model Harder and Wingenbach (2008) explored the Organizational Systems (OS) domain of the 4 H PRKC model and used the competencies within the OS domain t o create a professional development priority list of competencies. Taking a cens u s of 4 H agents in Texas, Harder and Wingenbach (2008) generated a list of perceived competences, proficiencies and importance. Utilizing a mean weighted discrepancy score enabled the researchers to identify four high priority training needs. These needs w ere practic ing stress management and stress reduction, incorporat ing wellness practices into personal lifestyle, manag ing time effectively, and balanc ing conflicting demands. Scheer, Cochran, Harder and Place (2011) delved further into the pre entry compe tences identified by Harder, Place, and Scheer, (2010). This study compared and contrasted an academic model of the extension human resource model (HRM) with the

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41 Harder et al (2010) competencies. All 19 of the Harder et al (2010) pre entry competencies w ere found within the HRM. S even competencies were unique to the HRM, but Harder et al. (2010) suggested that this m ay have been because the population of the HRM was focused on high/exemplary performers while the Extension competencies focused on entry le vel extension agents. This study discovered the two models were (p. 71 ) These findings were important in that they validated both models and may direct human resource decisions and entry level training for new extension agents. One of the most impactful c areer stage competency based professional development models was developed by Brodeur et al. (2011). This study used the Delphi method to explore the entry stage competencies needed in all new agent profession al development. The Delphi panel was charged with achieving consensus around the competencies needed in the first three, six, twelve, eighteen and thirty six months of employment. The consensus reached for the critical competencies by stage were as follows : Three months roles and responsibilities networking office know how ; Six months p rogramming, networking, utilizing resources ; Twelve months programming, advisory committees, report/collect data ; Eighteen months programming, professional growth, report / data collection ; and Thirty six months p rogramming, competency in field, and professional growth Based on these finding, Brodeur et al (20 1 1) developed the following training model:

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42 Figure 2 1 Florida E ntry L evel C ompetency/ S kills T rainin g M odel ( Brodeur et al 2011) Finally, Brodeur et al (2011) concluded with a powerful call for Extension to heed the competency based, time framed findings to support new agents and thus improv e early career success Baker an d Hadley (2014) conducted a qualitative review of the Kansas State new agent professional development program. The program reviewed used the career stage model proposed by Brodeur et al (201 1 ). Data were collected through f our focus groups of agents who h ad participated in the new agent professional development program within the last five years. The results of the review revealed that the networking aspect of the training was very good, and those that missed after hours networking opportunities missed a v aluable part of the experience. The p ractical timing of training

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43 and time management was found as a concern, with agents concerned about time out of the office and that some of the training came after it wa s needed. Finally, a list of where to go for infor mation, such as a list of specialists paired with their expertise, w as suggested to help new agents navigate their first few years. A review of the competencies driving the North Carolina professional development model was conducted (Lokai, Jayaratne, Mo ore, & Kistler, 2014). This study surveyed a census of extension agents to determine their perceived level of competency proficiency and to identify other competencies needed for 21 st century success. The researchers also examined whether differences exist ed in competency proficiency based on demographic s subject matter, and career stage. Respondents reported a high level of proficiency yet scored the lowest in managing stress and work/life balance Only experience and age were significant as a predictor of competency proficiency with the oldest, most experienced agents being the most proficient Four additional competencies were identified for inclusion into the North Carolina competency model including emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills, adap tability, and managing resources. Cummings, Andrews, Weber, and Postert (2015) developed a case study for developing competency based professional development programs. The case study used a competency based career stage approach. Cummings et al (2015) o utlined a multi pronged approach. This approach required set of trainings during the critical first 36 months of employment. This included the FirstStep program, program excellence academy, online modules a n d 4 H 101 trainings. These required trainings we re supplemented with optional district level events. The content of these events was

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44 competency based utilizing the most recent research in career stage and competencies. Mentors were also assigned to new hire s for their first 24 to 36 months on the job. Cummings et al (2015) recommend ed that Extension: Share best practices ; Balance theory and practice ; Focus on work life balance ; ; Mobilize online and hybrid learning ; Individualize professional development plans ; Involv e employees as stakeholders of professional development ; Use various methods ; and Motivate employees to engage in professional development Barriers to Agent Competency B uilding Lakai, Jayaratne, Moore, and Kist l er (2012) explored the barriers for agents developing professional competencies. This study surveyed 336 extension agents on various factors that are literature identified barriers for professional development. Subjects were asked to complete a four point Likert type scale indicating to what exten t each listed item was a barrier and to list and rate any other barriers not in the initial list. Lakai et al. (2012) identified 11 barriers, with increased workload, lack of time, and lack of funding being identified as the greatest. The authors suggested that t hese barriers c ould be overcome by making the training convenient, rewarding the acquisition of competencies, and provide adequate funding. Harder and Dooley (2007), in addition to identifying early career competencies, further identified that the 4 H PRKC competencies were not factors in agents decision making in selecting professional development opportunities, with responden ts stating o long ed with a call to create a more practical model that would be more usef ul to agents.

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45 Harder, Lamm, and Vergot (2010) explored barriers to professional development of cultural competencies through international extension experiences. This study took a census of Florida extension agents and identified 10 barriers. The top thr ee barriers were financial cost, work obligation, and time commitment. The authors suggested that barriers could be overcome through short experiences, plan ning the events like any other professional conference, allow ing family to attend, travel ing to inex pensive locations, and seek ing external funding. Conklin, Hook, Kelbaugh and Nieto (2002) conducted a census of Ohio extension personal to identify barriers to professional development. The researchers identified five primary barriers including time away from the job, scheduling conflicts, lack of relevant opportunities, to o far to travel, and too much time on the road. Distance methods were proposed to overcome the time constraints but classes were not offer ed at the time using this format. Summary and C onceptual M odel An integrated systems career stages model proposes the following f our career stages : pre entry, entry, colleague, and counselor / advisor. Each stage has a unique set of motivators and competencies that must be mastered to progress. Progressi on is not assumed. This model was combined with general systems and competency theory to create the co nceptual model found in Figure 2.2. The community, university and county are the systems in which the model functions. The next level of education, work experience, mentoring, new agent training and professional support are the formal vehicles by which competencies are learned. The two directional arrows represent the interactive nature of the learning. The progression from stage to stage has a broken line representing that progression is not assumed between stages.

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46 The chapter went on to explore a gent attrition the detrimental impact of attrition on E xtension and the many reasons agents leave. Attempts to alleviate agent attrition through competency ba sed professional development w ere also explored and focused on the entry stage of the model and the five stages identified by Stone (1997) for building competency models which included i dentifying areas of opportunity, targeting potential audiences, colle cting competency data and associated behaviors, building competency models, and communicating the new language of competencies. Methods for identifying competencies for competency based models w ere further explored. Finally, barriers to agents participatin g in professional development opportunities w ere explored.

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47 Figure 2 2. Conceptual Model for the Study and Development of 4 H Agent Success. (Adapted from Dalton, Thompson, & Price, 1977; Rennekemp & Null, 1994; and Benge, Harder & Carter, 2011 ; Von Bertalanffy, 1972).

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48 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Chapter 1 focused on the history of Extension and how 4 H became part of that history. Factors for new 4 H a gent success was explored, and competencies were introduced. The purpose and objecti ves were outlined, while key terms, assumptions, and limitations were outlined. The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success Chapter 2 delved into the theoretical framework that drove thi s research. It was a systems based, career stage, competency model. Relevant literature was reviewed along four major axes which included agent attrition, professional development, building competency models and barriers to agent competency building Thi objectives, which were to: 1. D escribe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel ; 2. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents ; 3. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by agent mentors; and 4. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by RSAs Specifically, Chapter 3 outlines the research design, population and sample, instrumentation, data collection and data analysis techniques. The research was conducted under the University of Florida I nstitutional Review Board protocol IRB 201802838 which was approved prior to the collection of data (Appendix A)

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49 Research Design: Delphi Method The Delphi method uses a panel of experts to answer questions posed by a researcher to come to a consensus. The Delphi procedure is a multi round or iterati ve process in which a panel of experts answer questions from a researcher, with the preceding round dictating the questions asked in subsequent rounds (Werner, 2017). These questions can be posed to the panel ei ther through electronic or pen and paper means (Geist, 2010). The process continues until the panel attains consensus as defined by the researcher Previous research has suggested that two or three iterations are necessary to achieve consensus (Ludwig 19 97 ; Delbecq, Van de Ven, & Gustafson, 1975). The Delphi method has been utilized extensively to develop consensus in competency model building (Brodeur et al ., 2011 ; Harder et al 2010). This technique was pioneered by Dalkey and Helmer (1962) of the RAN D corporation. Lindsone and structuring a group communication process so that the process is effective in allowing a group of individuals, as a whole, to deal with a com proposed that the Delphi approach may be used if one or more of the following are true: The problem does not lend itself to precise analytical techniques but can benefit from subjective judgments on a collective basis; Th e individuals needed to contribute to the examination of a broad or complex problem have no history of adequate communication and may represent diverse backgrounds with respect to experience or expertise; More individuals are needed than can effectively i nteract in a face to face exchange; Time and cost make frequent group meetings infeasible;

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50 The efficiency of face to face meetings can be increased by a supplemental group communication process; and Disagreements among individuals are so severe or polit ically unpalatable that the communication process must be refereed and/or anonymity assured (p 4). Previous research has identified several advantages to the Delphi method. Dalkey (1969) proposed three key advantages of the Delphi method First is the anon ymity of the participants to each other. This does not allow for strong willed or domineering individuals to control the conversation. Second is controlled feedback. C ontrolled feedback is a process where the researcher summarizes previous rounds and prese nts that summary in subsequent rounds. Third is statistical group responses. T consensus. Hsu and Sandford (2007) proposed a multi round Delphi model beginning with an open ended first round followed by subsequent rounds until consensus is reached. The current study utilized a three panel four round design. Round 1 was an exploratory round where panelists identified competencies for 4 H agent success. A summary of Roun d 1 responses was presented in Round 2 for consensus building and panelists w ere request ed to list any further competencies not represented in Round 1 responses Round 3 was a consensus building round to identify competencies needed for early career succe ss in the first three years of employment identified in Rounds 1 and 2 with the addition of any additional ly identified competencies while Round 4 identified the essential competencies for Florida early career agent success in the first year of employmen t.

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51 Population and Sample Inclusion criteria that are strictly followed should be at the core of any Delphi study. These panelists should be knowledgeable of the topic being explored, willing to participate, and able to give responses in a timely manner (A dler & Ziglio, 1996). The size of Delphi panel s is variable (Delbecq, Van de Ven, & Gustafson, 1975). Most panels are between 10 and 15 individuals. However, studies using much larger panels are not uncommon (Hsu & Sandford, 2007). For this present study, three separate panels were convened. The first panel was comprised of 4 H agents with three to six years of experience. The second panel consisted of 4 H agents that actively mentor early career 4 H agents ha d an assigned mentee, and had completed the UF/ IFAS mentoring program The third panel consisted of 4 H Regional Specialized Agents (RSAs). A census was used to form the three Delphi panels. Panel 1: Entry level 4 H A gents The early career agent panel was a census of 4 H agents that ha d completed their third through sixth years as a University of Florida 4 H agent. 4 H agents were defined as those with a majority of their appointment assigned to 4 H programming. This year frame was chosen due to the intricacies of the IFAS system that requires 4 H agent s to submit a preliminary review packet at three years and then a final promotion and permanent status packet no later than year seven This list was generated through new hire records kept at the State 4 H Office. These agents were selected based on their proximity to the early career experience being explored. A total of sixteen agents w ere identified. All agents that comprised the sample received every round of the questionnaire, regardless of their nonresponse in the preceding round.

