Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

Accountability

Extension strives to provide our stakeholders credible and actionable evidence on the quality and effectiveness of our efforts. We collect and report data and stories which demonstrate our relevance, quality, and impact.

Relevance. Being relevant means we are good stewards of the resources we are entrusted, using the resources for the purpose they are intended, and on programs where there is an identified need. We demonstrate relevance by:

  • Conducting needs assessments to identify the significant problems, issues, and/or needs of the local community where Extension has expertise and can make an impact
  • Including stakeholders, community members, and advisory group members in the needs assessment process
  • Implementing comprehensive educational programs to address the problems, issues, and/or needs of the local community
  • Evaluating educational efforts to determine effectiveness and continued need

Quality. Being a quality program means customers are highly satisfied with Extension programs and services. Customer feedback is a commonly used measure of quality. We demonstrate quality customer service by:

  • Determining the program qualities that are important to the program participants and our stakeholders (research based knowledge, convenient location, polite, responds in timely manner, etc.)
  • Aligning the educational program to the program qualities important to the program participants and our stakeholders
  • Surveying participants and stakeholders to determine satisfaction with the identified qualities

Impact. Having impact means that Extension has made a difference. The ultimate long term goal is social, economic, or environmental change. Before this can happen learning must occur; which in turn can lead to behavior change. Once you are able to show a change in behavior, then one can begin to show programming has made a difference. We demonstrate impact by:

  • Showing demonstrated changes in learning (changes in knowledge and/or skills necessary for the desired behavior change to occur) as a result of participation in the Extension program 
  • Showing demonstrated changes in behavior (adopted practices necessary to attain the results) as a result of participation in the Extension program 
  • Showing demonstrated changes in social, economic or environmental conditions as a result of Extension efforts

Who is interested in our data?

  • USDA/NIFA, NC Dept. of Agriculture
  • US Congress, NC Legislature, County Commissioners
  • Governor, County Managers
  • Chancellor, Dean, Directors
  • UNC System Office
  • Commodity Groups, Agribusinesses, Partners
  • Foundations, Funders, etc.

Federal Accountability Legislation 

Smith Lever Act of 1914 – Required land-grant universities to submit a plan of work and annual report of operations.

National Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 – Required the Department of Agriculture to submit an evaluation of economic and social consequences of the programs of the Extension Service to Congress.

Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 – GPRA required program purposes and expected outcomes and indicators be identified.

Agricultural Improvement and Reform Act of 1996 (freedom to farm act) – USDA was tasked with evaluating agricultural research and extension activities supported by USDA.

Agricultural Research Extension and Education Reauthorization Act of 1998 – AREERA included the “Stakeholder Rule” where land-grant institutions are required to establish and implement a process for obtaining input from stakeholders concerning the use of federal capacity funds.


Resources

Credible and Actionable Evidence   Journal of Human Sciences and Extension (2019). Special Issue: Credible and Actionable Evidence in Extension Practice

NC State Mission, Vision, and Values  Consonant with our history, mission, and vision, North Carolina State University affirms these core values: Integrity in the pursuit, creation, application, and dissemination of knowledge; Freedom of thought and expression; Respect for cultural and intellectual diversity; Responsibility for individual actions and service to society; Stewardship in sustaining economic and natural resources; and Excellence in all endeavors.

Ethical Decision Making Framework  Do you have a difficult decision to make?
The decision making framework can help guide you to THINK and DO…The Right Thing!

Important Legal Topics for New Employees  General overview of topics all employees should be familiar with presented by the NC State Office of General Counsel.

Federal Plan of Work The Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Reform Act (AREERA) requires us to submit a plan of work, including yearly accomplishments and results, in order to receive federal funding and to help “tell the story” of how the land-grant university partners and NIFA are working together to advance agricultural research and extension across the nation.