Funding Extension: The Impact of Financial Resources on Extension Programming and Community Support

College of Liberal Arts

Masters of Public Policy and Administration


Primary Topic:

Economic and Community Development

Other Topics:

Economic and Community Development, Emergency Planning and Resources, Food and Agriculture, Health and Well-Being, Natural Resources and Sustainability, Youth and Family Development

Lead Mentor:  

Alexis Kennedy

Assistant Professor

Internship Overview:

The internship program will support an engaged research project focused on understanding in what ways local CSU Extension offices are funded, how the types of funding impact service delivery, and in what ways CSU central can support future grantmaking endeavors and outcomes. With Extension moving to faculty status and the new expectation of recovering costs and leveraging funds, we wanted to delve into the logistics, opportunities, and barriers that exist for Extension staff. First, we are interested in the composition of and the ways in which CSU Extension field offices are currently funded and how that may differ across county field offices. Second, we want to explore what are the opportunities and challenges when working with different types of grantmaking organizations including philanthropy, government, and CSU. Third, we want to know how CSU central supports extension agents with grantmaking, compliance, and resource allocation. Also, what is the role that CSU advancement plays with extension agents when grants do come in? Finally, we are interested in what ways these types of funding mechanisms impact extension programming and engagement with local communities? Engagement partners and stakeholders will include CSU central and all CSU Extension offices.

Goals, Scope and Objectives:

The proposed internship goals are to 1) better understand Extension funding mechanisms, 2) engage with extension field offices to support their new faculty status, and 3) conduct research that will inform ongoing and future Extension grantmaking endeavors. For our intern, our goals are to support their professional development in research, community building, and stakeholder engagement. Before the intern starts, mentors will be working with stakeholders through engaged practices to fine-tune the research questions, research plans, and build focus group, survey, and interview instruments to be submitted for approval through the IRB. When the intern starts, they will be predominantly working as a project manager to support the larger community engagement activities including recruiting for and attending community meetings. They will also work as a research assistant and participate in data collection and analysis efforts including focus groups, surveys, and interviews. In addition, the intern will work with mentors to write up findings for both community-based and academic audiences. They will have the opportunity to co-author and publish in academic journals.

With which stakeholder group(s) will the intern work?

The intern will work with mentors, Extension field agents, and CSU staff.

What student learning outcomes do you anticipate and what are the opportunities for professional development?

Students will learn or continue to develop their project management, community engagement, and research skills by organizing and running meetings, writing literature reviews, designing research plans, engaging community members, recruiting for and supporting focus groups, recruiting for and collecting survey and interview responses, conducting qualitative and quantitative data analysis, co-authoring community reports and academic articles, and presenting findings. In addition, they will have the opportunity to build their social capital through engagement with Extension offices.
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