Your Second Month

Program Development

Program development is the central activity around which all other System activities revolve. Structurally, programs are categorized as either “rural or traditional” or “urban and non-traditional.” This structure serves both the rural and urban geographic areas of the state, and provides for the continuation of traditional programs while expanding services to new audiences and locations.

Extension education includes a combination of both highly structured educational activities designed to meet well defined needs through specific program objectives; and more spontaneous activities required to respond to unplanned, but equally important, immediate needs. Numerous examples exist along a continuum of extensive Extension activities from the most structured programs to our spontaneous responses to the unique needs of the individuals we serve. Due in part to unique funding (federal, state, county, and contracts/grants) Extension education has always included a combination of statewide program efforts and local programs based solely upon a specific local need or problem. Maintaining an appropriate balance of these two types of programs is critical. (See section V. of theOperational Policies Manual. The manual is currently under review.)

  • Program Planning (review the 2014 Grassroots Summary and the 2013 ACES Contact Reporting System (under Plan of Work System); also review the 2014-2018 SPI Logic Models)
  • ACES Planning and Reporting newsletter
  • Program development should include plans for providing equal access to educational programs.That’s part of our commitment to civil rights and diversity. Also see the Fourth Month, Affirmative Action information.
  • Creating Excellent Programs is a downloadable resource from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. The authors explain that program development has four major phases (plan, design, implement, and measure); they provide details about each phase. If you like bulleted lists, you’ll appreciate
    • Pages 5 and 6 – action steps for each phase,
    • Apply it! sections throughout provide practical guiding questions,
    • Tables on pages 22 and 25 summarize Extension delivery methods and match teaching methods to learning styles, and
    • Worksheets found in the appendix.
  • Plan of Work (linked to the documentation section)
  • Learning Styles (eXtension Online Campus.) This online course will help you identify different ways to present content to better reach diverse groups of learners.
  • Presentation Skills for Extension Educators (eXtension Online Campus. This course requires login to access)
  • Program Delivery
  • Creating Excellent Programs is a handbook from Texas AgriLife Extension. While Alabama Extension doesn’t operate exactly like Texas AgriLife Extension, there is much to be gained from this program development resource.

Program Evaluation

Any data used for research must have Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval. Research is defined as any data that are used for conference presentations, journal publications, dissertations, and other publications. You do not have to receive IRB approval to determine if you have met project goals. See AU’s Office of Human Subjects Research for details.

AU IRB has contracted with the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) at the University of Miami to provide web-based Human Subjects Research (HSR) training. This training is required for anyone involved in research on people. Surveys are considered to be HSR. Please see the list of courses AU IRB requires to be completedbefore projects will be approved. Download this document for CITI registration instructions.

  • Program Evaluation (section on UKY’s website, project of SRPSD committee)
  • Use of Surveys in Extension for Program Development and Evaluation (eXtension webinar)
  • Qualtrics is the web-based survey software used by Auburn University employees. It allows you to create, collect and store data for surveys, and to produce reports. Login at AU Access by typing in your username and password. Click on the “Employee Services” tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page to “Qualtrics.”