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Cooperative Extension Improvements

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Cooperative Extension works to offer diverse educational programs in agriculture, community development, food and nutrition, youth development, and natural resources (Franz & Townson, 2008). It consists of being a part of every state’s land grant universities, the United States Department of Agriculture, and local county governments. Part of the reason it got its name is because it is an extension of the land-grant universities. It is currently the largest adult education organization in the United States. The Morrill Act of 1862 is what eventually led to the development of Cooperative Extension. Land-grant universities were started because of the Morrill Act, and in 1914 the Smith-Lever act allocated funds to land-grant universities.…show more content…
One evaluation specialists that had a big impact on Cooperative Extension evaluation advancements was Claude Bennett. The work he did helped Extension workers think simultaneously with various types of program outcomes (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). This started getting Extension workers to think about what goals they wanted their program to reach and to evaluate what was being done. The first national assessment of Cooperative Extension was done by Warner and Christenson in 1984 (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). They wanted to take a look at the public’s perception of Extension, and to find out what they knew about Extension. Their results indicated that approximately 40% of the population recognized the name and among those who had used Extension services before, 90% of them were satisfied (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). Although Extension had good feedback for the results that their services provided, there came a time when the environment changed resulting in them needing to adapt. People wanted to know more about the details on the program. Extension, and other publicly funded agencies, had to be able to defend who and how people were beings served (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). The Extension Committee on Organization and Policy responded by appointing a national task force on accountability and evaluation in Cooperative Extension (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). Eventually, Cooperative Extension…show more content…
Evaluation practices were most likely instigated by external pressure from the public to validate results and ensure program quality (Rennekamp and Engle, 2008). Cooperative Extension programs realized that a large portion of the financial support they received was funding that involved the public. In order to keep receiving funding, they had to adapt and make changes to their program to ensure the public was getting what they wanted and had their questions answered. Cooperative Extension as a whole adapted evaluation, but due to the multitudes of program provided by them and the difference of demand depending on the location, how they went about evaluating
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