Orientation to International Extension: Preparing Extension Faculty for their First International Experience Dr. Pete Vergot III Associate Professor District Extension Director University of Florida/IFAS Extension
The purpose of the orientation component of an international professional development program is to enlighten, motivate and prepare county extension faculty to be a part of international extension activities.
Planning for Success • Committed extension administration providing enthusiasm and funding • Strong leadership with developed international extension experience • County extension faculty with a strong commitment of time and interest
Objectives and Activities • To be better able to respond to the needs of individuals and communities impacted by cultural diversity and global interdependence • An understanding how to become involved in overseas projects and USDA development education efforts • Develop international outreach programs for local clientele • Application of expanded knowledge and increased cultural sensitivity to local problems and programs
Objectives and Activities • An understanding of assistance available on the campus • Time to develop team building skills • Information on international health, expectations of climate and information resources • A chance to discuss issues with experienced faculty and students • An opportunity to develop the objectives, agenda, activities and outcomes of the international training experience.
The Orientation Process • An application and review process • A web site for information • Multi-day training sessions • Preparation for the international experience • Discussion of the debriefing session
A Few Sources of Information • Global Education:What is It? Why Should You Care? http://www.reeusda.gov/serd/ip/global_ed.htm • http://www.worldstudy.gov/
Outcomes and Results The county faculty participating in the training program were excited to share the outcomes, results, personal feelings and benefits they received from the participation of the successful professional development experience.
““The training broadened our understanding of the family structures, cultures, customs, lifestyles and views of people around the world, allowing us to recognize similarities we share and to gain an appreciation of our differences.”” (Converse, 2002).
““We are a rejuvenated group of agents that have a greater appreciation of the support system we have within the University of Florida/ IFAS Extension program.”” (Brinkley, 2002).
““The experience created an opportunity to develop a relationship with co-workers from around the state in both a professional and personal capacity that would otherwise not have been possible.”” (Converse, 2002).
Implications for Extension • A broadened understanding of the family structures, cultures, customs, lifestyles and views of people around the world, allowing us to recognize similarities we share and to gain an appreciation of our differences. • An experience which creates an opportunity to develop a relationship with co-workers from around the state in both a professional and personal capacity that would otherwise not be possible.
Implications for Extension • A strengthened commitment and dedication to jobs and an energized Faculty members • A Faculty that realizes that they have many things to learn from others, but we also have a great amount of valuable knowledge they can teach • A rejuvenated group of agents that have a greater appreciation of the support system they have within the University Extension program.
Thank you • Questions? Dr. Pete Vergot III Associate Professor District Extension DirectorUniversity of Florida/IFAS Extension