Study Published on Extension Education Trends and Research Needs
In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Arkansas, Montana State, and the University of Nevada, Dr. Joseph Donaldson and Dr. Jay Jayaratne co-authored an article on extension education trends. This study sought to understand Extension Education’s trends and research needs as perceived by members of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) and Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP). The article appears in the Journal of Agricultural Education.
Extension education trends and research needs: Views from professionals and faculty.
This study sought to understand Extension Education’s trends and research needs as perceived by members of the American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) and Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP) by comparing and contrasting findings from questionnaires using open-ended questions. Both groups identified changing technology and new audiences as key trends requiring Extension to adapt, and JCEP respondents noted makers and entrepreneurs as prominent new audiences. For Extension Education research needs, both groups prioritized research to heighten professional development among Extension professionals. JCEP respondents desire Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) Departments to lead research in Extension administrative leadership. On the contrary, AAAE respondents prioritized Extension program evaluation research. Regarding Extension professional development, JCEP respondents identified program planning and evaluation, but AAAE respondents named research methods as prioritized needs. JCEP respondents prioritized practical experiences in Extension Education college courses, and AAAE members reported some internships, practicums, and experiential learning in their AEE curriculum. The results have implications for AEE Departments in planning professional development for Extension professionals and college instruction producing Extension-career-ready graduates. Recommendations emphasize the need to coordinate college curriculum and professional development and to prepare students for Extension careers.