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52 Panel 2: Agent M ent ors The mentor panel consisted of all extension agents who (1) had a majority assignment in 4 H programming, (2) had been assigned as a mentor to new 4 H agents in the current year or past year, and (3) had completed the UF/IFAS Extension Mentoring program The researcher was able to identify and access this group through mentoring records maintained by the UF/IFAS Extension Program Development and Evaluation Center (PDEC) A total of eleven agents w ere identified for the Delphi mentor panel. Any agents tha t met the criteria for both Panel 1 and 2 were randomly assigned to either Panel 1 or 2 Panel 3: Regional Specialized 4 H Agents The third panel was a census of the f our Florida Extension 4 H RSAs. RSAs were agents in permanent track status that serve d on e of the five administrative districts in Florida. One of the primary job roles for these faculty wa s to mentor new 4 H agents. The researcher was able to identify and access this panel through the University of Florida directory. One of the RSAs was on sa bbatical and unavailable to participate in the study T hus a total of four RSAs w as identified for this panel. Data Collection A combination of the tailored design method for survey research, as suggested by Dillman et a l (2014), and the Delphi technique proposed by Hsu and Sandford (2007) was used to implement this study. Dillman et al was used to develop survey instruments and for the implementation of the Delphi. The tailored design method call ed stomize or tailor their survey design Dillman et al. (2014) suggest ed three broad guidelines when implementing a study using email These guidelines are for designing a

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53 web and mobile device friendly questionnaire, s urvey implementation, and quality control and testing. A ll surveys used in this study were developed using the program Qualtrics which is designed for online questionnaires Qualtrics allows the researcher to develop and track surveys, export data to o ther more powerful statistical programs, protect data, return mail envelope. Further, Qualtrics was developed to optimally present questionnaires across computer and m obile devices S ubjects can save progress for later completion and navigate within the questionnaire. Dillman et al (2014) offered guidelines for increas ing response rate which were followed in this study Multiple contacts were used as a vehicle to inc rease response rate including pre survey announcements from the Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader for 4 H Youth Development, Families and Communities and two follow up reminder email s. A ll notifications were short and to the point. Su rveys were strategically sent out to arrive in the subjects email I nboxes before the workday began. All contacts with panel members were via email and included a personal salutation. All surveys were viewed using the preview function in Qualtrics that s hows how the questionnaire is presented on both mobile and computer platforms and on actual devices. Undeliverable emails and inquiries from study participants were addressed within one day of receipt Finally, all data w ere securely stored on a password p rotected platform. Round 1 An initial email letter of invitation was sent out by the Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader for 4 H Youth Development, Families and

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54 Communities advising panel member s of their selection for the study and enco uraging them to participate (Appendix B ). The following day members of the three Delphi panels received individualized email s with the Qualtrics link to the first survey ( Appendices C through E ). The link led panel members to an introduction to the study and the informed consent required before they could progress to the formal questionnaire (Appendix H and I ). The Round 1 survey should be open ended (Hsu & Stanford, 2007). Following this guidance and in alignment with the entry stage identified by Brodeur et al. (2010), the initial survey was open ended and asked each panel member to identify the competencies needed for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment (Appendix H and I) Following the Dillman et al (2014) procedure for reducing no n response error, the researcher sent a follow up reminder email two days after the initial survey distribution to all panel members who had not completed the survey reminding them of the study, encouraging them to participate, and directing them to the s urvey website (Appendix F ). A second reminder email was sent ten days after the first (Appendix G ) Three days after the second reminder letter, t he surveys were closed, R ound 2 instrument. Round 2 All competencies identified in R ound 1 were presented in the R ound 2 survey s ( Appendi x J and L ) The survey used a Likert type scale with the following four options: strongly disagree, disagree, agree, and strongly agree. Previous research suggest e d that when given a neutral option, respondents were more likely to select that option so a neutral option should be omitted when true opinions are desired (Jo hns, 2005). Thus

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55 t he researcher decided to not have a neutral option Consensus should be define d before the study is conducted (Williams and Webb, 1994). Consensus was defined when two thirds (67.7%) of the panel members agree d or strongly agree d with an item (Warner, 2017; Connor, Roberts, & Harder, 2013; Diaz, Warner, & Web, 2018). Panel members w ere also invited to list additional essential competencies that were not included on the list derived from the Round 1 responses. Panel members were sent an email request to participate in Round 2, with a link directing them to the survey site (Appendix J ). A reminder email was sent three days after the initial request to participate with a link to the Round 2 survey (Appendix F ). Four days after the first reminder letter a second reminder letter was sent (Appendix G) T he survey was closed ten days late r and the r esults compiled The competencies that did not reach consensus were presented in the Round 3 survey, as were any new competencies identified in Round 2. Round 3 Competencies that failed to reach two thirds agreement ( a gree, s trongly a gree) in Ro und 2 were listed in the Round 3 instrument. Panel members were given their Round 2 response and percent agreement achieved for each of these competencies in Round 2. They were then asked to confirm their agreement or change their response for each of thes e items. Any new competencies identified in Round 2 were also presented Panel members were invited to indicate their level of agreement with each of these competencies as essential for Florida early career agents (Appendices N through P) Round 3 follow ed a pattern similar to that used in Round 2. Panel members were sent an email request to participate in Round 3 with a link directing them to the survey site (Appendix N ). A reminder email was sent three days after the initial request to

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56 participate wit h a link to the Round 3 survey (Appendix F ). A second reminder was sent three days after the first (Appendix G) T he survey was closed three days after the second reminder T he researcher compiled the results using SPSS to identify those competencies that had reached the two thirds consensus level. The competencies that reached the two thirds consensus in Rounds 2 and 3 were then developed into the Round 4 survey. Round 4 The Round 4 survey listed the competencies that achieved consensus in Round s 2 and 3 as essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job Panel members chose a simple yes/no response beside each competency to indicate if they thought the competency was critical for 4 H agents in the ir first year of employment ( Appendi ces Q through S ). As in Round 3, p anel members were sent an email request to participate in Round 4 with a link directing them to the survey site (Appendix N ). A reminder email was sent three days after the initial request to participate with a link to the Round 3 survey (Appendix F ). A final reminder email was sent four days later, and Round 4 closed three days after the final reminder email was sent (Appendix G) Due to a progra ming error that sent the second reminder to the e ntry level panel on the same d ay the survey was to close thus not giving the panel adequate time to respond a third reminder was sent out to the a gent mentors, with the survey closing four days later. Validity 2010 p. 225 ). Goodman (1987) suggested that threats to content validity can be reduced by following these guidelines: select panel members who are

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57 knowledgeable about and interested in the topic, use multiple rounds, and increase th e response rate of the participants. Helmer (1983) confirmed that the Delphi method produces convergence towards the true value, with the first two rounds expressing the of the participants must be preserved to assure validity of the results, i.e., avoidance of 4). Wounenberg (1991) conducted an extensive review of the reliability of Delphi research. He concluded th at the factors that played the highest role in the validity of group judgment methodologies were not related to the technique, but to other factors, such as motivation of participants and quality of instructions. All panel members were heavily engaged in 4 H programming and were, thus, assumed to be inherently motivated to participate in the study. Reliability Reliability is the consistency with which an instrument measures what it intends to measure (Ary et al ., 2010). In general, the Delphi method defies traditional reliability measures (Hassan et al ., 2000). However, steps can be taken to control for reliability threats. Jillson (1975) suggested a set of standards to increase rigor for Delphi research and these were followed in this study. These standar ds were as follows : M ak e sure the method matche s the research question ; E stablish criteri a for the selection of panel member s ; R igorous ly design and implement the questionnaires for each round ; and M ak e recommendations based on the results Dalkey (196 9) reported that a group size of 13 would reach a reliability level of .90 and further reported that an increase in group size would increase reliability. However,

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58 Florida Extension has only f our RSAs for the 4 H program, so this group comprised the RSA pa nel. Data Analysis The unique competencies submitted by respondents to the open ended question in Round 1 were simply inserted into the Round 2 questionnaire for each respective panel Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data from Rounds 2 thr ough 4. Any r esponses that were not deemed as competencies w ere excluded from the Round 2 and subsequent questionnaire s In Round 2 respondents were asked to indicate their level of agreement with each listed competency as essential for Florida early car eer agent success. A four point, Likert type scale was used (1= s trongly d isagree, 2= d isagree, 3 = a gree, 4 = s trongly a gree). Frequencies and percentages were calculated for each competency for each panel in Rounds 2 using Qualtrics Panels were further tas ked to identify any additional competency that was left out in Round 1. These responses were analyzed and included in the Round 3 survey. The competencies identified by each panel were kept separate for all Rounds Round 3 asked panel member s to review an y competency that did not reach consensus in Round 2 and either confirm or change their answer. The RSA panel reach ed full consensus in Round 2 so this request was omitted. The new competencies identified in Round 2 were presented for consensus, using the same four point Likert scale used in R ound 2. In Round 4 panel member s were asked to indicate the consensus competencies identified by their respective panel that are critical in the first year of employment as a 4

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59 each competency were calculated. Chapter Summary Chapter 3 opened with a summary of the previous two chapters and provided information about the research design, data collection and analysis. The Delphi method was used to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success Early career was identified as the first three years of employment. First year competencies were also identified. Three separate groups of experts were empaneled. The first panel was comprised of 4 H agents in their third through sixth years of employment, while the second panel included of 4 H agents who mentor ed other 4 H agents in their first three years of employment and who had completed the IFAS Extension M ent or P rogram The final panel consisted of the f our Florida Extension 4 H RSAs. Three rounds were required for the panels to reach consensus o n the essential competencies A fourth round was used to identify those competencies that are critical in the first year of employment as a 4 H agent. Validity was established using Goodman (1987) suggestions of selecting panel members who are knowledgeable about and interested in the topic, using multiple rounds, and increasing the response rate of the participants. R eliability w as addressed by following Jillson (1975) suggest ions to match the method to research question, establish criteri a for panel members, and use rigorous design and implement procedures for each round. The tailored design method ( Dillman et al. 2014) was used to de velop the questionnaires and implement the data collection process for each round. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.

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60 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Chapter 1 was an introduction to competencies and developed the reasoning for the study. The history of Extension was presented and the chapter explored the various factors leading to new 4 H agent success. The purpose and research objectives were presented, key terms were defined, and assumptions and limitation s were discussed. Ch apter 2 explored the conceptual and theoretical framework that dr o ve this study. Relevant literature was reviewed. This review identified a gap in knowledge as to the competencies needed for Florida early career agent success. Chapter 3 outlined the method ology that was used to conduct this study. The Delphi technique was used. The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success P rocedures for panel selection, data collection and data analysis we re outlined, and consensus was defined. The following chapter contains the findings of the study. These findings are presented by objective, with the findings from each the Delphi r ound indicated The purpose of this study was to identify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success The objectives of the study were to: 1. D escribe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel; 2. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three as perceived by entry level 4 H agents ; 3. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by agent mentors; and 4. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent succe ss in year s one and three, as perceived by RSAs The results demonstrate d the consensus building process as each panel identified the competencies essential for Florida early career agent success.

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61 Objective 1 : Describe the Demographic Characteristics of E ach P anel. The participants of this study were divided into the following three panels : e ntry level agents, a gent mentors, and RSAs. The entry level agent panel consisted of 16 members. Twelve members responded in Round 1 for a response rate of 75%. Two r esponses did not contain data and were removed from the analysis resulting in a usable response rate of 63% ( n =10) A summary of the frequencies for the entry level panel can be found in Table 4 1. The m entor panel contained eleven members. Round 1 had a response rate of 9 1 % ( n =10) One response contained no data and was removed from the analysis resulting in a usable response rate of 82% A summary of the mentor demographics can be found in Table 4 2. The RSA panel contained four members. Three of the fo ur responded for a response rate of 75%. The size of county demographic was not asked of this panel since they were assigned a region and not an individual county. A summary of the RSAs demographics can be found in Table 4 3 Objective 2 : Identify the E ss ential Competencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent Success in Year s One and Three, as P erceived by Entry L evel 4 H A gents Delphi R ound 1 The Round 1 instrument was open ended, and the same instrument was used for each panel. Panelists were asked to li st all the competencies that 4 H agent s need to be successful in their first three years of employment. The responses were used to construct the Round 2 instrument The entry level panel identified 42 competencies A list of the unique Round 1 competencies can be found in Table 4 4 Delphi R ound 2 The Round 2 survey for the entry level panel was crated based on the competencies identified in Round 1. The survey contained two tasks. The first task

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62 asked panelists to ra te the given competencies from s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree and s trongly d isagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. However, two responses contained missing data thus, consensus was computed using eight responses. Two competencies conduct did not reach consensus T he Round 2 results are summarized in Table 4 5. The second task was an open ended question to review the given competencies that had just been rated and generate any new comp etencies that may be missing As in Round 1, the open ended responses received were evaluated, and the results were used to develop the Round 3 questionnaire. T he entry level panel identified the following two additional competencies b e innovative and b e willing to learn. The Round 2 response rate was 56% ( n =9). Delphi Round 3 The Round 3 surveys were created based on the Round 2 responses, with each panel individual given a unique survey. The panelists were tasked with two items. First was to ra te the competencies generated from the Round 2 open ended response on a scale of s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree or s trongly d isagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Both competencies achieved consensus The second task was to reconsider the two competencies from Round 2 that had not reached consensus. To perform this task, panelists were given their Round 2 response and the percent agreement from Round 2 and invited to either confirm or change their re sponse The panel confirmed its non consensus for the competencies

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63 conduct research and write for scholarly audiences The Round 3 response rate was 63% ( n =10) Delphi Round 4 The Round 4 survey presented the panelists with the competencies that had re ached consensus in Rounds 2 and 3. P anelist s were requested to identify a competency as essential for 4 H agent success in the first year on the job by responding yes or no A total of 42 competencies w as presented to the panel. The entry level panel did n ot reach consensus on two competencies T he Round 4 responses are summarized in Table 4 6 The Round 4 response rate was 63% ( n =10). Objective 3 : Identify the E ssential C ompetencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent success in Year s One and Three, as P er ceived by M entors. Delphi Round 1 The Round 1 instrument was open ended, and the same instrument was used for each panel. Panelists were asked to list all the competencies that 4 H agent s need to be successful in their first three years of employment. The responses were used to construct the Round 2 instrument. The agent mentor panel identified 35 competencies. A summary of the competencies can be found in Table 4 7. Delphi Round 2 The Round 2 surveys was cr e ated based on the competencies identified in Roun d 1. Each survey contained two tasks. The first task asked panelists to ra te the given competencies from s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree and s trongly d isagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. The response rate for Round 2 was 100% ( n =11). However, o ne response contained no data The mentor panel formed a consensus on all but one competency write for

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64 scholarly audiences 3 survey, as this competency reached consensus in Round 2 and are presented with the Round 2 results found in Table 4 8 The second task was an open ended question to review the given competencies that had just been rated and to generate any new competencies that ma y be missing. As in Round 1, the responses were used to develop the Round 3 questionnaire. The mentor panel generated t wo new competencies : a ccept feedback and manage risk. Delphi Round 3 The Round 3 surveys were created based on the Round 2 responses, wi th each individual given a unique survey. The mentor panel was tasked with two items. First was to ra te the competencies generated from the Round 2 open ended response as either s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree or s trongly d isagree with a competency being e ssential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job Both accept feedback and manage risk reached consensus, with 100% strongly agreeing ( M = 1.0, SD = 0.0) with both competencies. The second task was to reconsider competencies from Rou nd 2 that had not reached consensus. To perform this task, panelists were given their Round 2 response and the percent agreement from Round 2 and invited to either confirm or change their response The panel confirmed its non consensus on the competency w rite for scholarly audiences The response rate for Round 3 was 73% ( n =8) Delphi Round 4 The Round 4 survey presented the panelists with the 34 competencies that had reached consensus in Rounds 2 and 3. Panelist s were requested to identify a competency as being essential for 4 H agent success in the first year on the job by

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65 responding yes or no. The response rate for Round 4 was 73% ( n =8). The mentor panel did not reach consensus on eight competencies T he Round 4 responses are summarized in Table 4 9 Ob jective 4 : Identify the Essential Competencies for Florida Early Career 4 H Agent Success in Year s One and Three, as Perceived by RSAs Delphi Round 1 The Round 1 instrument was open ended, and the same instrument was used for each panel. Panelists were as ked to list all the competencies that 4 H agent s need to be successful in their first three years of employment. The responses were used to construct the Round 2 instrument. The RSA panel identified 28 competencies and are found in Table 4 10 Delphi Roun d 2 The Round 2 surveys were cr e ated based on the competencies identified in Round 1. Each survey contained two tasks. The first task asked panelists to ra te the given competencies from s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree and s trongly d isagree with a competenc y being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. The results are shown in Table 4 1 1 The RSAs reached consensus on all competencies. The second task was and open ended question to review the competencies generated in Round 1 an d generate any new competencies that may be missing. The open ended responses were analyzed and then used to develop the Round 3 questionnaire. The RSA panel identified three additional competencies including m aintain focus when moving from one task to an other, manage time, and set and remain focused on priorities The response rate for Round 2 was 100% ( n =4).

