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Cooperative Extension

What is Cooperative Extension? While all colleges/universities have research and teaching components land grant universities have a third role known as extension. Extension programs extend beyond students to the adults, youth and children in the community throughout the state. These programs are run through local county offices and by state and regional specialists and include well known programs such as 4-H. Find out more about the role and mission of extension.

Career Path: Cooperative Extension


Your Title:

Regional/State Family Finance Specialist: Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Professor

 

What You Will Do:

Typically responsible for:

  • Providing support to county extension offices through developing curriculum, training agents and providing mini-grants for programming.
  • Fielding direct requests from the public in answering questions and providing workshops/services.
  • Conducting classes to train extension workers in specialized fields and in teaching techniques.
  • Research, service and teaching at the university (sometimes 2 out of 3).

Extension Specialists are usually “housed” with a university department. This is most often in the Human Development and Family Studies or similar departments. While specialists work under their Department Chair, who works under a college dean, they also collaborate closely with county extension faculty and regional supervisors.

 

What Knowledge, Skills and Abilities Will Make You Successful: 

  • Teaching: Extension specialists need to be skilled at teaching a variety of audiences including children, youth and adults.
  • Research/Publications: Collaborations with county faculty to publish extension fact sheets, develop curriculum and publish research related to personal finance will be an important factor in obtaining tenure.
  • Grant writing: Securing grants to support and develop major programs is expected of most family finance specialists.
  • Program Development/Evaluation: Specialists must create effective programming to meet the needs of their state and have the skills to evaluate new/existing programs to improve their effectiveness.
     

Where You Should Start: 

Typically requires a PhD. May also require the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification. Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) certification is highly recommended.

Most extension specialists are tenure track, starting as an Assistant Professor with extension.  If tenure is awarded, promotions to Associate Professor and then full professor may follow.  These promotions are usually given after a significant amount of research has been completed and published and other factors determined by the university, such as securing grant funds.

 

Your Salary Potential:

Most extension specialists are tenure track, starting as an Assistant Professor with extension.  If tenure is awarded, promotion to Associate Professor and then full professor may follow.  These promotions are usually given after a significant amount of research has been completed and published and other factors determined by the university, such as securing grant funds.

Simplyhired.com lists the average salary for state extension specialists as $56K.

Glassdoor.com the salary ranges from $40-80K

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