Mississippi State University
Taylor, Walter N.
Newman, Michael E.
Date of Degree
Dissertation - Open Access
Doctor of Philosophy
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Agricultural Information Science and Education
As universities enhance their civic engagement and build connections between campus and communities across the state, the county extension office and local staff have an opportunity to broker resources between the two entities. The question is not ‘if’ this needs to happen, but specifically what role Extension should play. County Extension Coordinators in Alabama have differing opinions about the role of their office and the value of specific engagement activities to the community. These differing opinions may make it difficult to achieve uniformity in what faculty can expect of a county extension office. Three different opinion groups were identified in this study. One group of County Extension Coordinators felt that engagement activities should focus on issues affecting local economic impact. Another group chose activities that would avoid potential problems due to interagency conflict and local politics. The third group saw the civic engagement of their land-grant university as an opportunity to make Extension look good in their county. Group membership could be explained by tenure of the County Extension Coordinator and their subject matter expertise. Given the results of this study and engagement scholarship, strategic areas for Extension to explore include (1) the activities of the county extension office as influenced by local advisory groups, opinions of the County Extension Coordinator, and needs of the Land-Grant University; (2) the role of the County Extension Coordinator in facilitating university-wide outreach; and (3) the need for County Extension Coordinators to have extensive networks and networking skills in order to embrace the breadth of opportunities to facilitate the civic engagement of a Land-Grant University.
Legvold, Denise L., "County Extension Coordinators' Opinions On The Role Of County Extension Offices In The Civic Engagement Of A Land-Grant University" (2008). Theses and Dissertations. 1201.