The Effectiveness of Emergency Preparedness Animal Issues Education: Perceived Advantages and Obstacles of Roles Played By Texas AgriLife Extension Service AgentsMaxwell, Ricky G. 2010 May 1900 (has links)
As Extension begins to develop educational program delivery strategies for Emergency Preparedness and Management education, the major challenge will be to establish a culture among county agriculture and natural resources (ANR) Extension agents to integrate this educational programming into ongoing programming to ensure added value to this innovation and its unit of adoption. The attitudes and perceptions of these ANR agents in overall programming efforts will be extremely important for adoption and further dissemination of Emergency Preparedness and Management education to all clientele; therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine what Extension ANR agents perceived as advantages and obstacles associated with the organization and implementation of Emergency Preparedness and Management education and the necessity for establishing local animal issues committees. The study population was Texas AgriLife Extension Service ANR agents. The agents were from both rural and urban counties, in various stages in their careers and various stages of the organization, facilitation and implementation of Emergency Preparedness and Management education and animal issues committee establishment. An online instrument was developed based on a review of related literature. The instrument had 19 total question sets pertaining to the 4 objectives of the study and included matrix, multiple choice and yes/no questions. Questions to obtain demographic information (gender, age, Extension affiliation, years of employment with Extension, and county size) were also asked. Results indicated ANR agents felt Extension should be involved in the organization, planning and implementation of educational efforts in Emergency Preparedness and Management and also the establishment and maintenance of Animal Issues Committees. ANR agents indicated Extension?s best approach would be to help identify innovators, adopters and the resources needed for Emergency Preparedness and Management and Animal Issues Committees. The success or failure of educational programming for Emergency Management depends on the help or assistance that is provided by the key stakeholders and agencies in counties. From this study, it is apparent local stakeholder and agency involvement has been an advantage and obstacle for Texas AgriLife Extension ANR agents in the state of Texas.
Perceptions of Texas County Extension Agents on Volunteers Who Assist With Planning and Implementation of Extension Educational ProgramsMatthies, Allen Z. 2009 December 1900 (has links)
The objective of the study was to determine and evaluate county extension agents' perceptions on volunteer management competencies related to their county program. General perceptions related to volunteer management were also assessed. The research was conducted on Texas county extension agents working in the fields of agriculture and natural resources and family and consumer sciences. The purpose of this study was to make inferences concerning volunteer management based on self assessment data gained from study participants. The secondary purpose was to identify concerns and provide solutions for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service to enhance this organization. Five research questions were examined by the researcher: 1) What are the demographics of county extension agents working for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 2) What are the county characteristics of extension volunteers and volunteer programs in Texas, 3) What are the differences in volunteer management based on location factors such as population size and staff size, 4) Is the ISOTURE model for volunteer management utilized by county extension agents working for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and 5) How do county extension agents perceive their volunteer programs are viewed by the clientele they serve? The population of county extension agents was 451 at the time of data collection. Two hundred seventeen (217) responses were collected. The instrument for this study was in electronic format and was divided into three sections; general volunteerism, specified volunteerism as it relates to "Your Volunteer Group," and demographic data. The participant was asked to select a specified volunteer group which had eight predefined groups and one blank for "Other." The results of this study identified seven significant findings with seven recommendations for Texas AgriLife Extension Service regarding professional development, volunteer utilization, and volunteer structure. Conclusions reached from this research show county extension agents utilize the volunteer management model adopted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Furthermore, differences in environment such as population, staffing pattern, and volunteer utilization have influence on how volunteers are utilized in different counties. Finally, the researcher identified seven areas of further research.
