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Career Progression for Urban Extension Professionals

Career Progression for Urban Extension Professionals

Extension faculty and staff working in urban areas need the same set of core competencies as Extension professionals in other geographic settings. However, they must also have additional skills and attributes to effectively address the needs of urban constituents. At the same time, Extension faculty and staff must manage their careers within traditionally structured academic systems that often lack the flexibility to incorporate new ways to accomplish the land grant mission. This creates a dilemma for Extension professionals who want to work in urban areas and advance in their careers as well.

To be successful in achieving Extension impact and community change in this environment, Extension professionals need flexibility from the academic system. Thus, new and innovative career tracks balanced with academic rigor – including promotion and tenure requirements – will help propel urban Extension professionals to both greater academic advancement and overall impact.

As the Extension in the Urban West document states, “New urban extension educators will increasingly need to be multicultural, multilingual, suburban/urban-savvy and able to relate cross-generationally.” Their career tracks in extension and academia will have to match this charge.

Plan of Work

This deep dive will look at current system approaches for urban Extension professionals that are successful and replicable for urban counties. Research will include:

  • Recruiting practices for urban Extension professionals beyond traditional academia’s methods.
  • Comparing the role of subject matter expert versus convener in urban Extension and how that can translate to academic success in career tracks.
  • Exploring how volunteer recruitment and management (convening) as a program/teaching strategy can be used for academic success for urban Extension professionals.
  • Exploring partnership work (convening) as a program/teaching strategy to accomplish urban Extension and community impacts.
  • Integrating cross-generational workplace methodologies/career tracks for urban Extension professionals.
  • How academia and urban extension professionals can come together to develop and employ an appropriate career track/reward system that meets their mutual goals.



Applied Research Fellow: Jeantyl Norze, Ph.D.

Dr. Jeantyl Norze completed his veterinary degree at the Universidad Agraria de La Habana (UNAH) in Cuba. He completed his M. S. in Human Resource Education and Ph.D. in Agricultural and Extension Education with an area of concentration in Evaluation at Louisiana State University (LSU). After completing his Ph.D., he was employed as a postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education and Evaluation at LSU where he taught program development and program evaluation courses to undergraduate and graduate students, respectively. He also assisted with instruction of selected courses including research methods, design, and analysis. Dr. Norze has numerous conference presentations and publications in refereed journals. He is also an editorial board member of several refereed journals. Dr. Norze is currently a faculty member at University of Nevada, Reno Extension. His responsibilities in this position include contributing to the mission of the UNR Extension, the College, and the university by advancing the Southern Area’s agenda.