|WINTER 2002||A QUARTERLY PUBLICATION OF IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION|
Iowa State University Extension professionals didnt
have to look far when they decided to seek new ways to engage Iowans in
research-based education. They simply took a look at their existing outreach
programs, listened to their constituents and formed the ISU Academy.
In creating the academy, Extensions goal is to partner with
non-academic entities such as business and industry and develop targeted
educational components to meet their needs, said Sorrel Brown, operations
manager with ISU Extensions Continuing
Education and Communication Services.
An existing program that became part of the academy is Family Development
Certification Training, developed in 1998. Since that time the program
has trained 160 family development specialists statewide. The ISU Extension
training is approved by the Family Development and Self Sufficiency (FaDSS)
Council of Iowa. The key to the programs success is that it emphasizes
family strengths, rather than weaknesses. Those who have participated
in the program agree.
Family strengths was something our program has always focused heavily
on, but this training has made doing it much easier, said Patricia
J. West, an FaDSS coordinator in Creston.
The newest program to fall under the academys umbrella is the John
Deere In Tune with Agriculture Institute, created when John Deere Waterloo
Works approached ISU Extension about developing and delivering an agricultural
awareness course to its workforce. The institutes first course began
in fall 2001.
Several more institutes are in the exploratory stage. To become an institute
a program proposal must undergo a rigorous planning and evaluation process
and be reviewed by sources outside the university. Proposals contain a
variety of components, including objectives, online access, unique benefits
and funding commitment.
One proposal, the Youth Contributing to Communities Institute, is an
effort to ensure that everyone working with community youth organizations
has the support and technical assistance of a research organization such
as Iowa State University. An organization seeking this assistance would
receive assessment of its programs, training for youth workers and community
leaders and leadership development.
This would give us another way to bring 4-H to youth groups across
Iowa, said Don Broshar, ISU
Extension 4-H youth development specialist.
The benefit, Broshar noted, isnt just to Iowas youth. The program would create a pool of future community leaders and a skilled, ready workforce.
Contact Laura Sternweis, editor, email@example.com.
Visit the ISU Extension homepage.
Last update: January 2002