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Title:The role of the EFNEP paraprofessional in revitalized Cooperative Extension Service
Author(s):Gehrt, Karen Roth
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Farmer, James A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Home Economics
Education, Adult and Continuing
Education, Agricultural
Abstract:Shrinking resources was the driving force behind downsizing of the Illinois Cooperative Extension Service, affecting staff, volunteers, and programs throughout Illinois. The purpose of this mini-strategic planning study was to contribute information that could have potential relevance to internal and external decision makers targeting new audiences in issue-oriented programming.
Separate interview schedules were developed for use with paraprofessionals, professionals, and administrators. Twelve paraprofessionals, seven professionals, and six administrators provided the data for this study. Questions were framed from a "then-and-now" perspective and focused on employment characteristics of interviewees, needs assessment; problems, issues, and concerns; perceived changes; and recommended changes.
The main hypothesis for this study was: learning whether changes in Cooperative Extension Service would require a change in the way in which paraprofessionals are used to help EFNEP achieve its mission. The second hypothesis was that recommendations can best be interpreted from the perspective of a link-pin model that uses paraprofessionals to achieve a two-way flow between EFNEP and the target audience, as well as up and down the organization.
The main findings included: a description of paraprofessionals from 1969 to present, the work of the paraprofessionals from 1969 to present, facilitating factors that contribute to helping EFNEP achieve its mission, and limiting factors that detract from EFNEP being able to accomplish its mission. The findings are content analyzed and interpreted from the perspective of a link-pin model.
Finally, specific conclusions, implications, and recommendations are discussed. They include a thorough discussion of the three types of paraprofessionals: the new breed of paraprofessionals, the appropriate and inappropriate application of the link-pin model to the use of paraprofessionals, and a thorough discussion of paraprofessionals as a "nerve center" that links the Cooperative Extension Service to diverse and pluralistic audiences.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Gehrt, Karen Roth
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503194
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503194

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