Professional development is a term we use in Cooperative Extension to refer to the broad array of learning experiences that builds an employee’s capacity as a professional, enhances their ability to respond to local needs, or assists in meeting long-term career goals. One type of professional development is in-service education.
In-service education includes those learning experiences sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Service designed to enhance the performance of its employees. Extension agents and associates enroll in those in-service sessions that best meet their needs. Sessions are generally taught by specialists and other resource persons. Although Program Areas and Departments may have a preliminary review process, individuals wishing to conduct an in-service education session must submit proposals for the sessions they plan to conduct to the Program and Staff Development Office.
A web-based catalog of in-service offerings is created each spring which lists many of the sessions to be offered from July 1 of the current year to June 30 of the following year. However, that catalog is open-ended with additional sessions being added throughout the year. Therefore it is wise to review the opportunities on a monthly basis. Participants will enroll on-line and once a commitment is made to attend, it is expected that the individual will show up. Enrollment also assures that employees will be notified of changes or cancellations related to those scheduled trainings. If circumstances require you to change plans, cancellations should be made by going on-line to the enrollment site at least 30 days prior to the event. After that, no shows will be listed as such on the in-service roster and agent’s transcript.
The Program and Staff Development Office maintains a computer database of each agent’s participation in in-service education. A transcript of the training an employee has received can be generated upon request by that employee, their supervisor or the PSD Department.