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66 Delphi Round 3 The Round 3 surveys were created based on the Round 2 responses. Unlike the m entor and e ntry level panels, the RSA panel was tasked w ith only one item because t he RSA panel had reached consensus for all competencies listed in Round 2. Therefore, the y were only and were asked to ra te the competencies generated from the Round 2 open ended question, using the scale s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree or s trongly d isagree to indicate their agreement with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. The panel reach ed consensus on all three competencies The response rate for Round 3 was 100% ( n =4). Delp hi Round 4 The Round 4 survey presented the panelists with the 3 1 competencies that had reached consensus in Rounds 2 and 3. Panelist s were requested to identify a competency as being essential for 4 H agent success in the first year on the job by respondi ng yes or no The response rate for Round 4 was 100% ( n =4). The RSA panel did not reach consensus on 1 5 competencies (Table 4 12 ).

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67 Table 4 1. Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics : Entry level panel Demographic chara cteristic % ( n =10) Education BA/BS 10 MA/MS 80 EdD/PhD 10 Sex Male 10 Female 90 Age 20 29 50 30 39 20 40 49 10 50+ 20 Marital status Married 90 Never married 10 Ethnicity White 90 Hispanic/Latino 10 Years worked in Exte nsion 3 20 4 30 5 30 6 10 7 10 County population Rural, under 10,000 people 10 Town, 10,000 50,000 people 40 Suburb of city, less than 50,000 people 10 Central city, 50,000 people or more 40

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68 Table 4 2. Frequency and percentage of resp ondents by demographic characteristics: Mentor panel Demographic characteristic % ( n =9) Education BA/BS 11 MA/MS 78 EdD/PhD 11 Sex Male 11 Female 89 Age 30 39 33 40 49 22 50+ 45 Marital status Married 89 Widowed 11 Ethnicity White 89 Indian/Alaska native 11 Years worked in Extension 8 11 9 11 11 11 12 11 13 11 15 11 20 23 29 11 County population Town, 10,000 50,000 people 56 Suburb of city, less than 50,000 people 33 Central city, 50,000 people or more 1 1

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69 Table 4 3. Frequency and percentage of respondents by demographic characteristics : RSA panel Demographic characteristic % ( n =3) Education MA/MS 100.0 Sex Male 66. 7 Female 33.3 Age 30 39 33.3 40 49 66.7 Marital status Mar ried 66. 7 Never married 33.3 Ethnicity White 100.0 Years worked in Extension 12 33.3 18 66.7 Table 4 4. Round 1 c ompetencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three : E ntry level panel. Competency Manage time Communicate orally Remain flexible Manage conflict Demonstrate patience Balance work/life Be open minded Maintain commitment Communicate in written form Participate in and lead teams Lead people and programs Maintain professiona lism Build relationships with clientele See programs from different perspectives

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70 Table 4 4. Continued Competency Manage personal stress Be creative Build relationships with extension personnel Collaborate with others Maintain a high standard of ethics Be people oriented Organize files and workspace Demonstrate expertise in youth development Evaluate programs Be a self starter Demonstrate a strong work ethic Use software applications Develop and manage volunteers Teach youth Communica te with youth Write for scholarly audiences Develop budgets and manage funds Report program outcomes and impacts Set and remain focused on priorities Solve problems Plan and design programs Conduct research Display confidence Understand the histo ry, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H Teach adults Use social media Market programs Maintain ethical behavior

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71 Table 4 5. Round 2 f requency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three : Entry level panel. Competency Strongly A gree % Agree % Disagree % Strongly D isagree % Mean Standard Deviation Manage time 77.78 22.22 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.42 Communicate orally 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47 Remain flexible 88.89 11.11 0.00 0. 00 1.11 0.31 Manage conflict 77.78 22.22 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.42 Demonstrate patience 77.78 22.22 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.42 Balance work/life 88.89 11.11 0.00 0.00 1.11 0.31 Be open minded 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Maintain commitment 62.50 37.50 0.00 0.0 0 1.38 0.48 Communicate in written form 44.44 55.56 0.00 0.00 1.56 0.50 Participate in and lead teams 44.44 44.44 11.11 0.00 1.67 0.67 Lead people and programs 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47 Maintain professionalism 77.78 22.22 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.42 Bu ild relationships with clientele 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47 See programs from different perspectives 55.56 33.33 11.11 0.00 1.56 0.68 Manage personal stress 77.78 22.22 0.00 0.00 1.22 0.42 Be creative 33.33 66.67 0.00 0.00 1.67 0.47 Build relation ships with extension personnel 44.44 55.56 0.00 0.00 1.56 0.50 Collaborate with others 77.78 11.11 11.11 0.00 1.33 0.67 Maintain a high standard of ethics 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47 Be people oriented 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47 Organize files and workspace 22.22 55.56 22.22 0.00 2.00 0.67 Demonstrate expertise in youth development 33.33 44.44 22.22 0.00 1.89 0.74

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72 Table 4 5. Continued Competency Strongly Agree% Agree% Disagree% Strongly Disagree% Mean Standard Deviatio n Evaluate programs 0.00 88.89 11.11 0.00 2.11 0.31 Be a self starter 66.67 22.22 11.11 0.00 1.44 0.68 Demonstrate a strong work ethic 55.56 44.44 0.00 0.00 1.44 0.50 Use software applications 11.11 66.67 22.22 0.00 2.11 0.57 Develop and manage volunt eers 55.56 33.33 11.11 0.00 1.56 0.68 Teach youth 55.56 44.44 0.00 0.00 1.44 0.50 Communicate with youth 55.56 44.44 0.00 0.00 1.44 0.50 Write for scholarly audiences* 11.11 33.33 55.56 0.00 2.44 0.68 Develop budgets and manage funds 25.00 50.00 25.00 0.00 2.00 0.71 Report program outcomes and impacts 44.44 44.44 11.11 0.00 1.67 0.67 Set and remain focused on priorities 44.44 55.56 0.00 0.00 1.56 0.50 Solve problems 66.67 22.22 11.11 0.00 1.44 0.68 Plan and design programs 55.56 44.44 0.00 0.00 1.44 0.50 Conduct research* 11.11 22.22 66.67 0.00 2.56 0.68 Display confidence 44.44 55.56 0.00 0.00 1.56 0.50 Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H 33.33 55.56 11.11 0.00 1.78 0.63 Teach adults 66.67 22.22 11.11 0.00 1.44 0. 68 Use social media 11.11 66.67 22.22 0.00 2.11 0.57 Market programs 33.33 66.67 0.00 0.00 1.67 0.47 Maintain ethical behavior 66.67 33.33 0.00 0.00 1.33 0.47

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73 Table 4 6 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Fl orida early career 4 H agent success in year one: Entry level panel Competency Percent (%) Manage time 100 Communicate orally 100 Remain flexible 100 Manage conflict 100 Demonstrate a strong work ethic 100 Develop and manage volunteers 100 Solve pr oblems 100 Communicate with youth 100 Market programs 100 Maintain ethical behavior 100 Balance work/life 100 Be open minded 100 Maintain commitment 100 Communicate in written form 100 Maintain professionalism 100 Build relationships with clientel e 100 Be willing to learn 100 Manage personal stress 100 Demonstrate patience 90 Lead people and programs 90 See programs from different perspectives 90 Build relationships with extension personnel 90 Collaborate with others 90 Maintain a high stan dard of ethics 90 Organize files and workspace 90 Be a self starter 90 Use software applications 90 Set and remain focused on priorities 90 Plan and design programs 90 Display confidence 90 Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H 90

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74 Table 4 6. Continued Competency Percent (%) Teach adults 90 Participate in and lead teams 80 Be creative 80 Teach youth 80 Develop budgets and manage funds 80 Report program outcomes and impacts 80 Be people oriented 80 Use social media 70 Demonstrate expertise in youth development 70 Be innovative* 60 Evaluate programs* 50 *Consensus not achieved Table 4 7 Round 1 competencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: M entor panel Competency Manage time Communicate orally Remain flexible Manage conflict Demonstrate patience Balance work/life Be open minded Maintain commitment Communicate in written form Participate in and lead teams Acquire external funding Multita sk Be willing to learn Organize files and workspace Demonstrate expertise in youth development Evaluate programs Be a self starter Be people oriented Demonstrate a strong work ethic Use software applications Develop and manage volunteers

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75 Table 4 7. Continued Competency Teach youth Develop budgets and manage funds Report program outcomes and impacts Set and remain focused on priorities Maintain resiliency Demonstrate compassion Be a good listener Develop partnerships Network Demonstra te expertise in 4 H delivery modes Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming Demonstrate expertise in one or more project areas Engage in professional development Write for scholarly audiences

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76 Table 4 8 Round 2 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: Mentor panel Competency Strongly Agree% Agree% Disagree% Strongly Disagree% Mean Standard Deviation Manage time 90.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 1.10 0.30 Communicate orally 90.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 1.10 0.30 Remain flexible 90.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 1.10 0.30 Manage conflict 90.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 1.10 0.30 Demonstrate patience 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Balance work/life 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Be open mind ed 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Maintain commitment 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Communicate in written form 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Participate in and lead teams 40.00 30.00 30.00 0.00 1.90 0.83 Acquire external funding 30.00 40.00 20.00 10.00 2.10 0.94 Multitask 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Be w illin g to learn 100.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 Organize files and workspace 30.00 40.00 20.00 10.00 2.10 0.94 Demonstrate expertise in youth development 20.00 70.00 0.00 10.00 2.00 0.77 E valuate programs 30.00 50.00 20.00 0.00 1.90 0.70 Be a s elf starter 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Be people oriented 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Demonstrate a strong work ethic 90.00 10.00 0.00 0.00 1.10 0.30 Use software applications 50.00 40.00 10.00 0.00 1.60 0.66

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77 Table 4 8. Continued Competency Strongly Agree% Agree% Disagree% Strongly Disagree% Mean Standard Deviation Develop and manage volunteers 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Teach youth 70.00 20.00 10.00 0.00 1.4 0 0.66 Develop budgets and manage funds 50.00 40.00 10.00 0.00 1.60 0.66 Report program outcomes and impacts 40.00 40.00 20.00 0.00 1.80 0.75 Set and remain focused on priorities 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Maintain resiliency 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Demonstrate compassion 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Be a good listener 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Develop partnerships 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Network 70.00 30.00 0.00 0.00 1.30 0.46 Demonstrate expertise in 4 H delivery mod es 20.00 50.00 30.00 0.00 2.10 0.70 Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming 30.00 50.00 20.00 0.00 1.90 0.70 Demonstrate expertise in one or more project areas 30.00 50.00 20.00 0.00 1.90 0.70 Engage in professional development 80.00 20.00 0.00 0.00 1.20 0.40 Write for scholarly audiences* 20.00 30.00 30.00 20.00 2.50 1.02 *Consensus not achieved

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78 Table 4 9 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year one: M entor panel Competency Percent (%) Manage time 100 Communicate orally 100 Remain flexible 100 Manage conflict 100 Demonstrate patience 100 Balance work/life 100 Be open minded 100 Maintain commitment 100 Communicate in written form 100 Be w illing to learn 100 Accept feedback 100 Manage risk 100 Be a s elf starter 100 Demonstrate a strong work ethic 100 Maintain resiliency 100 Demonstrate compassion 100 Be a good listener 100 Network 100 Multitask 87 Organize files and workspace 87 Be people oriented 87 Develop partnerships 87 Teach youth 87 Develop and manage volunteers 75 Set and remain focused on priorities 75 Engage in professional development 75 Develop budgets and manage funds* 50 Report program outcomes and impacts* 5 0 Participate in and lead teams* 37 Evaluate programs* 37 Demonstrate expertise in youth development* 25

