Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Deeds, P. Jacquelyn

Committee Member

Mathews, Jerry

Committee Member

Mixon, J. Melissa

Committee Member

Newman, E. Michael

Committee Member

White, W. Ronnie

Other Advisors or Committee Members

Holder, Susan||Taylor, Walter

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Agricultural and Extension Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Education


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


The purpose of the study was to address in-service training needs of Mississippi County Extension Directors in the area of program needs assessment. The population consisted of the 80 County Extension Directors; 2 positions were vacant. Eighty percent of County Extension Directors responded. County Extension Directors that responded by program area: 38 Agriculture and Natural Resources, 12 Family and Consumer Sciences, 4 4-H Youth Development, and 10 County Extension Directors that are Generalists. Sixty-one percent were male and 39 percent were female. Eight percent completed a bachelor’s degree, 11% completed a bachelor’s degree plus graduate work towards master’s degree, 60% completed a master’s degree, 14% completed a master’s degree plus graduate work towards doctorate, and 6% completed a doctorate degree. The study used a descriptive survey research design. Descriptive statistics, including frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations were utilized in the study. The Borich Needs Assessment Model was used to analyze the in-service training needs of County Extension Directors. Findings from the study indicated that County Extension Directors need in-service training on needs assessment. County Extension Directors reported below average competency in the following: analyzing survey data, interpreting statistical data, identifying sources of statistical data, and entering survey data into spreadsheets. The findings also indicated that County Extension Directors lack an understanding of how needs assessment impact funding of programs within Mississippi State University Extension Service and that training can be targeted to specific program areas. Findings show there is a need to re-offer training on the Strengthening Extension Advisory Leaders Curriculum since the result of knowledge and usage is extremely low. Additional finding revealed that County Extension Directors need training on the Logic Model.