Decision-Makers' Perception of Quality Indicators for the Total County Extension Program

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The purpose of the study was to examine the relationship between decision-makers' perception of quality indicators and the socio-demographic factors, organizational factors and spatial factors. Fourteen randomly selected counties participated in the study. Local Extension decision-makers (county funding partners, Extension staff, and advisory members) were targeted in each county along with Extension administrators. Five hundred thirteen (513) survey instruments were distributed with two hundred fifty nine usable instruments returned (259) for a response rate of 50%. Three focus groups were used to validate and select quality indicators for the Total County Extension Program. The independent variables were socio-demographic factors (age, gender, ethnic background, and educational level), organizational factors (relational and primary role, length of association, intensity of interaction) and spatial factors (accessibility, size of staff, resident status). The research found that decision-makers' perception of quality indicators varied by organizational, spatial and socio-demographic factors. Organizational factors such as role (relational, primary) of the decision-maker had an influence on perception of quality. Intensity of interaction and accessibility (spatial) also has an influence of the decision-makers' perception of quality. Extension administrators were most often the decision-maker group that was significantly different from the county partners, advisory members and local Extension staff. Other socio-demographic factors such as age, gender, ethnicity had little influence on quality indicators. Decision-makers' educational level had significant influence on quality indicators. Spatial factors of resident status and size of Extension staff had marginal influence on some indicators of quality.



stakeholders, partners, program excellence





Agricultural Education