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79 Table 4 9. Continued Competency Percent (%) Demonstrate expertise in 4 H delivery modes* 25 Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and pro gramming* 25 Demonstrate expertise in one or more project areas* 25 *Consensus not achieved Table 4 1 0 Round 1 competencies identified as essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: RSA panel Competency Communicate orally Communicate in written form Remain flexible Manage conflict Lead people and programs Maintain professionalism Follow through on commitments Be a good listener Think critically Exercise judgment Make decisions Deal with ambiguity Work with diverse audiences Be culturally competent Follow safe procedures Maintain wellness Organize files and workspace Demonstrate expertise in youth development Evaluate programs Be a self starter Be people oriented Solve problems Plan and design programs Multitask Engage in professional development Empower youth Accept feedback

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80 Table 4 1 1 Round 2 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year three: RSA panel Competency Strongly A gree % Agree % Disagree % Strongly D isagree % Mean Standard Deviation Communicate orally 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Communicate in written form 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Remain flexible 75. 00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Manage conflict 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Lead people and programs 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43 Maintain professionalism 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Follow through on commitments 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Be a good listener 100.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 Think critically 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Exercise judgment 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Make decisions 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Deal with ambiguity 0.00 100.00 0.00 0.00 2.00 0.00 situations 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Work with diverse audiences 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43 Be culturally competent 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43 Follow safe procedures 100.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.00 0.00 Main tain wellness 50.00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50 Organize files and workspace 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43

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81 Table 4 11. Continued Competency Strongly Agree% Agree% Disagree% Strongly Disagree% Mean Standard Deviation Demon strate expertise in youth development 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43 Evaluate programs 0.00 75.00 25.00 0.00 2.25 0.43 Be a self starter 75.00 25.00 0.00 0.00 1.25 0.43 Be people oriented 25.00 50.00 25.00 0.00 2.00 0.71 Solve problems 75.00 25.00 0.0 0 0.00 1.25 0.43 Plan and design programs 25.00 75.00 0.00 0.00 1.75 0.43 Multitask 25.00 50.00 25.00 0.00 2.00 0.71 Engage in professional development 50.00 25.00 25.00 0.00 1.75 0.83 Empower youth 25.00 50.00 25.00 0.00 2.00 0.71 Accept feedback 50. 00 50.00 0.00 0.00 1.50 0.50

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82 Table 4 1 2 Round 4 frequency and percentage of responses on competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year one: RSA panel Competency Percent (%) Communicate orally 100 Communicate in written form 100 Maintain professionalism 100 Follow through on commitments 100 Exercise judgment 100 Be a good listener 100 Follow safe procedures 100 Be a self starter 100 Be people oriented 100 Manage time 100 Remain flexible 75 Set and remain focused on priorities 75 Solve problems 75 Accept feedback 75 Think critically 75 Make decisions 75 Manage conflict 50 Lead people and programs 50 Maintain wellness 50 Organize files and workspace 50 Multitask* 50 Engage in professional development 50 Maintain focus when moving from one task to another* 50 Empower youth* 50 Plan and design programs* 25 25 Work with diverse audiences* 25 Be culturally competent* 0 Demonstrate expertise in youth dev elopment* 0 Evaluate programs* 0 Deal with ambiguity* 0 *Consensus not achieved

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83 CHAPTER 5 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS 4 H a gent early career success has been critical, and UF/IFAS has devoted many resources to meet this goal. Many comp etencies have been identified for agent job success in Florida (Brodeur et al., 2011; Harder, 2015). However, the competencies required for Florida early career agent success had not been identified prior to this study The purpose of this study was to ide ntify the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success The objectives of the study were to: 1. D escribe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel ; 2. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents; 3. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by agent mentors; and 4. Identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in year s one and three, as perceived by RSAs Methods A four round, three panel Delphi design was used to identify the competencies essential for the success of early career 4 H agents The three panels were entry level 4 H agents 4 H agent mentors, and RSAs. Round 1 was open ended and invited all panelist to list the essential competencies for Florida early career agent success in the first three years of employment. The responses from each panel were summarized and used to deve lop the Round 2 questionnaires. Round 2 was a consensus building round using the competencies identified in Round 1, and panelists were invited to list any additional competencies that they fe lt

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84 were left out. The survey used a Likert type scale consisti ng of s trongly a gree, a gree, d isagree, and s trongly d isagree. Consensus was set at two thirds agreement with strongly agree or agree. The competencies that did not achieve consensus were again presented in Round 3. Further, any additional competencies ide ntified through the open ended questions were also presented in the Round 3 survey. The Round 3 survey asked panelist s to review their previous response s for the competencies that had not reached consensus and to confirm or change their response. The addi tional competencies identified in Round 2 were presented for the panelist s as an opportunity to build consensus. These responses were evaluated by each respective panel to determine consensus. All of the competencies that reach ed consensus in Rounds 1 and 2 were then compiled into the Round 4 survey. Round 4 was a consensus building round for panelist s This round utilized a yes/no survey to identify the competencies that were essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Summary of Fin dings The first objective was to describe the demographic characteristics of each Delphi panel. The characteristics described were education, sex, age, marital status, ethnicity, years worked in extension, and county population, with county population remo ved from the RSA survey. The entry panel members had a broad spectrum of county size. Most had completed advanced degrees. This was not unexpected, in that in order to remain employed within the University of Florida system, significant progress towards a M arried, white, millennial females comprised the majority of each Delphi panel

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85 The mentor panel was slightly less diverse in the county population size than the entry panel, and the members of the mentor panel were older, as expected. They also had more extension experience than the entry panel. Like the entry panel, the mentor panel consisted primarily of married, white females. All RSA panel members had advanced degrees and considerable extension experience. This was the on ly panel where males and females were more equally represented. Objective 2 was to identify the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents. This panel reached consensus on 40 competencies in year one and 42 in year three (Table 5 1) The entry panel reported that 95% of the year three competencies were also required in year one. Table 5 1. The essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by entry level 4 H agents. Competency y ear 1 Competency y ear 3 Manage time Manage time Communicate orally Communicate orally Remain flexible Remain flexible Manage conflict Manage conflict Demonstrate a strong work ethic Demo nstrate a strong work ethic Develop and manage volunteers Develop and manage volunteers Solve problems Solve problems Communicate with youth Communicate with youth Market programs Market programs Maintain ethical behavior Maintain ethical behavior Ba lance work/life Balance work/life Be open minded Be open minded Maintain commitment Maintain commitment Communicate in written form Communicate in written form Maintain professionalism Maintain professionalism Build relationships with clientele Build relationships with clientele

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86 Table 5 1 Continued Competency y ear 1 Competency y ear 3 Be willing to learn Be willing to learn Manage personal stress Manage personal stress Demonstrate patience Demonstrate patience Lead people and programs Lead people and programs See programs from different perspectives See programs from different perspectives Build relationships with extension personnel Build relationships with extension personnel Collaborate with others Collaborate with others Maintain a high st andard of ethics Maintain a high standard of ethics Organize files and workspace Organize files and workspace Be a self starter Be a self starter Use software applications Use software applications Set and remain focused priorities Set and remain focus ed priorities Plan and design programs Plan and design programs Display confidence Display confidence Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H Teach adults T each adults Participate in and lead teams Participate in and lead teams Be creative Be creative Teach youth Teach youth Develop budgets and manage funds Develop budgets and manage funds Report program outcomes and impacts Report program outcomes and i mpacts Be people oriented Be people oriented Use social media Use social media Demonstrate expertise in youth development Demonstrate expertise in youth development Be innovative Evaluate programs Objective 3 was to identify the essential competen cies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by agent mentors. This panel reach consensus on 26 competencies in year one and 34 in year three. A complete list

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87 of identified competencies can be found in Table 5 2 The mentor panel reported that 76% of the year three competencies were also required in year one. Table 5 2. The essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by agent mentors. Competency year 1 Compe tency year 3 Manage time Manage time Communicate orally Communicate orally Remain flexible Remain flexible Manage conflict Manage conflict Demonstrate patience Demonstrate patience Balance work/life Balance work/life Be open minded Be open minded M aintain commitment Maintain commitment Communicate in written form Communicate in written form Be willing to learn Be willing to learn Accept feedback Accept feedback Manage risk Manage risk Be a self starter Be a self starter Demonstrate a strong wo rk ethic Demonstrate a strong work ethic Maintain resiliency Maintain resiliency Demonstrate compassion Demonstrate compassion Be a good listener Be a good listener Network Network Multitask Multitask Organize files and workspace Organize files and w orkspace Be people oriented Be people oriented Develop partnerships Develop partnerships Teach youth Teach youth Develop and manage volunteers Develop and manage volunteers Set and remain focused on priorities Set and remain focused on priorities Eng age in professional development Engage in professional development Develop budgets and manage funds Report program outcomes and impacts Participate in and lead teams

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88 Table 5 2. Continued Competency year 1 Competency year 3 Evaluate program s Demonstrate expertise in youth development Demonstrate expertise in 4 H delivery modes Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming Demonstrate expertise in one or more project areas Objective 4 was to identify the essential competenci es for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by RSAs. This panel identified 16 competenc i e s in year one and 31 in year three. A complete list of the competencies can be found in Table 5 3 The RSA panel reported that 5 2 % of the year three competencies were also required in year one. Table 5 3. The essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agent success in years one and three, as perceived by RSAs Competency year 1 Competency year 3 Communicate orally Communi cate orally Communicate in written form Communicate in written form Maintain professionalism Maintain professionalism Follow through on commitments Follow through on commitments Exercise judgment Exercise judgment Be a good listener Be a good listener Follow safe procedures Follow safe procedures Be a self starter Be a self starter Be people oriented Be people oriented Manage time Manage time Remain flexible Remain flexible Set and remain focused on priorities Set and remain focused on priorities

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89 Table 5 3. Continued Competency year 1 Competency year 3 Solve problems Solve problems Accept feedback Accept feedback Think critically Think critically Make decisions Make decisions Manage conflict Lead people and programs Maintain wel lness Organize files and workspace Multitask Engage in professional development Empower youth Maintain focus when moving from one task to another Plan and design programs Work with diverse audien ces Be culturally competent Demonstrate expertise in youth development Evaluate programs Deal with ambiguity Conclusions Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were drawn: The Florida Extension entry level agent and mentor 4 H agent pool s, which are fully included in the respective Delphi panels for this study, are not diverse, with married women heavily represented and all panels predominantly white. E ntry level 4 H agents see very little differentiation between the compe tencies essential for 4 H agent success in year s one and three. Extension agents who mentor entry stage 4 H agents see moderate differentiation between the competencies essential for Florida early career agent success in year s one and three. 4 H Regional Specialized Agents (RSAs) see a substantial difference between the competencies essential for Florida early career agent success in year s one and three.

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90 4 H RSAs differentiate the competencies essential for 4 H agent success in years one and three to a mu ch greater degree than either entry stage agents or agents who are serving as mentors to new 4 H agents. Overall, entry stage 4 H agents, new 4 H agent mentors, and 4 H RSAs are consistent in their views on the year three competencies that are essential f or entry stage 4 H agent success. Entry stage 4 H agents, new 4 H agent mentors, and 4 H RSAs see a very large number of competencies as essential for Florida early career agent success in years one and three Specific competencies essential for Florida early career agent success, as perceived by the three Delphi panel participants in this study, can be broadly grouped into competency areas for greater utility in 4 H agent preparation and professional development. Discussion and Implications These fin dings suggested little diversity among these 4 H agent groups in Florida. There could be many factors in play that create d this issue. The college majors from which 4 H agents are recruited agriculture, family and consumer science, and education are he avily female, with white females earning more degrees than any other demographic (NCES, 2017). Thus, the pool of qualified 4 H agents is necessarily skewed towards white females. However, the University of Florida is an affirmative action organization, and m ore research is needed to determine the factors leading to this lack of diversity. An area of inquiry might include the effectiveness of marketing efforts This demographic difference can impact the applicability of these findings to persons not of the r epresented demographic. Further study is needed to determine whether men and minorities have a higher attrition rate in their extension careers and thus were not in the panel, or if the panel member s were representative of the current hiring trends in Fl orida 4 H

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91 The Delphi technique was an effective method to determine the essential competences as perceived by the identified panels. The panels were small even though a census of the available respondents was used However, the panel selection criteria allowed for the researcher to explore different perspective s by career stage and role to identify competencies and develop consensus on the competencies that each panel member felt were essential. This would not have happened if the same pool had been used to form one large panel. Even if one large panel had been formed, the responses would have been influenced by each perspective, and it would have been impossible to get true perspectives had each panel been divided out post survey. However, the RSA pool wa s extremely small. Future studies should strive to develop criteria that include the RSA yet opens up the panel more for persons who may serve in like roles, such as CEDs that mentor early career 4 H agents or counselor/advisory level 4 H agent mentors Even this expansion would not get the unique perspective of the RSA who has as a job function to mentor new 4 H agents and acts as a key liaison between county and state 4 H operations, so caution is warranted in expanded panel selection. Though essenti al competencies were identified, a follow up study is necessary to determine the level of mastery of the identified competences This assessment can then be used to development i ndividualized professional development programs. The entry panel generated th e most competences, followed by the mentor panel and then the RSA panel. The entry panel reported that 95% of the year three competencies were also required in year one, while the mentors reported 76% and the RSAs 56%. The RSA panel year one competences fo cused on communication,

