The Program Team structure provides a mechanism for faculty to surface statewide needs and priorities within their area, and engage community partners to develop new statewide programs and educational resources to increase Extension’s reach and impact.
Program Team and Working Group Structure
Program Team Overview
There are five Program Teams that align with state legislative mandates and regional and national priorities. They include:
- Urban – led by Southern Area Director, Eric Killian
- 4-H Youth Development – led by State 4-H Director, Carrie Stark
- Families, Youth, Health & Nutrition – led by Associate Director, Shannon Horrillo
- Community & Economic Development – led by TBD
- Agriculture, Natural Resources & Horticulture – led by Northern Area Director, Holly Gatzke
Program Teams are responsible for identifying statewide needs and priorities in their respective areas, and establishing working groups to address these priorities. Each Program Team develops a five year Plan of Work (see template below) that includes a compilation of each Working Group’s Work Plan. Program Teams meet at least annually to review and revise, as needed, program team priorities and the Plan of Work. Programs Teams are comprised of academic faculty with subject matter expertise, and select administrative faculty for program areas that do not have academic oversight. Individuals may affiliate with one or more Program Teams.
Identifying Needs and Priorities
Program Teams conduct formal needs in accordance with the Needs Assessment Framework Guide. Each Program Team will form one Needs Assessment Task Force (NATF) responsible for creating and implementing the needs assessment. The NATF will include technical expert(s) to advise and support the process along with faculty from the Program Team. Based on the needs assessment the Program Team identifies Extension priorities.
Each Program Team is expected to conduct a comprehensive, formal needs assessment every five to seven years to inform change in Extension programming. However, the Program Team may conduct a non-formal needs assessment before the regular timeframe in case of a major internal (e.g., budgetary reductions) and/or external (e.g., political, economic, or societal change and natural disaster) event.
Working Groups Overview
Working Groups form organically based on priorities identified by the Program Teams. Working Groups are responsible for developing and implementing strategies to address identified needs and priorities. SNAP-Ed and Master Gardener will be standing Working Groups under the respective Program Team. Individuals chose which working group(s) to participate on based on their interests and expertise. Membership may include Extension faculty and staff, NSHE faculty and staff, personnel from agencies and NGOs, producers/growers, stakeholders, etc. Membership should be determined by the Working Group and the composition should position the Working Group for the greatest success.
Working Groups may be short-term or indefinite. The tenure of the group depends on the need or priority being addressed. Working Groups develop a Work Plan (see template below) that identifies how the need or priority will be addressed. If a Working Group would like to address issues that are multi-state they should apply to be a multi-state project through NIMSS and follow that process. Each member of a Working Group should have a meaningful role and independent contribution that can be clearly articulated on annual evaluations and tenure and promotion packets (if applicable).
Working Group Chairs
Each Working Group should have a chair or set of co-chairs that is assigned upon establishment of the Working Group, or after the first meeting. The chairs should have an Extension appointment and selected in a manner determined by the Working Group. The standing Working Groups will be chaired by the respective state coordinator for the program. The Working Group Chair(s) will:
- Provide leadership for the Working Group and facilitate meetings
- Convene the Working Group regularly as determined by members. Each Working Group must meet quarterly at a minimum. Groups should meet at least monthly as they are developing their initial Work Plan or addressing an emergent need.
- Ensure the Working Group develops a Work Plan, and submit to the Program Team lead annually by the due date. The Work Plan must be reviewed and updated annually at a minimum.
- Communicate any significant changes in the Working Group to the Program Team lead, including any changes in the chair and Work Plan.
Expectations and Role Statements
Academic faculty should participate in one Program Team aligning with their subject matter expertise and at least one Working Group. Academic faculty should include their planned service, teaching, and/or research related to the Program Teams and Working Groups in their role statements. Accomplishments should be included in annual evaluations and promotion documents under the respective sections. Additionally, Extension Educators may want to showcase how they have provided access to the programs and resources to constituents in their county. Administrative faculty could include their engagement and planned activities in their IPOs and highlight accomplishments in their annual evaluation.
During the annual evaluation, the Area Director and Extension Director will be looking for alignment of the academic faculty’s work with the State Plan of Work, and the faculty’s independent and meaningful contributions to the Working Group beyond service.
- Late Summer 2020 – Urban Program Team
- Fall 2020 – 4-H Youth Development Program Team
- Spring 2021 – Agriculture, Natural Resources & Horticulture Program Team
- Fall 2021 – Family, Youth, Health & Nutrition Program Team
- Winter 2022 – Community & Economic Development Program Team
Annual Reporting Timeline
- Working Group Work Plans due – September 30
- Program Team Plans of Work due – October 31
- State Plan of Work completed – November 15
For the Program Team Plan of Work (5 Year Plan) and Working Group Work Plan use the link below to download PDF.