The role of the Tennessee 4-H specialist as perceived by 4-H agents

Abstract

The primary purpose of this study was to examine the perception of 4-H agents in terms of the role of the state level Extension 4-H specialist. The population included 225 county level 4-H agents employed by either University of Tennessee or Tennessee State University Extension. Data analyses for this study included an examination of demographic factors and 13 questions related to perception (quantitative) as well as three open ended questions (qualitative). Five research questions were examined to determine the perceived role of the 4-H specialists from the perspective of the current 4-H agents and identify what differences exist between role perceptions of the specialist and generational or demographic differences among the agents. The questions were: • Is there a difference between the perceptions of the role of the Extension 4-H specialist based on different ages of 4-H agents? • Is there a difference between the perceptions of the role of the Extension 4-H specialist based on different genders of 4-H agents? • Is there a difference between the perceptions of the role of the Extension 4-H specialist based on different years of experience of 4-H agents? • Is there a difference between the perceptions of the role of the Extension 4-H specialist based on different geographical locations of 4-H agents? • How do 4-H agents perceive that Extension 4-H Specialists are performing their duties? The quantitative results of this study, gleaned from research questions 1 – 4, concluded there was no significant difference in perception of the role of the 4-H specialist due to age, gender, years of experience, nor geographical location of the respondent. Additionally, the open-ended questions, which addressed research question five, provided mixed responses. Some respondents indicated that the Extension 4-H Specialists were performing their duties well. Other respondents provided feedback and methods for improvement

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This paper was published in UTC Scholar.

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