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92 developing professionalism and conducting safe programs Mu lti tasking, leadership, program design and development, and expertise were not perceived as essential until year three The RSA panel competencies tended to be weighted to wards professionalism and professional growth, while the entry panel responses reflected a more programmatic expression. The mentor panel was a mix of the two. The m entor panel and RSA s agreed that in year one c ommunication, developing professionalism, and conducting safe programs were essential However, the m entors further identified volunteer development and management organization al skill, and multi tasking as a year one competency. Like the RSAs, leadership and expertise in an area are not expected un til year three w hile the e ntry panel identified all the focus areas of the m entor and RSA panels in both years one and three. This major consensus in the competencies for years one and three could lead the entry level panel to feel that everything is impo rtant which highlights the need for clarification as to expectations for success. Further, the volume of competencies wa s overwhelming. The entry stage 4 H agents, new 4 H agent mentors, and 4 H RSAs s aw a very large number of competencies as essential f or Florida early career agent success. This will make organizing the competencies into manageable areas imperative in developing professional development programs To address this issue, the year one and year three competenc ies were further analyzed by the researcher placing like competencies into 1 5 competency areas The 1 5 competency areas are budget management, communication, conflict management, decision making and problem solving, Extension knowledge, initiative and productivity, interpersonal, learni ng and professional

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93 development, networking and collaboration, professionalism, programming, self care/resilience, team leadership, technology use, volunteer management, and youth development. A full listing of the competency areas and the associated compe tencies can be found in Appendix V. An integration of the professional development components of traditional professional development, mentoring, and professional support, including CEDs, DEDs, and RSAs, can be developed to address these competency areas. This integration would specify the competenc y area focus for each component. Traditional in service programs cover the competency areas of budget management, Extension knowledge, programming, technology use, volunteer management, and youth development. CED s would address initiative and productivity while DEDs address professionalism. The RSA competency areas are conflict management, decision making and problem solving, learning and professional development, and team leadership. Finally, mentors would focus on interpersonal, network and collaboration, and self care/resilience. There may overlap between c omponents and competency areas However, the integrated model reflects the component that will take the lead in the specified competency area. The communicati on area is absent from this model, as communication is a pre entry competency. The integrated approach would diversify and codify the expectations of those guiding new 4 H agents in their competency building towards career success. New curricula would need to be developed to address each component. The integrated profession development model can be found in Appendix W. These findings were in line with previous research (Harder & Dooley 2007; Brodeur et al., 2011), which reported that most of the competencie s needed for early

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94 career success were within the 4 H PRKC organizational system domain. A unique competency found in both the m entor and RSA panel was accept feedback. More research is needed on this to determine if it is generational in nature, in that millennials, the age of the new 4 H agents being mentored by experienced agents and RSAs, are more likely to question processes. year expectation wa s not in line with other research. Fox, Sasser, and Arcemont (2013) found that the more years of experience, the more perceived competence in youth development. Perhaps this competency and beyond. The rejection of the competencies conduct research and write for scholarly audiences was unexpected This wa s in sharp contrast to the f uturing study o f Harder, Place, and Scheer (201 0 ) which identified applied research skills as an essential competency for entry level extension educators. This finding wa s interesting in that the University of Florida 4 H agent positions are permanent status track a track like tenure, with an expectation of scholarship within E xtension in order to be promoted and remain employed. More research is needed to determine if the essentialness of th ese research oriented competenc ies changes as agents move towards the final years of the entry stage. Competency building begins before a new pers on in hired. Benge, H arder, and C arter ( 2011 ) proposed a p re e ntry stage to the professional development model. Many of the entry competencies for early career success that were identified by this study are found in th is model. Th erefore very careful cons ideration should be made when hiring

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95 new 4 H agents. If not, the potential exists for making the first three years on the job devoted to teaching new hires the competencies that they should already have. A ctions can be taken to improve pre entry competenci es and hiring practices Many competencies are acquired through formal classwork. The competencies identified in this study can be used by university faculty members to assess their coursework. This would be especially important in departments where many 4 H county faculty members are trained such as Agricultur al Education and Communication (AEC) and Family, Youth, and Community Sciences (FYCS). Additions or deletions from current syllabi c ould be made based on the competencies identified in this study. I nternships have been identified as a way for potential employees to learn pre entry competencies. Harder and Dooley (2007) reported that the participants in their related insight. It is poss ible this experience helped to hasten the learning curve, making it easier to progress more rapidly as a new agent (p. 8). The University of Florida has offered internship programs for county extension (IFAS, 2019). However, more study is needed to determ ine if these opportunities are being utilized for those wishing to pursue a career in Extension and if so, if they are meeting the pre entry competency needs of the intern participants. V olunteering for 4 H programs is another method that can be used to build competencies. P otential volunteers that wish to competency build for future 4 H agent careers would need to have responsibilities much like an intern Further, both H extension

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96 before applying for a position. This would be another screening tool for people to self select whether to apply. The University of Florida is currently using competency based job descriptions (Simonne, 2019) This study and others have identified written a nd verbal communication skills as essential ( Benge, Harder, & Carter, 2011; Harder & Dooley, 2007 ) Thus writing samples can be added to the application packets and topical presentations can be an ongoing part of the interview process. Degree fields can also be expanded to include non profit management/leadership. Finally, interview questions can be asked to gain a better understanding of the mastery of essential pre entry competencies. On c e new agents have been hired they should work to quic kly gain the identified essential competencies. Therefore gaps in knowledge of essential competencies need to be quickly identified and strategies developed for professional development. Self assessments can be developed to assess proficiency. However, so metimes a new hire studies such as this one can provide insight into the competencies that are essential for early 4 H agent career success and these can be used as a basis for these self assessments. The Uni versity of Florida has developed a county faculty priority competency model (Harder, 2015). The order of priorities are program planning and development, extension teaching, program evaluation, subject matter expertise, extension organization and administr ation, professionalism and professional development, information and communication technologies, external linkages, volunteer development and interpersonal leadership. The number one priority of program planning and

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97 development is in line with the 4 H PRKC s organizational systems domain was also the competency area identified most often as essential in the Harder (2015) model Th e Harder (2015) model is comprehensive and has been developed as a template for county faculty. However, with the strong voluntee r component of 4 H, volunteerism may need to be a higher priority competency for entry level 4 H agents. Finally, Florida 4 H should hire a state faculty member to fill th e volunteer specialist role. The University of Florida has been committed to new 4 H agent success. However, even with this support and commitment, 4 H agent attrition has still been significant Further research is needed to determine the factors that lead to attrition. A study that delves into the impact of the acquisition, or lack the reof, of competencies on 4 H agent attrition would be in order. Another stud y delving into how the components of the system impact agent attrition would also be in order. Other factors that lead to 4 H agent attrition may not be related to competencies. M illennial attitudes conflict with the extension evaluation system. The current model is an annual evaluation with little to no other feedback throughout the year. This conflicts with the millennial need for coaching and constant feedback (Gallop, 2016) B y changing the system and adding an expectation that the CED or other direct supervisor give more timely feedback may alleviate this issue. T he seemingly overwhelming number of competencies needed to be a successful early career 4 H agent may lead to furth er attrition As noted in this study, the year one and year three competencies identified by the entry panel had 95% overlap. This overlap signals an expectation of early competency and a steep learning curve for competency acquisition This study identifi ed the competencies essential for Florida early career 4 H agent success. Now

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98 that they have been identified, a level of competence can be set. Competencies can be identified as developing, basic proficient, and mastery. Setting the level of competence wou ld alleviate the stress new 4 H agents may feel in needing expertise in these competencies very early in their careers. This study identified 55 first year and 12 additional third year competencies in 1 5 competency areas The competences identified can se rve Extension in several ways. These findings can be shared with those who create professional development opportunities and mentor new 4 H agents, improving their ability to train and mentor new 4 H agents. Additionally, those who are a part of the hiring process can use this research to better target individuals that have necessary pre entry competences. This will reduce the training effort and better set up new 4 H agents for early career success. Recommendations for Practice Base on this study, the foll owing recommendations for practice we re offered: 1. Develop internship and volunteer programs that encourage competency building for individuals interested in a 4 H agent career. 2. Develop a marketing plan to target diverse audiences for inclusion into hiring pools. 3. Continue to u se pre entry competencies when screening applicants for new 4 H agent positions. 4. Integrate t he competencies identified in this study into self assessment tools for first and third year 4 H agents to develop individualized professional development programs 5. I ntegrate mentoring and professional support with traditional professional development programs by targeting specific competencies each component should address 6. Integrate the essential competencies for Florida early career 4 H agen t success into mentor training for those that mentor entry level 4 H agents. 7. Develop a fact sheet outlining the essential competencies for Florida 4 H agent early career success for distribution to CEDs, DEDs, and RSAs.

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99 8. Adjust the current University of Flo rida priority competencies for year one for 4 H agents; prioritizing volunteerism competencies over external linkages and subject matter expertise. 9. Develop a fact sheet outlining the essential competencies for Florida 4 H agent early career success for dis tribution to faculty in Agricultur al Education and Communication (AEC) ; Family, Youth, and Community Sciences (FYCS) ; and other academic units teaching coursework that prepare s students for 4 H careers. 10. Develop supporting curriculum for the integrated prof essional development model. Recommendations for F urther R esearch Based on this study, the following recommendations for further research we re offered: 1. A study of the competencies essential for early career success for all county agents should be conducted to discover the overlap and shared competencies with all 4 H agents Time and resources are barriers for professional development. If overlapping competencies can be identified, professional development programs can reach more agents and become more effic ient. 2. A study should be conducted to determine the factors that support or hinder new 4 H agents in acquiring competencies. By determining these factors, adjustments can be made to remove barriers and include more support factors. 3. A study to determine the preferred delivery method by competency is needed. There are many ways to deliver professional development. This would inform practice and assist in building an integrated professional development model. 4. A longitudinal study should be conducted to follow 4 H agents from year one through year three, assessing the effectiveness of the professional development efforts in helping new 4 H agents acquir e essential competencies. 5. A study should be conducted on the competencies needed for agent success at the coll ea gue, counselor and advisor stage of agent careers As agents progress through their careers, new competencies are needed. By identifying other career stage competencies, all agents can be supported with professional development throughout the span of the ir careers. 6. A study should be designed to explore 4 H agent attrition and how competency acquisition or lack thereof impacts agent attrition. 7. A study should explore the system portion of the conceptual model for the study and development of 4 H agent suc cess as well as the impact of components of the system on agent attrition.

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100 APPENDIX A INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL Behavioral/NonMedical Institutional Review Board FWA00005790 PO Box 112250 Gainesville FL 32611 2250 Telephone: (352) 3 Facsimile: (352) Email: irb2@ufl.edu DATE: 2/8/2019 TO: Andrew Toelle FROM: Ira Fischler, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus Chair IRB 02 IRB#: IRB201802838 TITLE: Dissertation Competencies essential for early career 4 H agent succe ss Approved as Exempt You have received IRB approval to conduct the above listed research project. Approval of this project was granted on 2/8/2019 by IRB 02. This study is approved as exempt because it poses minimal risk and is approved under the foll owing exempt category/categories: 2. Research that includes only interactions involving educational tests (cognitive, diagnostic, aptitude, achievement), survey procedures, interview procedures, or observation of public behavior (including visual or audito ry recording) if at least one of 3 criteria are met: (i) the information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of the human subjects cannot readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects ; (ii) any disclosure of the human subjects' responses outside the research would not reasonably place the subjects at risk of criminal or civil liability or be damaging to the subjects' financial standing, employability, educational advancement, or reputa tion; OR (iii) the information obtained is recorded by the investigator in such a manner that the identity of human subjects can readily be ascertained, directly or through identifiers linked to the subjects, and an IRB conducts a limited review to make th e determination required by 45 CFR 46.111(a)(7) (which relate to there being adequate provisions for protecting privacy and maintaining confidentiality) AND the research is not subject to subpart D. Special notes to Investigator (if applicable): In th e myIRB system, Exempt approved studies will not have an approval stamp on the consents, flyers, emails, etc. However, the documents reviewed are the ones that should be used. So, under ATTACHMENTS you should find the document that has been reviewed and

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101 a pproved. If you need to modify the document(s) in any manner, then you'd need to submit to our office for review and approval prior to implementation. Principal Investigator Responsibilities: The PI is responsible for the conduct of the study. Important re sponsibilities described at the above link include: Using currently approved consent form to enroll subjects (if applicable) Renewing your study before expiration Obtaining approval for revisions before implementation Reporting Adverse Events Retention of Research Records Obtaining approval to conduct research at the VA Should the nature of the study change or you need to revise the protocol in any manner please contact this office prior to imple mentation. Study Team: Edward Osborne Other The Foundation for The Gator Nation An Equal Opportunity Institution Confidentiality Notice: This e mail message, including any attachments, is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s), and may contain legally privileged or confidential information. Any other distribution, copying, or disclosure is strictly prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please notify the sender and destroy this message immediately. Unauthorized access to c onfidential information is subject to federal and state laws and could result in personal liability, fines, and imprisonment. Thank you.

