Basic Core Competencies

ISU Extension and Outreach Staff Core Competencies


The following competencies guide staff employment, development and performance.  The ISU Extension and Outreach Professional Development Team suggests updating this list every five years to address contextual changes.  All Extension staff regardless of their title and classification are expected to be competent in most or all of the items listed under each competency.  The depth, scope and weight of each competence will vary due to differences across job descriptions, classifications and unit expectations.

 

Core Competencies for All Staff

Communication and Interpersonal Relations


Successfully interact with individuals and groups in a professional manner.

  • Assess emotions and participants in a situation and adapt accordingly
  • Be open, flexible and willing to adapt to change
  • Be trustworthy, dependable and diplomatic
  • Clearly communicate personal and team needs
  • Communicate in a timely fashion
  • Effectively use distance communication with coworkers, clients and collaborators
  • Filer and focus information to prevent overload
  • Help create positive interpersonal and professional relationships
  • Learn and use problem solving skills
  • Manage conflicts and dilemmas between self, colleagues and clients
  • Use effective group process, facilitation and management techniques
  • Use effective written and oral communication, including use of technology
  • Work effectively as a team member and participate in interdisciplinary projects.

Depth and Scope of ISU Extension and Outreach


Promote the scope and depth of Extension and Outreach carried out on campus and in the field.

  • Aware of ISU Extension and Outreach program offerings and their impact 
  • Connect clients with specific campus and county programs and experiences
  • Remain up to date on priority issues and program offerings throughout the organization
  • Understand and comply with program, ISU and ISU Extension and Outreach mandates, requirement, policies and procedures; including visual identity, safety and communication
  • Understand differences and similarities between program and administrative units
  • Understand the alignment, culture and norms of ISU Extension and Outreach as an organization
  • Understand the history, mission and philosophy of Extension and Land Grant Universities
  • Work towards organization-wide unity

Equity and Diversity


Understand and respect the needs and benefits of a diverse community of people of all genders, ages, cultures, races, religions, sexual orientations, socio-economic backgrounds and abilities.

  • Support programs are sensitive to human differences
  • Support best practices for working with under-represented groups
  • Work with people and organizations representing diverse groups

Partnership Development


Develop partnerships with organizations, government, businesses and other entities to identify and prioritize needs to enhance life in Iowa communities.

  • Build and sustain strong internal relationships at all levels of the organization to enhance external partnerships
  • Contribute to organizational learning through reciprocal relationships with clients and collaborators
  • Develop and use skills and tools to engage with communities and groups
  • Develop and maintain organizational and business alliances and networks to reach common goals
  • Identify and bring resources to communities
  • Monitor issues and trends important to partners and communities
  • Recognize, understand and facilitate opportunities to serve stakeholders through programs
  • Understand how stakeholder, community and government power structures improve local conditions

Professionalism and Leadership


Create positive, professional and productive work ethically and with integrity.

  • Contribute to organizational learning through reciprocal relationships with clients
  • Develop leadership skills to enhance personal, team, program and organizational environments
  • Engage in continuous improvement through intentional targeted professional development
  • Exhibit professional ethics and reflect professionalism in all manners-of-speech, dress, office appearance and behaviors
  • Operate effectively with minimal guidance
  • Positively navigate change and unanticipated or ambiguous situations by remaining diplomatic, flexible and adaptable
  • Respect deadlines, deliverables and policies

Project Management


Establish structure, organize processes, generate and monitor resources and lead change to reach program and project outcomes effectively and efficiently.

  • Adopt human and system capacity building and volunteer engagement techniques
  • Anticipate deadlines including reporting program and project impact and quality and develop contingency plans
  • Apply diverse and effective communication and marketing strategies to reach clients
  • Generate resources through grants, contracts, gifts and/or fees
  • Help create and monitor budgets and projects
  • Help report program and project impact and quality in a timely fashion
  • Analyze and interpret data to enhance project development, implementation and evaluation
  • Manage time and resources, including budget management
  • Support project resources and people effectively
  • Use continuous process improvement tools that build on past and current processes
  • Work with and use available staff skill sets

Additional Core Competencies for Program Staff

Development of Programs


Prioritize, plan, implement, evaluate and report programs that achieve expected outcomes and address issues and trends important to partners and communities.

  • Apply program quality standards to program design and delivery
  • Conduct client and stakeholder environmental scans and needs assessment with appropriate tools
  • Evaluate program quality and impact using multiple approaches
  • Facilitate program priority setting processes/strategic planning
  • Incorporate demographic, economic, social and/or environmental data into client stakeholder programs and projects
  • Produce and disseminate high level Extension scholarship (original intellectual work communicated and validated by peers) to transfer knowledge to clients and colleagues
  • Select, design and resource appropriate curriculum and educational opportunities
  • Understand and use data about clientele, communities and Iowa

Delivery of Programs and Educational Opportunites


Deliver effective research-based programs and educational opportunities

  • Apply appropriate research-based learning approaches and technology for educating target audiences
  • Keep abreast of use of technology and other innovative tools for program needs assesment, development, delivery and evaluation
  • Reflect on evaluation and educational material
  • Teach a variety of topics and audiences in a variety of venues effectively
  • Use technology to enhance learning
  • Use approaches that integrate multiple disciplines/subject matter to address issues

Discipline-focused Content


Keep up to date on subject matter expertise

  • Adeptly translate research into direct application for clients
  • Keep up to date on Land Grant University and other research
  • Participate in professional associations and organizations
  • Participate in subject matter professional development
  • Use new and unique thinking to respond to unique circumstances