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.
Norze, J. and E. Killian. 2023. Career progression for urban Extension professionals. Western Center for Metropolitan Extension and Research. Available at https://s3.wp.wsu.edu/uploads/sites/2164/2023/11/Career-Progression-for-Urban-Extension-Professionals.pdf