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102 APPENDIX B ASSOCIATE DEAN INT RO DUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS Dear 4 H faculty, The Florida 4 H program is supporting a research study on the competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. This study will utilize the Delphi technique and your input to first identify c ompetencies, then develop a consensus on the competencies needed for early career 4 H agent success. The competencies identified through this research can then be used to develop targeted professional development opportunities for our newest faculty. In th e next day or so you will receive an e mail from Andy Toelle, 4 H Agent IV in Duval county and doctoral candidate in the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. He will be requesting your participation in this study. The survey should t ake no more than 15 minutes to complete. I would greatly appreciate your participation in this study. Thanks for your assistance, Mike ____________________________________________________________________ Michael S. Gutter, Ph.D. l Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader for 4 H Youth Development, Families and Communities 1020 McCarty Hall D l PO Box 110210 l Gainesville, FL 32611 (352) 392 1761 l msgutter@ufl.edu

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103 APPENDIX C ROUND 1 PARTICIPATION EMAIL MENTOR PANEL I hope the day finds you well! On Monday, Dr. Gutter, Associate Dean for Extension and State Program L eader for 4 H Youth Development, Families & Communities, informed you of a study that is being supported by Florida 4 H. The purpose of this study is to identify the competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. In order to accomplish this goa l, I need your assistance. This study will utilize a Delphi technique to establish consensus for the competencies necessary for early career 4 H agent success in the first 3 years of employment. Your panel is composed eleven experienced 4 H agents that me ntor new agents and have completed the IFAS online mentoring program. This Delphi study H agent success, then develop a consensus on the most important competencies. The survey i s short and should take around 15 minutes to complete. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you for your participation in this study! Feel f ree to contact me with any questions. Andrew Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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104 APPENDIX D ROUND 1 PAR TICIPATION EMAIL ENTRY LEVEL PANEL I hope the day finds you well! On Monday, Dr. Gutter, Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader for 4 H Youth Development, Families & Communities, informed you of a study that is being supported by Florida 4 H. The purpose of this study is to identify the competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. In order to accomplish this goal, I need your assistance. This study will utilize a Delphi technique to establish consensus for the competencies ne cessary for early career 4 H agent success in the first 3 years of employment. Your panel is composed of 16 4 H agents with identify competencies for early career 4 H agent success, then develop a consensus on the most important competencies. The survey is short and should take around 15 minutes to complete. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you for your participation in this study! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Andrew Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follo w the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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105 APPENDIX E ROUND 1 PARTICIPA TION EMAIL RSA PANEL I hope the day finds you well! On Monday, Dr. Gutter, Associate Dean for Extension and State Program Leader for 4 H Youth Development, Families & Communities, informed you of a study that is being supported by Florida 4 H. The purpose of this study is to identify the competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. In order to accomplish this goal, I need your assistance. This study will utilize a Delphi technique to establish consensus for the competencies necessary for early career 4 H agent success in the first 3 years of employment. Your panel is composed of five RSAs. This Delphi H agent success, then develop a consensus on the most important competencies. The survey is short and should take around 15 minutes to complete. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d =Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you for your participation in this study! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Andrew Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricul tural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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106 APPENDIX F ROUNDS 1 4 PARTICIPANT FIRST REMINDER EMAIL I hope the day finds you well! Earlier this week you received an invitat ion from me to participate as one of a small number of Florida county 4 H agents and RSAs in a study that will identify the competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. There is still time for you to participate in this study, and your input is vital, given the small number of agents chosen to participate. The questionnaire is expected to take no more than XX minutes to complete. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your in ternet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you, Andy Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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107 APPENDIX G ROU NDS 1 4 PARTICIPANT SECOND REMINDER EMAIL I hope the day finds you well! There is still time for you to complete the survey on competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. This survey only takes about XX minutes to complete and your input is vital to the success of this study. This will be your final reminder and the survey will be active until __ date. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://Surve yURL} Thank you, Andy Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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108 APPENDIX H ROUND 1 SURVEY MENTOR AND ENT RY LEVEL PANEL S Study title: Competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Principal investigator: This study is being conducted by Andy Toelle, 4 H agent in Duval County and PhD Candidate in the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this research is to identify competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. Wh at you will be asked to do in the study: This is a four round Delphi study. In Round 1, you will be asked to identify the competencies a 4 H agent needs in the first 3 years of employment. Round 2 will ask you to review the Round 1 responses, begin consens us building, and add any competencies that you feel were missed. Round 3 will be a consensus building round based on the responses received from Rounds 1 and 2. The final Round will ask you to select the competencies identified in the Round 3 survey that y ou believe are essential for early career success in the first year of employment. Time required: Up to 15 minutes for each survey. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your name will not be ass ociated with any assessments you complete, and your answers will, therefore, be anonymous. The information given will be used for completing my dissertation and may be used in reports and journal publications, but you will not be identified as the source o f the information. Only the researchers will have access to the information collected online. There is a minimal risk that security of any online data may be breached, but since no identifying information will be collected, and the online host (Qualtrics) uses several forms of encryption and other protections, it is unlikely that a security breach of the online data will result in any adverse consequence for you. Risks, benefits, compensation: There are no anticipated risks, compensation, or other dir ect benefits to you as a participant in this study. IRB Project Number: IRB201802838 Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence. Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Andy Toelle, PhD Candidate, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, email: ae to1@ufl.edu, Phone: 904 255 7450 or Dr. Ed Osborne, Professor,

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109 Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, email: ewo@ufl.edu, phone: 352 273 2613. Who to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; Phone: (352) 392 0433; Email: IRB2@ufl.edu. Agreement: read the above procedure, your parti cipation in the study is voluntary, and that you are aware that you may choose to terminate your participation in the study at any time and for any reason. o I do not consent, I do not wish to participate (2) o I consent, begin the study (1) Stone and Be technical skills and personal characteristics leading to outstanding performance (p. 1.)." This study seeks to identify the competencies that are essential for early career 4 H agents. Try to list at least five competencies (knowledge, skills, and characteristics), but please list all of the essential competences that come to mind for you when thinking about 4 H agents in their first three years of employment. _____________________________ ___________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _________________________ _______________________________________ In what year were you born? ________________________________________________________________

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110 What is the highest level of education that you have completed? o BA/BS Degree o MS/MA Degree o PhD/EdD What is your sex? o Ma le o Female What is your marital status? o Married o Widowed o Divorced o Separated o Never married Which of the following best describes your racial/ethnic origin? o White o Black/African American o Hispanic/Latino o Asian o American Indian/Alaska Native o Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander o Multiracial o Other, not listed (please specify): ________________________________________________

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111 How many years have you worked for Extension including this year? __________________________________________________________ ______ How would you describe the county in which you currently work? o Rural, under 10,000 people o Town, 10,000 50,000 people o Suburb of city, less than 50,000 people o Central city, 50,000 people or more

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112 APPENDIX I ROUND 1 SURVEY RSA PANEL Study title: Competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. Please read this consent document carefully before you decide to participate in this study. Principal investigator: This study is being conducted by Andy Toelle, 4 H agent in Duval Coun ty and PhD Candidate in the UF Department of Agricultural Education and Communication. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of this research is to identify competencies essential for early career 4 H agent success. What you will be asked t o do in the study: This is a four round Delphi study. In Round 1, you will be asked to identify the competencies a 4 H agent needs in the first 3 years of employment. Round 2 will ask you to review the Round 1 responses, begin consensus building, and add a ny competencies that you feel were missed. Round 3 will be a consensus building round based on the responses received from Rounds 1 and 2. The final Round will ask you to select the competencies identified in the Round 3 survey that you believe are essenti al for early career success in the first year of employment. Time required: Up to 15 minutes for each survey. Confidentiality: Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law. Your name will not be associated with any asses sments you complete, and your answers will, therefore, be anonymous. The information given will be used for completing my dissertation and may be used in reports and journal publications, but you will not be identified as the source of the information. Onl y the researchers will have access to the information collected online. There is a minimal risk that security of any online data may be breached, but since no identifying information will be collected, and the online host (Qualtrics) uses several forms of encryption and other protections, it is unlikely that a security breach of the online data will result in any adverse consequence for you. Risks, benefits, compensation: There are no anticipated risks, compensation, or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this study. IRB Project Number: IRB201802838 Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time without consequence.

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113 Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Andy Toelle, PhD Candidate, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, email: aeto1@ufl.edu, Phone: 90 4 255 7450 or Dr. Ed Osborne, Professor, Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, University of Florida, email: ewo@ufl.edu, phone: 352 273 2613. Who to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Offic e, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611 2250; Phone: (352) 392 0433; Email: IRB2@ufl.edu. Agreement: read the above procedure, your participation in the study is voluntary, and that you are aware that you may choose to terminate your participation in the study at any time and for any reason. o I do not consent, I do not wish to participate (2) o I consent, begin the study (1) Stone and Beiber (1997) defined co technical skills and personal characteristics leading to outstanding performance (p. 1.)." This study seeks to identify the competencies that are essential for early career 4 H agents. Try to list at least five competencies (knowledge, skills, and characteristics), but please list all of the essential competences that come to mind for you when thinking about 4 H agents in their first three years of employment. _______________________________________________ _________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________ _____________________ In what year were you born? ________________________________________________________________

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114 What is the highest level of education that you have completed? o BA/BS Degree o MS/MA Degree o PhD/EdD What is your sex? o Male o Female What is your marital status? o Married o Widowed o Divorced o Separated o Never married Which of the following best describes your racial/ethnic origin? o White o Black/African American o Hispanic/Latino o Asian o American Indian/Alaska Native o Native Hawaiian/Other Pac ific Islander o Multiracial o Other, not listed (please specify): ________________________________________________

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115 How many years have you worked for Extension including this year? ________________________________________________________________

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116 APPENDIX J ROUND 2 SURVEY INTRODUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS I hope the day finds you well! This is Round 2 of the study to identify competences essential for early career 4 H agent success in the first 3 years of employment. The attached survey contains all the comp etencies identified in Round 1. When you follow the link below to the survey, you will be requested to indicate the extent to which you agree that each competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment by selecting either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. You will then be given the chance to list any competencies you feel were not included. The Round 2 survey is very short and should take 5 minutes or less to complete. Even if you did not take the Roun d 1 survey, you are invited to participate in Round 2. Please click the link below to begin the survey. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Th ank you for your participation! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Andy Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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117 APPENDIX K ROUND 2 SURVEY MENTOR PANEL Welcome to Round 2! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round. The following competencies were submitted by those responding to the Round 1 questionnair e. Please indicate the extent to which you agree that each competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment by selecting either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. You will be given the chance at the en d of the survey to list any additional competencies that are not included in this list. Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Manage time o o o o Communicate orally o o o o Remain flexible o o o o Manage conflict o o o o Demonstrate patience o o o o Balance work/life o o o o Be open minded o o o o Maintain commitments o o o o Communicate in written form o o o o Participate in and lead teams o o o o

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118 Acquire external funding o o o o Multitask o o o o Willingness to learn o o o o Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Organize files and wor kspace o o o o Demonstrate expertise in youth development o o o o Evaluate programs o o o o Self starter o o o o Be people oriented o o o o Demonstrate a strong work ethic o o o o Use software applications o o o o Develop and manage volunteers o o o o Teach youth o o o o

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119 Develop budgets and manage funds o o o o Report program outcomes and impacts o o o o Set and remain focused on priorities o o o o Maintain resiliency o o o o Demonstrate compassion o o o o Be a good listener o o o o Develop partnerships o o o o Network o o o o Demonst rate expertise in 4 H delivery modes o o o o Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming o o o o Demonstrate expertise in one or more project a reas o o o o Engage in professional development o o o o

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120 Write for scholarly audiences o o o o In reviewing the overall list of competencies, are there any competencies that you feel were left out? If so, please list those competencies in the space below. ________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________ _________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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121 APPENDIX L ROUND 2 SURVEY ENTRY LEVE L PANEL Welcome to Round 2! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round. The following competencies were submitted by those responding to the Round 1 questionnaire. Please indicate the extent to which you agree that each competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment by selecting either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. You will be given the chance at the end of the survey to list any additional competenc ies that are not included in this list. Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first th ree years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Manage time o o o o Communicate orally o o o o Remain flexible o o o o Manage conflict o o o o Demonstrate patience o o o o Balance work/life o o o o Be open minded o o o o Maintain commitment o o o o Communicate in written form o o o o Participate in and lead teams o o o o

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122 Lead people and programs o o o o Maintain professionalism o o o o Build relationships with clientele o o o o See programs from different perspectives o o o o Manage personal stress o o o o Be creative o o o o Build relationships with extension personnel o o o o Collaborate with others o o o o Maintain a high standard of ethics o o o o Be people oriented o o o o

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123 Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested t o either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Organize files and workspace o o o o Demonstrate exp ertise in youth development o o o o Evaluate programs o o o o Be a self starter o o o o Demonstrate a strong work ethic o o o o Use software applications o o o o Develop and manage volunteers o o o o Teach youth o o o o Communicate with youth o o o o Write for scholarl y audiences o o o o Develop budgets and manage funds o o o o Report program outcomes and impacts o o o o

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124 Set and remain focused priorities o o o o Solve problems o o o o Plan and design programs o o o o Conduct research o o o o Display confidence o o o o Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H o o o o Teach adults o o o o Use social media o o o o Market programs o o o o Maintain ethical behavior o o o o Q4 In reviewing the overall list of competencies, are there any competencies that you feel were left out? If so, please list those competencies in the space below. ________________________________________________________________ ____________________ ____________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________

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125 APPENDIX M ROUND 2 SURVEY RSA PANEL Welcome to Round 2! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round. The following competencies were submitted by those responding to the Round 1 questionnaire. Please indicate the extent to which you agree that each competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment by selecting either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. You will be given the chance at the end of the survey to list any addi tional competencies that are not included in this list. Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree A gree Disagree Strongly Disagree Communicate orally o o o o Communicate in written form o o o o Remain flexible o o o o Manage conflict o o o o Lead people and programs o o o o Maintain professionalism o o o o Follow through on commitments o o o o Be a good listene r o o o o Think critically o o o o Exercise judgment o o o o

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126 Make decisions o o o o Deal with ambiguity o o o o in black and white situations o o o o Work with diverse audiences o o o o Be culturally competent o o o o Follow safe procedures o o o o Main tain wellness o o o o Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 1. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the j ob. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Organize files and workspace o o o o Demonstrate expertise in youth development o o o o Evaluate programs o o o o Be a self starter o o o o Be people oriented o o o o

