Urban Extension: A Professional Development Offering

What is Unique About Extension Personnel in the City?

Extension’s pursuit to better attract, develop, retain, and structure competent personnel in the city requires new strategies to build on the knowledge base established through previous research and practice. Wi th the support of numerous national organizations, this study utilized a Competency Framework Development (CFD) process to systematically tap into the knowledge of County Extension Directors serving in large urban communities. Findings indicated these local leaders need specific knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs that are both similar and unique when compared with results from other Extension competency studies. Competencies identified included building social and financial capital, strategic planning and organizing, resource attraction and management, advocacy and impact accountability with multiple stakeholders, and others. A primary difference was that diversity, complexity, and scale in urban communities influenced the extent to which competencies are demonstrated. Research results can be applied to a competency model that incorporates intentional recruiting and hiring practices that reflect the diversity and priorities of the community, competency-based professional development, competitive compensation and retention tactics, and staffing structure and strategies. Further research can include CFD with various types of Extension personnel and perspectives. Extension leaders can continue learning alongside others who can help inform administrators about human capital policies and practices.

Institution: Journal of Human Sciences and Extension URL: https://www.jhseonline.com/issue/view/05-02

Extension in the City: Meeting the Challenges of Scale

The urban share of the United States and global population has been climbing steadily since well before the inception of Extension. As of the 2010 census, more than four out of five U.S. residents lived in urban areas, with 71% of the total U.S. population living in cities with more than 50,000 residents, and 10% living in smaller urban clusters. Cornell University established Cooperative Extension offices in New York City (CUCE- NYC) well after the Extension system was developed in rural and suburban counties throughout New York State. NYC is the largest city and part of the largest metropolitan area in the U.S., creating significant challenges of scale for Extension programming. The ratio of NYC residents to CUCE-NYC staff is roughly 125,000:1. CUCE-NYC works to mobilize limited resources to create large and positive impacts on individuals, families, communities, and institutions. Strategies to achieve these goals include partnership development, community recruitment, leadership development, and ecological efforts to foster setting-level change. Key CUCE-NYC strategies are grounded in sustained, intensive connections to communities, organizations, and other human ecological contexts. Geospatial mapping of program activities enables

assessment and improvement of program reach and impact. Institution: Journal of Human Sciences and Extension URL: https://www.jhseonline.com/issue/view/05-02

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