Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Morrison, Carley Calico

Committee Member

Denny, Marina D.

Committee Member

Morgan, Mariah Smith

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Agricultural Extension and Education

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


School of Human Sciences


Extension agents are tasked with disseminating educational content, announcing events, and promoting the outreach efforts of Extension. Social media can be a powerful resource for Extension agents (Skrabut, 2014). Integrating social media into outreach efforts can be an efficient way for agents to meet increasing work demands (Gharis & Hightower, 2017). Still, many Extension agents are not fully integrating social media as a means to communicate with their audiences (Garcia et al., 2018). To address this, Extension communication units are developing social media technical support efforts to increase the agents’ social media activity (Garcia et al., 2018, Newbury et al., 2014; Kinsey, 2010.) Social media competency influences a professional’s willingness to integrate social media as a function of their employment (Zhu et al., 2018). If communication units wish to provide Extension agents with technical support efforts, such as trainings and professional development opportunities, to assist them with integrating social media as one of their duties, we should assess the influence of these support efforts on their perceived social media competency. The purpose of this study is to describe Mississippi State University Extension agents’ perceived social media competency levels and explore the effect that a variety of technical support efforts have on their perceived social media competency.