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127 Solve problems o o o o Plan and design progr ams o o o o Multitask o o o o Engage in professional development o o o o Empower youth o o o o Accept feedback o o o o In reviewing the overall list of competencies, are there any competencies that you feel were left out? If so, please list those competencies in t he space below. ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________ ___________________ ________________________________________________________________

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128 APPENDIX N ROUND 3 INTRODUCITON EMAIL ALL PANELS I hope the day finds you well! This is Round 3 of the study to identify competences essential for early career 4 H ag ent success in the first 3 years of employment. The attached survey contains any additional competencies identified in Round 2. The survey may also contain any competencies where consensus was not reached for your further review. When you follow the link b elow to the survey, you will be requested to indicate the extent to which you agree that each competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years of employment by selecting either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree. Th e Round 3 survey is very short and should take 5 minutes or less to complete. Even if you did not take the Round 2 survey, you are invited to participate in Round 3. Please click the link below to begin the survey. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://Su rveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you for your participation! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Andy Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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129 APPENDIX O ROUND 3 SURVEY MENTOR PANEL Welcome to Round 3! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round. Round 3 consists of the additional competencies identified in Round 2, and the Round 2 competencies where the panel has not reach consensus. Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 2. You are requested to either Strongl y Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Accept feedback o o o o Acquire external funding o o o o Manage risk o o o o For this item, your response in Round 2 was ${e://Field/Previous%20Response} 50% of respondents identified this as a competency essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Please either confirm your selection or change yo ur response to a different option. You are not obligated to change your original response. 1 Strongly Agree 2 Agree 3 Disagree 4 Strongly Disagree Write for scholarly audiences o o o o

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130 APPENDIX P ROUND 3 SURVEY ENTRY LEVEL PANEL Welcome to Round 3! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round. Round 3 consists of the additional competencies identified in Round 2, and the Round 2 competencies where the panel has not reach consensus. Listed below are compet encies that were identified in Round 2. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agree Agree Disagree Strongl y Disagree Be innovative o o o o Willingness to learn o o o o For the next two questions, please either confirm your selection or change your response to a different option. You are not obligated to change your original response. For this item, your respo nse in Round 2 was ${e://Field/Previous%20Answer2}. 33.33% of respondents identified this as a competency essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. 1 Strongly Agree 2 Agree 3 Disagree 4 Strongly Disagree Conduct research o o o o For this item, your response in Round 2 was ${e://Field/Previous%20Answer1}. 44.44% of respondents identified this as a competency essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. 1 Strongly Agree 2 Agree 3 Disagree 4 Strongly Dis agree Write for scholarly audiences o o o o

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131 APPENDIX Q ROUND 3 SURVEY RSA PANEL Welcome to Round 3! Thank you for your participation in this study. This round is a consensus building round and consists of the additional competencies identified in Round 2. Listed below are competencies that were identified in Round 2. You are requested to either Strongly Agree, Agree, Disagree or Strongly Disagree with a competency being essential for 4 H agent success in the first three years on the job. Strongly Agr ee Agree Disagree Strongly Disagree Maintain focus when moving from one task to another o o o o Manage time o o o o Set and remain focused on priorities o o o o

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132 APPENDIX R ROUND 4 INTRODUCTION EMAIL ALL PANELS I hope the day finds you well! This is the fo urth and FINAL round of the study to identify competences essential for early career 4 H agent success in the first 3 years of employment. The attached survey contains t he competencies that have reached consensus in Rounds 2 and 3. For this Round, you are asked to identify if a given competency is essential for agent success in the first year of employment. The Round 4 survey is very short and should take 5 minutes or less to complete. Even if you did not take the Round 3 or any other survey, you are invi ted to participate in Round 4. Please click the link below to begin the survey. Follow this link to the Survey: ${l://SurveyLink?d=Take the Survey} Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser: ${l://SurveyURL} Thank you for your participat ion! Feel free to contact me with any questions. Andy Toelle 4 H Agent IV Duval County Doctoral Candidate, Agricultural Education and Communication Follow the link to opt out of future emails: ${l://OptOutLink?d=Click here to unsubscribe}

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133 APPENDIX S R OUND 4 SURVEY MENTOR PANEL Welcome to Round 4! This is the FINAL ROUND and thank you for your participation in this study. For this Round, you are asked to identify if a given competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. You are requested to indicate yes or no that a competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Yes No Manage time o o Communicate orally o o Remain flexible o o Manage conflict o o Demonstrate patience o o Balance work/ life o o Be open minded o o Maintain commitments o o Communicate in written form (14) o o Participate in and lead teams o o Multitask o o Willingness to learn o o

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134 Accept feedback o o Manage risk o o You are requested to indicate yes or no that a competen cy is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Yes No Organize files and workspace o o Demonstrate expertise in youth development o o Evaluate programs o o Self starter o o Be people oriented o o Demonstrate a strong work ethic o o Use software applications o o Develop and manage volunteers o o Teach youth o o Develop budgets and manage funds o o Report program outcomes and impacts o o Set and remain focused on priorities o o

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135 Maintain resiliency o o Demonstrate compassion o o Be a good lis tener o o Develop partnerships o o Network o o Demonstrate expertise in 4 H delivery modes o o Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming o o Demonstrate expertise in one or more project areas o o Engage in professional development o o

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136 APPENDIX T R OUND 4 SURVEY ENTRY LEVEL PANEL Welcome to Round 4! This is the FINAL ROUND and thank you for your participation in this study. For this Round, you are asked to identify if a given competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employme nt. You are requested to indicate yes or no that a competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Yes No Manage time o o Communicate orally o o Remain flexible o o Manage conflict o o Demonstrate patience o o Balance work/l ife o o Be open minded o o Maintain commitment o o Communicate in written form o o Participate in and lead teams o o Lead people and programs o o Maintain professionalism o o

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137 You are requested to indicate yes or no th at a competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Build relationships with clientele o o See programs from different perspectives o o Manag e personal stress o o Be creative o o Build relationships with extension personnel o o Collaborate with others o o Maintain a high standard of ethics o o Be people oriented o o Be innovative o o Willingness to learn o o Yes No Organize files and workspace o o Demonstrate expertise in youth development o o Evaluate programs o o Be a self starter o o

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138 Demonstrate a strong work ethic o o Use sof tware application o o Develop and manage volunteers o o Teach youth o o Communicate with youth o o Develop budgets and manage funds o o Report program outcomes and impacts o o Set and remain focused priorities o o Solve problems o o Plan and design programs o o Display confidence o o Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H o o Teach adults o o Use social media o o Market programs o o Maintain ethical behavior o o

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139 APPENDIX U ROUND 4 SURVEY RSA PANEL Welcome to Round 4! This is the FINAL R OUND and thank you for your participation in this study. For this Round, you are asked to identify if a given competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. You are requested to indicate yes or no that a competency is ess ential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. Yes (1) No (2) Communicate orally o o Communicate in written form o o Remain flexible o o Manage conflict o o Lead people and programs o o Maintain professionalism o o Follow through on commitment s o o Be a good listener o o Think critically o o Exercise judgment o o Make decisions o o Deal with ambiguity o o

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140 You are requested to indicate yes or no that a competency is essential for 4 H agent success in the first year of employment. white situations o o Work with diverse audiences o o Be culturally competent o o Follow safe procedures o o Maintain welln ess o o Yes (1) No (2) Organize files and workspace o o Demonstrate expertise in youth development o o Evaluate programs o o Be a self starter o o Be people oriented o o Solve problems o o Plan and design programs o o Multitask o o Engage in professional development o o Empower youth o o

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141 Accept feedback o o Maintain focus when moving from one task to another o o Manage time o o Set and remain focused on priorities o o

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142 APPENDIX V COMPETENCY AREAS ESSENTIAL FOR FLORIDA EARLY CAREER 4 H AGENT SUCCESS Table V 1. Competency areas identified by panels in years one and three with the associated competencies. Competency area Year one competency Ye ar t hree competency Budget management Develop budgets and manage funds e Develop budgets and manage funds em Communication Communicate orally emr Communicate in written form emr Communicate with youth e Communicate orally emr Communicate in written form emr Communicate with youth e Conflict management Manage conflict em Manage conflict em Decision making and problem solving Remain flexible emr Be openminded em Make decisions r Exercise judgment r Think critically r Solve problems er Remain flexible emr Be openminded em Make decisions r Exercise judgment r Think critically r Solve problems er situations r Deal with ambiguity r Extension knowledge Understand the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H e Underst and the history, mission, and structure of Extension and 4 H e Demonstrate expertise in 4 H delivery modes m

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143 Table V 1. Continued Competency area Year one competency Year t hree competency Initiative and productivity Manage time emr Be a self starter emr Multitask m Organize files and workspace em Manage time emr Be a self starter emr Multitask mr Organize files and workspace em Be innovative e Maintain focus when moving from one task to another r Interpersonal Be people oriented emr De monstrate patience em Be a good listener mr Display confidence e Demonstrate compassion m Be people oriented emr Demonstrate patience em Be a good listener mr Display confidence e Demonstrate compassion m Work with diverse audiences r Be culturally competent r L earning and professional development Be willing to learn em Accept feedback mr Engage in professional development m Be willing to learn em Accept feedback mr Engage in professional development mr Networking and collaboration Collaborate with others e Build relationships with clientele e Build relationships with extension personnel e Network m Develop partnerships m Collaborate with others e Build relationships with clientele e Build relationships with extension personnel e Network m Develop partnerships m

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144 Table V 1. Continued Competency area Year one competency Year t hree competency Professionalism Maintain commitment em Demonstrate strong work ethic em Maintain ethical behavior e Maintain a high standard of ethics e Follow through on commitme nts r Maintain professionalism er Maintain commitment em Demonstrate strong work ethic em Accept feedback mr Maintain ethical behavior e Maintain a high standard of ethics e Follow through on commitments r Maintain professionalism er Programming Market progr ams e See programs from different perspectives e Set and remain focused on priorities emr Plan and design programs e Be creative e Report program outcomes and impacts e Manage risk m Follow safe procedures r Teach adults em Teach youth em Market programs e See progra ms from different perspectives e Set and remain focused on priorities emr Plan and design programs er Be creative e Report program outcomes and impacts em Manage risk m Follow safe procedures r Teach adults em Teach youth em Evaluate programs emr Demonstrate experti se in one or more project areas m Demonstrate expertise in 4 H programs and programming m Self care/Resilience Balance work/life em Manage personal stress e Maintain resiliency m Balance work/life em Manage personal stress e Maintain resiliency m Maintain wellness r

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145 Table V 1. Continued Competency area Year one competency Year three competency Team leadership Lead people and programs e Participate in and lead teams e Lead people and programs er Participate in and lead teams e Technology us e Use software applications e Use social media e Use software applications e Use social media e Volunteer management Develop and manage volunteers em Develop and manage volunteers em Youth development Demonstrate expertise in youth development e Demonstra te expertise in youth development emr Empower youth r e Entry panel m Mentor panel, r RSA panel

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146 APPENDIX W INTEGRATED COMPETENCY PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL Table W 1 Integrated professional development model for Florida early career 4 H agents by component and competency area. Component Competency Area Traditional professional development Budget management, Extension knowledge, programming, technology use, volunteer management, youth development DED I nitiative and productivity CED Professional ism RSA Conflict management, decision making and problem solving, team leadership Mentors I nterpersonal, network and collaboration, self care/resilience *Communication competencies are not in this model as they are pre entry competencies.

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147 LIST OF REF ERENCES Adler, M. & Ziglio, E. (1996). Gazing into the oracle: The Delphi method and its application to social policy and public health. London, England: Jessica Kingsly. Arnold, S. & Place, N. (2010). What influences agents to pursue a career in Extensi on? Journal of Extension. 48(1). Retrieved from https://joe.org/joe/2010february/rb1.php Ary, D., Jacobs, C. L., & Sorensen, C. K. (2010). Introduction to research in education (8 th ed). Belmont, CA : Wadsworth. Baker, L. M. & Hadley, G. (2014). The new agent: A qualitative study to strategically adapt new agent professional development training. Journal of Extension. 52(5). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2014october/pdf/JOE_v52_5a3.pdf Beng e, M., Harder, A., & Carter, H. (2011). Necessary pre entry competencies as perceived by Florida extension agents. Journal or Extension 45 (5). Bertalanffy, L. von. (1968). General system theory: Foundation, development, application. New York: George Braz iller. Bertalanffy L. von. (1972). The History and Status of General Systems Theory. The Academy of Management Journal 15(4), 407 426. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/255139 Bradley, L., Driscoll, E., & Barden, R. (2012). Removing the tension from Extension. Journal of Extension, 50(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2012april/pdf/JOE_v50_2tt1.pdf Brodeur, C. W., Higgins, C., Galindo Gonzalez, S., Craig, D. D & Haile, T. (2011). Designing a competency based new county extension pers onnel training program: A novel approach. Journal of Extension 49 (3). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2011june/a2.php Buckman Act (1905). Laws of Florida. pp 37 61. Conklin, N. L., Hook, L. L., Kelbaugh, B/. J., & Nieto, R. D. (2002)/ Examining a professional development system: A comprehensive needs assessment approach. Journal of Extension. 40(5). Retrieved from: https://joe.org/joe/2002october/a1.php Cummings, S. R., Andrews, K. B., Weber, K. M. & Postert, B. (2015). Developing extension profe ssionals to develop extension programs: a case study for the changing face of extension. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension. 3(2). Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c8fe6e_c0bb0ab29c694347bfd4a50a112d38e1.pdf

