Statewide Initiatives & Priority Work Groups: Definitions
An Extension program is a plan or "blueprint for action" that specifies objectives, subject content, and teaching/learning activities to be carried out over a period of time, with the goal of bringing about behavioral change in a target group of learners. It also includes a procedure for evaluating the impact of those efforts.
Situation Statement for Statewide Initiatives
A situation statement describes what is known of the issue affecting Extension target audiences. This includes scope of the issue, why the issue exists, and the importance of the issue being addressed through education. This importance may be reflected in terms of improving conditions related to economic well-being, the environment, health and life quality, and/or civic engagement.
Situation Statement for Priority Work Groups
A problem statement reflects factual data that describe the severity of a set of problems or issues affecting a primary target audience of an Extension program. The data shows a need or gap between what is and what could be.
The rationale explains why the problems/opportunities related to the issue can be addressed through education. The statement describes what is known of the problems/opportunities to be addressed, practices which are currently being followed, audience(s) to be targeted, topics to be covered, subjects to be taught, and changes recommended.
The rationale describes the projected impact of proposed changes on conditions related to economic well-being, the environment, health and life quality, and/or civic engagement of individuals, families, businesses, organizations, geographical areas and/or communities.
A target audience is a broad description of the target group of learners of the Extension Program. The description may include individuals, families, organizations, businesses, or communities. Also, the description may include how one of the previous groups is affected by conditions within a specific geographical region.
A primary audience is a more specific description of the target audience. Sources of descriptions of the primary audience include demographic characteristics of individuals, families, and communities; agricultural commodity characteristics, census of agriculture characteristics; community and business organizational characteristics; and environmental characteristics of geographic regions.
Topics which encompass subject matter areas related to the issue and problems being addressed. Topics may be disciplinary or interdisciplinary in nature.
Subject areas to be taught are the specific subjects within the topic area that, when learned by clientele, should lead to adoption of recommended outcomes.
Identify what methods you will use to educate your target audience. Includes consultations; clinics; advisory councils; developing partnerships and collaboration; county, district, state and national events; demonstrations and field trials; fairs and exhibits; field days; facilitating groups; videoconferencing; classroom enrichment; group teaching events; development of curriculum and educational materials; In-service Training; needs assessment; program development; reporting results; marketing; working with media; and funding efforts.
Outcomes reflect recommended changes to be made by participants of Extension programs if they are to resolve problems being addressed by the Extension programs. Outcome indicators include changes in attitudes, knowledge developed, skills acquired, behaviors adapted, best practices adopted, and/or appropriate technology utilized.
Type of Evaluation
The type of evaluation describes the method used to collect information on the number who have changed. Types of Evaluation include the following:
- Case Study
- One-time Measure (at end of educational activity
- Comparison Group (before/after, after/before, time series)
- Cross-sectional survey
- Analysis of secondary data (source should be cited)
Impacts are brief narrative statements which summarize the effects of significant outcomes made by clientele of Extension programming. The outcome effects relate to changes in economic well-being, environmental conditions, life quality, and/or civic engagement of individuals, families, organizations, businesses, communities and/or geographic regions. One outcome could effect several impacts or several outcomes could effect one impact.
For more detailed information on impacts, please see EDIS publication RFSR025.1
Success stories are an important way that one can demonstrate the value of the Extension program. In this case, the focus would be on changes made by specific individuals, families, organizations, businesses or communities. The Success Story should highlight major or significant findings/results of the program. For example, you may want to include the awareness or knowledge level of participants or what they need in order to solve a particular problem or issue. Using catchy phrases, quotations from participants, or facts and figures helps to get the attention of the stakeholders. A Success Story should address the three Rs of Reporting: Relevance, Response, and Results.
Relevance refers to the importance of the program. Response should provide a summary of what topics were taught and results refers to specific changes made by those in the success story. A Success Story should be limited to about 250 words or less.