Why We Do It
In 2006, the Western Extension Directors Association (WEDA) tasked the WRPLC: Western Regional Program Leadership Committee (.doc) to identify the characteristics of Western metropolitan and to explore one or more conceptual models for metropolitan Extension work. Based upon a literature review and an informal survey of state Extension programs, the WRPLC concluded in its report (.pdf).
- A common approach to metropolitan Extension education and issue analysis does not exist in the West
- Woefully, little has been published on metropolitan Extension models or how to operationalize them
Strengthening Western Extension
Strong Extension programs are informed by research and supported by best practices, however WRPLC’s research suggested that that the resources to guide metropolitan Extension organizations in the west were limited to university outreach or faculty development.
Recognizing these distinctions of metropolitan centers in the West, WEDA established the Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research in 2014 to:
- Increase the internal capacity of Western Extension programs to address metropolitan issues
- Elevate the stature and value of Cooperative Extension to external metropolitan audiences