Perceptions of Texas County Extension Agents on Volunteers Who Assist With Planning and Implementation of Extension Educational Programs
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The objective of the study was to determine and evaluate county extension agents' perceptions on volunteer management competencies related to their county program. General perceptions related to volunteer management were also assessed. The research was conducted on Texas county extension agents working in the fields of agriculture and natural resources and family and consumer sciences. The purpose of this study was to make inferences concerning volunteer management based on self assessment data gained from study participants. The secondary purpose was to identify concerns and provide solutions for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service to enhance this organization. Five research questions were examined by the researcher: 1) What are the demographics of county extension agents working for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, 2) What are the county characteristics of extension volunteers and volunteer programs in Texas, 3) What are the differences in volunteer management based on location factors such as population size and staff size, 4) Is the ISOTURE model for volunteer management utilized by county extension agents working for the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and 5) How do county extension agents perceive their volunteer programs are viewed by the clientele they serve? The population of county extension agents was 451 at the time of data collection. Two hundred seventeen (217) responses were collected. The instrument for this study was in electronic format and was divided into three sections; general volunteerism, specified volunteerism as it relates to "Your Volunteer Group," and demographic data. The participant was asked to select a specified volunteer group which had eight predefined groups and one blank for "Other." The results of this study identified seven significant findings with seven recommendations for Texas AgriLife Extension Service regarding professional development, volunteer utilization, and volunteer structure. Conclusions reached from this research show county extension agents utilize the volunteer management model adopted by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Furthermore, differences in environment such as population, staffing pattern, and volunteer utilization have influence on how volunteers are utilized in different counties. Finally, the researcher identified seven areas of further research.
Matthies, Allen Z. (2009). Perceptions of Texas County Extension Agents on Volunteers Who Assist With Planning and Implementation of Extension Educational Programs. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from