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148 Dalkey, C. N. (1969). The Del phi method: An experimental study of group opinion. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/RM5888.html Dalkey, C. N. & Helmer, O. (1962). An experimental application of the Delphi method to the use of experts. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_memoranda/RM727z1.html Dalton, G. W., Thompson, P. H., & Price, R. L. (1977). The f our stages of professional careers: A new look at performance by professionals. Organizational Dynamics. 19 42. Delbecq, A. L., Van de Ven, A. H. & Gustafson, D. H. (1975). Group techniques for program planning: A guide to nominal group and Delphi process es. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, and Company. Dillman, D. A., Smyth, J. D. & Christian, L. M. (2014). Internet, phone, mail and mixed mode surveys: the tailored design method (4 th ed). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Ensle, K. M. (2005). Burnou t: How does Extension balance job and family. Journal of Extension. 43(3). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2005june/a5.php Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP). (2005). 2005 r eport. Washington, D.C.: Leadership Advisory Council, National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. Feldhues, K. & Tanner, T. (2017). Show me the money: Impact of county funding on retention rates for extension educators. Journal of Extension. 55(2). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2017april/rb3.php Florida 4 H (2019, May 24). Retrieved from http://florida 4h.org/about1/impact/ataglance.pdf Fox, J., Sasser, D., & Arcemont, L. (2013). 4 perceptions of youth development core competence. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension. 1(1). Gallup (2016). How millennials want to w ork and live. Retrieved from: https://news.gallup.com/reports/189830/e.aspx?g_source=link_wwwv9&g_campaign =item_236474&g_medium=copy Gar st, B. A., Baughman, S. & Franz, N. (2014). Benchmarking professional development practices across youth serving organizations: Implications for Extension. Journal of Extension. 52(5). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2014october/a2.php

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149 Geist, M. R. (2010). Using the Delphi method to engage stakeholders: A comparison of two studies. Evaluation and Program Planning. 33. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149718909000408?via%3Dihub Hatch Act. (1887). Hatch Act of 1887 Retrieved from: https://nifa.usda.gov/progr am/hatch act 1887 Harder, A. (2015). Priority competencies needed by UF/IFAS extension county faculty Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS). UF/IFAS. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc236 Harde r, A. & Dooley, K. E. (2007). Perceptions of important competencies for early career and established 4 H agents. Journal of Southern Agricultural Education Research. 57(1). Harder, A & Wingenbach, G. J. (2008). Texas 4 co mpetencies in the 4 H Professional Research, Knowledge, and Competencies model. Journal of Agricultural Education. 49(2). Retrieved from http://www.jae online.org/attachments/article/122/Harder_Wingenbach_49_2_64 74.pdf Harder, A., Gouldthorpe, J., & Godw in, J. (2014). Why work for Extension? An examination of job satisfaction and motivation in a statewide employee retention study. Journal of Extension. 52(3). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2 014june/a5.php Harder, A., Lamm, A., & Vergot, P. (2010). Explore your world: Professional development in an international context. Journal of Extension. 47(2). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2010april/a3.php Harder, A., Place, N. T., & Scheer, S. D. (2010). Towards a competency based extension education curriculum: A Delphi study. Journal of Agricultural Education 51 (3) 44 52. Retrieved from: http://www.jae online.org/attachments/article/84/Vol%2051%20No%203%20pg%2044%20 %20Harder.pdf Hayes, K. C. & Facinoli, S. L. (1988). 4HPRK: Youth development. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027/umn.31951002963293e Helmer, O. (1983). Looking forw ard: A guide to futures research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Henshaw, K. (1935). 4 H: A story New York. Orange Judd publishing company. Downloaded from https://4 hhistorypreservation.com /Media.asp#MT 96 Hensley, S. (2017). Why do 4 H extension agents stay employed?: A quantitative review of human resources data from 1/1/2005 1/1/2017. UF/IFAS.

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150 Hsu, C C, & Sandford, B. A. (2007) The Delphi technique: Making sense of consensus. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation. 12(10). Retrieved from https://pareonline.net/getvn.asp?v=12&n=10 IFAS Divisions, Schools and departments. (2018, June 6). Retrieved from https://ifas.ufl.edu/divisions schools departments/ IFAS Office of District Extension Directors. (2018, June 6). Retrieved from http://ded.ifas.ufl.edu/faculty_ranks/county_faculty_titles.shtml#County IFAS Office of District Extension Directors. (2019, May 24). Retrieved from http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/w ho we are/about extension/ IFAS Administration. (2019, June 14). Retrieved from https://extadmin.ifas.ufl.edu/careers/internships/ Israel, G. D., Harder, A. & Brodeur, W. (2018). What is an Extension Program? Electronic Data Information Source, UF/IFAS. Downloaded from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/WC/WC10800.pdf Jillson, I. A. (1975). Developing guidelines for the Delp hi method. Technological forecasting and social change 7. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties 15, 237 264. Kutilek, L. M. (2000). Learning from those w ho leave. Journal of Extension, 38 (3). Retrieved from https://joe.org/joe/2000june/iw2.php Kutilek, L. M. & Earnest, G. W. (2001). Supporting professional growth through mentoring and coaching. Journal of Extension. 39(4). Retrieved from https://www.joe.o rg/joe/2001august/rb1.php Kutilek, L. M., Gunderson, G. J., & Conklin, N. L. (2002) A systems approach: Maximizing individual career potential and organizational success. Journal of Extension. 40(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2002april/a1.php Lakai, D., Jayaratne, K. S., Moore, G., E., & Kistler, M., J. (2014). Identification of current proficiency level of extension competences and the competencies needed for extension agents to be successful in the 20 th century. Journal of Human Sciences an d Extension. 2(1). Retrieved from https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/c8fe6e_53ea61c582994033af7c961b1c4fcd7d.pdf Linstone, H. A. & Turoff, M. (Eds.). (2002). The Delphi method: Techniques and applications. Newark, NJ: New Jersey Institute of Technology. Retri eved from https://web.njit.edu/~turoff/pubs/delphibook/ch1.pdf

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151 Ludwig, B. (1997). Predicting the future: Have you considered using the Delphi methodology? Journal of Extension 35(5). Ret rieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/1997october/tt2.php Martin, M. J. & Kaufman, E. K. (2013). Do job satisfaction and commitment to the organization matter when it comes to retaining employees? Journal of Extension. 51(4). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2013august/rb1.php McClelland, D. (1973). Testing for competence rather than intelligence. American Psychologist, 28 1 14. Mele, C. Pels, J. & Polese, F. (2010). A Brief Review of Syst ems Theories and Their Managerial Applications. Service Science 2(1/2), pp. 126 135. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1287/serv.2.1_2.126 Mincemoyer, C. C & Thomson, J. S. (1998). Establishing effe ctive mentoring relationship for induvial and organizational success. Journal of Extension. 36(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/1998april/a2.php Mizell, H. (2010). Why professional develop ment matters. Oxford, OH: Learning Forward. Retrieved from www.learningforward.org/advancing/whypdmatters.cfm National Archives (1862). Morrill Act of 1862. Retrieved from https://catalog.archives.gov/ id/299817 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) (2017). Bachelor's degrees conferred by postsecondary institutions, by race/ethnicity and sex of student: Selected years, 1976 77 through 2016 17. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_322.20.asp Patton, W. & McMahon, M. (2006) The systems theory framework of career development and counseling: Connecting theory and practice. International Jo urnal for the Advancement of Counselling 28(2). Retrieved from: http://eprints.qut.edu.au/2621/1/2621_1.pdf Penrose, C. (2017). The role of experienced extension educators in attracting and retai ning new educators. Journal of Extension. 55(4). Retrieved from: https://joe.org/joe/2017august/pdf/JOE_v55_4comm1.pdf Place, N. T. & Bailey, A. (2006). Mentoring: Providing greatest be nefit to new and seasoned faculty in an extension organization. Paper presented at the 22 nd annual conference: Association for International Agricultural and Extension Education, Clearwater Beach, FL. Retrieved from http://aiaee.org/index.php/proceedings/101 2006 clearwater beach florida

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152 Program Development & Evaluation Center. (2019). Mission Statement. Retrieved from http://pdec.ifas.ufl.edu/about.shtml Program Development & Evaluation Center. (2019). Extension mentor training. Retrieved from http://pdectt.ifas.ufl.edu/new_faculty/ Reck, F. (1951). The 4 H s tory: A history of 4 H club work. Retrieved from http://4 hhistorypreservation.com/eMedia/eBooks/The_4 H_Story.pdf Rennekamp, R. A., & Nall, M. A. (1994). Growing through th e stages: A new look at professional growth. Journal of Extension 32(1). Retrieved from: http://www.joe.org/joe/1994june/a2.php Safrit, R. D. (2006). Revisiting state 4 H mentoring programs for count y 4 H professionals. Journal of Extension 44(1). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2006february/a6.php Sanders, C. B. (2014). Leadership competencies and needs of county extension directors as perceived by county and district extension directors and county administrators in Florida (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://ufdcimages.uflib.ufl.edu/ Scheer, S. D., & Cochran, G. R., Harder, A., & Place, N. T. (2011). Competency modeling in extensi on education: Integrating an extension human resource management model. Journal of Agriculture Education, 52(3), pp 64 74. Retrieved from http://www.jae online.org/attac hments/article/1566/53.3.64%20Scheer.pdf Senyurekli, A. R., Dworkin, J., & Dickinson, J. (2006). On line professional development for Extension educators. Journal of Extension. 44(3). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2006june/rb1.php Simonne, E. ( 2019). Madison county 4 H position description. UF/IFAS. Smith Lever Act (1914). Smith Lever Act of 1914. Retrieved from: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/smith lever act capacity gr ant Strong, R. & Harder, A. (2009). Implications of maintenance and motivation factors on extension agent turnover. Journal of Extension. 47(1). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2009februa ry/a2.php Stone, B. B. (1997). A systems approach to professional development. Journal of Extension. 35(2). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/1997april/tt2.php Stone, B. B. & Bieber, S. (1997). Competencies: A new language for our work. Journal of Extension, 35 (1).

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153 Stone, B. B. & Coppernoll, S. (2004). You, Extension and Success: A competency based professional development system. Journal of Extension, 42(2). Stone, B. B. & Rennekamp, R. (2004). New Foundations for the 4 H Youth Development Profes sion: 4 H Professional Research, Knowledge, and Competencies Study, 2004 Conducted in cooperation with the National 4 H Professional Development Task Force. National 4 H Headquarters, CSREES, USDA. Tenure and Promotion. (2018, June 6). Guidelines and inf ormation regarding the tenure, permanent status and promotion process for 2018 2019. Retrieved from http://aa.ufl.edu/policies/tenure and promotion information/ True, A. (1928). A History of Agriculture Extension Work in the United States 1785 1923. Retrieved from http://4hhistorypreservation.com/eMedia/eBooks/A_History_of_Ag _Ext_Work_in_US _1785 1923.pdf UF History (2018). Buckman Act of 1905. Retrieved from http://www.ufl.edu/about/history/ Vines, K. A., Cletzer, A. D., Westfall Rudd, D, Lambur, M. Hunnings, J. R. & Vines, N. T. (2018). Identifying needs and implementing organizational change to improve retention in early career agents. Journal of Extension. 56(1). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/2018february/a2.php Vergot, P. (2000). Professional development: Definition. Retrieved from http://nwdistrict.ifas.ufl.edu /Professional%20Development/professional_devel_definit ion.html Williams, P. L., & Webb, C. (1994). The Delphi technique: A methodological discussion. Journal of Advanced Nursing .19(1). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365 2648.1994.tb01066.x Warner, L. A. (2017). Using the Delphi Technique to achieve consensus: A tool for guiding extension programs. Electronic Data Information Source (EDIS). UF/IFAS. Retrieved from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc183 Warner, L. A., Stubbs, E., Murphrey, T. P., & Huynh, P. (2016). Identification of the competencies needed to apply social marketing to extension programming: Results of a Delphi study. Journa l of Agricultural Education 57(2). Wessel, T. & Wessel, M. (1982). 4 H: An American Idea 1900 1980, A history of 4 H. Chevy Chase, MD: National 4 H Council.

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154 Woudenberg, F. (1991). An evaluation of Delphi. Technological Forecasting and Social Change. 40 Retrieved from http://www.soc.ucsb.edu/faculty/friedkin/Syllabi/Soc147/Week6Reading.pdf Young, J. & Jones, K. (2015). Examining the impact of community size on the retention of county extension agents. Journal of Extension. 53(3). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2015june/rb2.php Young, J. A., Stone, J., Aliaga, O., & Shuck, B. (2013). Job embeddedness theory: Can it help explain employee retention among exte nsion agents? Journal of Extension. 51(4). Retrieved from: https://www.joe.org/joe/2013august/a7.php Zimmer, B. P. & Smith K. L. (1992). Successful mentoring for new agents. Journal of Extension. 3 0(1). Retrieved from https://www.joe.org/joe/1992spring/a8.php

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155 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Andrew (Andy) Ernest Toelle was born and raised in Columbus, GA After graduating from Brookstone High Schoo l, he attended Georgia South Western on a theater scholarship. Andy transferred to Auburn University where he completed his BA in p sychology and MA in f amily and c hild development. Upon graduating from Auburn University in 1992 Andy accepted a position o f County 4 H agent in Bonneville County, ID. In 1995, he accepted a position as 4 H agent in Nassau County, FL where he served from 1995 1999 Andy remained in north east Florida where he went on to serve as 4 H County agent in St. Johns from 1999 2005 and Duval Counties from 2005 to the present Andy is currently fully promoted to Agent IV, has permanent status, and is the 4 H program leader in Duval County. Andy is married to Stephanie Christine, a fellow extension agent. They have two children, Drew and Courtney.