A Qualitative Examination of the History of E-Extension (eXtension), Implementation of Moodle (A Course Management System) and Associated Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and ThreatsHightower, Tayla Elise 2010 May 1900 (has links)
According to research by Tennessen, PonTell, Romine and Motheral (1997), the Extension System has been educating the nation for over 96 years, and the idea of using technology as a medium for education has been in the minds of Extension educators for over 40 years. The National E-Extension (eXtension) Initiative is being adopted at a rapid pace, and the history of this impact requires documentation in order to assist others in similar adoption and diffusion processes. The purpose of this historical study was to describe how and why eXtension was established and the implementation of Moodle as a Course Management System (CMS) within eXtension. The researcher was able to determine that the eXtension system is becoming an accepted form of education for Extension. However, barriers to adoption do exist. The study revealed that online education is becoming part of Extension through eXtension, but as awareness grows and develops the eXtension system must do the same. Technology is offering new ways to reach clientele, and as such, Extension continues to strive to take advantage of these technologies. This study consisted of two parts. The first part sought to document the history of eXtension and the implementation of Moodle as a Course Management System (CMS) in Extension. The second part sought to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) related to the use of Moodle as a Course Management System within eXtension. Interviews were conducted with five individuals knowledgeable of the history of eXtension and the implementation of Moodle concerning their experience. For the second part, interviews were conducted with nine individuals currently serving as instructors within one or both eXtension Moodle websites. The researcher was able to document the history of eXtension and Moodle and determine 11 emerging themes within the predetermined areas of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Findings revealed that those involved in using Moodle within Extension have knowledge of the innovation, have formed an attitude toward the innovation, and have decided to adopt or reject the innovation based on the stages of Rogers' innovation-decision process. Completion of the implementation of the innovation and confirmation of the decision stage of the process will be most effectively completed through the work of eXtension at the national level.
A Descriptive Study of the Two Texas Extension Programs: Agents’ Perceptions, Understanding and Recommendations for Strengthening the PartnershipStueart-Davis, Sonja Latrice 2011 August 1900 (has links)
Texas is one of 17 states with both 1862 and 1890 Extension programs. The purpose of this study was to examine the partnership amongst agents of Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Cooperative Extension Program, in counties that have both Extension programs. Seventy-eight agents participated in the study, of which, 73% (N=57) were employed by Texas AgriLife Extension Service and 24% (N=19) were employed by the Cooperative Extension Program. Cohen's D Effect Size was used to determine the practical significance of differences among agents' perception of the relevance of Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University, along with the agents' understanding of the partnership, willingness to partner and knowledge of the Operational Guidelines. As part of the study, agents also identified strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities of having two programs in the State and provided recommendations for strengthening the partnership. Among agents, there was a high degree of relevance for Texas AgriLife Extension Service, while there was a moderate degree of relevance for the Cooperative Extension Program-Prairie View A&M. Cohen's D Effect size suggested a large practical difference amongst agents in their perception of both Extension programs. Findings indicated a moderate degree of knowledge of the Operational Guidelines and understanding of the partnership amongst agents. Cohen's D Effect size value (d =.1.29) and (d =1.30) suggested a large practical differences amongst agents, from the two programs, in relation to their willingness to partner and understanding of the partnership respectively. Strengths of having two Extension programs identified by agents were the Extension programs ability to reach new and diverse audiences and address community and state needs. Weaknesses identified were agents competing against one another for audiences, two programs causing confusion to clientele, and a lack of understanding on how to collaborate. Opportunities of having two Extension programs identified were collaborating on programs, reaching diverse audiences, and the ability to provide more services. Agents provided recommendations of better communication to understanding the partnership and how to partner, clearer job descriptions to prevent duplication and competition, and making the citizens the priority instead of the Extension programs.
2011 December 1900
The land-grant university and the cowboy church are two social institutions designed to engage communities. Research is abundant on the former and limited on the latter. The purpose of this study was to provide a descriptive report on cowboy churches, while identifying the potential for university-cowboy church collaborations and examining the direct implications to Cooperative Extension. Rogers' Diffusions of Innovations conceptualized this study and was employed to evaluate the acceptability of university-cowboy church collaborations. This basic qualitative study utilized a purposive snowball technique to identify key informants of the American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches (AFCC). Ten subjects participated in semi-structured, face-to-face and phone interviews. Data were analyzed for common themes and patterns within the context of each of this study's objectives. Findings described cowboy churches affiliated with the AFCC, the interpersonal and mass media communication channels used by these churches, and subject awareness of Cooperative Extension. Conclusions and implications suggest university-cowboy church collaborations are an acceptable innovation, especially in the context of Extension collaborations. There are relative advantages for such collaborations, shared compatibility through each institution's mission, and ample opportunities for trialibility. County agents should initiate contact with cowboy church pastors and collaborations should be initiated regarding in information exchange, horses, livestock shows, and youth.
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