Type of Document Dissertation Author Dooley, John E. Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-32398-104813 Title Defining the Mission of Virginia Cooperative Extension: an Interpretative Analysis From a Historical Perspective Degree PhD Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Earthman, Glen I. Committee Chair Niles, Jerome A. Committee Member Parks, David J. Committee Member Salmon, Richard G. Committee Member Schwertz, Courtney Committee Member Keywords
- cooperative extension
- Smith-Lever Act
- land-grant university
Date of Defense 1998-03-24 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe study is an interpretative analysis of Virginia Cooperative Extension that
examined the mission of the agency, as defined through its history and enabling
acts of legislation. The study investigated how the mission has evolved during
the eighty-four years of its existence. The study used the intent and context
of the federal Smith-Lever legislation of 1914 as its benchmark to discover what
the desired and anticipated outcomes were for Cooperative Extension by the
original patrons of the legislation. Subsequent legislative acts at both the
state and federal levels, as well as actions by the executive branch of
government, were studied to discover if and when the mission of cooperative
extension has changed and to identify the political, economic, and social
factors that influenced the changes.
The study incorporated accepted methods of historical research and included
the review and analysis of both primary and secondary sources of information.
Interviews of key leaders who have influenced the policy position of Virginia
Cooperative Extension over the past thirty years were conducted.
The data gathered by the study were analyzed and presented to highlight major
themes that could have influenced critical policy issues that have confronted
Virginia Cooperative Extension. The conclusion is that the mission of extension
is two fold: (1) to provide education that could lead to increased economic
opportunity and, (2) to enhance the quality of life enjoyed by Virginia's
Three critical attributes are identified that relate to the ability of
Virginia Cooperative Extension to fulfill its mission: (1) access to
research-based information, (2) a strong presence in local communities, and
(3) a capacity to provide timely responses to emerging issues.
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