What is the UW-Extension curriculum in program development
This curriculum includes a series of professional
development opportunities in evaluation (face-to-face training,
distance learning, CD and web-based instruction, print and web
materials) relevant to Extension programming contexts and responsive
to the learning styles and needs of Extension employees. It includes
offerings at both the competency
and proficiency levels of learning.
It is based on best practices in program development and established
standards in evaluation (Program Evaluation Standards, 1994.)
- Competency is defined as "a
sufficient quantity of knowledge, skill and ability to accomplish
a particular task or purpose" (UW-Extension Career Development
- Proficiency refers to advanced
skill, knowledge or experience that will help an individual
carry out a task, position, job with greater ability.
Why offer a curriculum in program development and evaluation
for Cooperative Extension faculty and staff?
Faculty and staff may come to Extension with limited knowledge,
training or experience in program development and evaluation.
Yet, every employee with programming responsibilities needs to
be able to design, implement and evaluate educational programs.
In order to do so effectively and efficiently, key competencies
are required. UW-Extension takes the responsibility for helping
its faculty and staff develop those competencies in order to be
Offerings are open to Extension employees and community partners,
however, priority will be given to Extension employees. Of Extension
employees, priority is given to those in Cooperative Extension.
The primary target group includes county agents and specialists
in all program areas though paraprofessionals, administrators
and other Extension employees may choose to participate.
What is the recommended schedule?
Individuals may follow the recommended sequence of courses or
design their own professional development plan consistent with
their needs and background. Learners who wish to pursue more in-depth
or advanced courses should consider other PD&E non-core offerings
and other evaluation training opportunities and resources. The
sequenced evaluation courses build upon and reinforce each other
to provide a comprehensive understanding to extension program
Additional opportunities to build evaluation knowledge and skills
are offered in cross-divisional workshops through the UW-Extension
Program Impacts initiative. For listing see http://www.uwex.edu/impacts/
How is the curriculum delivered?
Teaching methods and delivery vary according to the course offering
and learner needs and suggestions. All workshops include complete
and comprehensive print materials to facilitate learning.
Face-to-face workshops are offered twice annually: once in Madison
and once in Stevens Point or Wausau. Because single workshops
rarely result in skill development that translates into proficient
practice, additional consultation and recycling may be necessary
for the expected proficiency development. Continued opportunities
for learning and consultation are offered. The formal curriculum
is supported and reinforced by one-on-one consultation, technical
assistance and mentoring, both by the Program Development and
Evaluation staff and program area liaisons and specialists. Employees
are encouraged to form their own learning communities to continue
their knowledge and skill development.
Who teaches the curriculum?
Cooperative Extension Program Development and Evaluation Specialists
are the primary teaching faculty. They may partner with non-Extension
experts to deliver particular offerings. Other Extension faculty
and staff will co-develop and co-teach offerings as interest,
time and resources permit.
Additional offerings, not part of the competency curriculum,
may be identified and delivered by other evaluation practitioners
from within Extension or from other organizations.
What is the cost?
There is no charge for registration, course materials, breaks
and lunches (for all day training sessions) for UW-Extension faculty
and staff. Costs are subsidized by the Program Development and
Evaluation unit. Other attendees will be charged for meals, materials
and other costs. Transportation, lodging and incidental meals
are at the expense of the individual attendee. UW-Extension faculty
and staff are encouraged to apply for Professional Development
Funding and financial support from other sources is used to add
to or extend offerings.
How will we evaluate this curriculum?
Program leaders and administrators as well as employees participating
in this core curriculum will be interested to know whether it
makes any difference - is it worth the resources being invested?
The teaching faculty will need information to make necessary changes
and improvements in content and delivery.
We will employ a variety of methods to assess process and outcomes
including standard end-of-session questionnaires at each workshop,
use of participant observers for selected workshops; on-line feedback
forms; an annual participant survey; interviews with participant
supervisors and review of organizational indicators. Program Leaders
and Administrators will receive an annual report of findings.