COLLEGE STATION — The Organizational Development Unit of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service was honored with the agency’s superior service award recently for its efforts to “provide innovations and effective resources empowering employees to develop and deliver high-quality and relevant educational programs.”
The unit includes 22 professional staff and eight students.
The unit leads in the areas of program development, accountability, evaluation, employee development/onboarding, eLearning, volunteerism, strategic planning, emergency management and homeland security, and special projects, according to the nomination.
“The efforts of the unit are integral to AgriLife Extension fulfilling its mission at the local, district, regional, and state level,” according to the citation.
For example, a new “Program Excellence Model” was developed with stakeholder and clientele input and is being used for professional development courses. The guide that accompanies the model is a comprehensive set of publications designed to assist faculty as they work through the phases and steps of the Program Excellence Model.
The unit has had more than 1,950 participants involved in 46 professional development courses, both face-to-face and online, since 2009.
The unit also collects, summarizes, and interprets accountability evidence for the agency. These efforts are instrumental in meeting state and federal statutes, as well as assisting county faculty with program interpretation at the local level. The system used for this, Texas Extension Accountability System, led the unit to assist agents and specialists through approximately 3,100 phone calls and 3,600 emails since 2008. Twenty-one trainings were conducted with districts and units during that time.
Information gleaned from these efforts was supplied to the state’s Legislative Budget Board for quarterly and annual performance measure reports. The system also enabled the group to develop accountability one-pagers for AgriLife Extension administrative use with all 181 state legislators.