2005 NACAA Professional Improvement Evaluation Results

Chuck Otte, President Elect - NACAA

Proceedings (1.2 MB) PDF

Evaluations were conducted at the conclusion of each of the Professional Improvement Programs held during the 2005 AM/PIC on July 17 - 21 in Buffalo, NY. Only the three Councils evaluated their programs. No non committee functions were evaluated. This would include the Professional Improvement tours, Professional Improvement luncheon programs, Pre & Post Tours, and leadership & organizational functions.

Over 80 different professional improvement sessions were offered totaling over 40 hours of training. In addition there were Search for Excellence presentations, brown bag seminars, presentations on working with elected officials hosted by the Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP), Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension, (SARE) presentations, National Plant Diagnostic Network trainings and an opportunity for members to take the American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists Certification Exam. These 25+ opportunities totaled an additional 45 hours of professional improvement. An Animal Science pre-tour provided two days of intense training. The 28 all day professional improvement tours gave members an opportunity to learn about many different aspects of Extension work in the northeastern United States. Total professional improvement opportunities at the 2005 AM/PIC (including seminars, tours, etc.) were just slightly over 300 hours!

Summary of Professional Improvement Session Evaluations

637 evaluations completed, 82 professional improvement sessions offered.

  1. 65% of participants stated that their knowledge had increased by much or very much as a result of participation in these seminars.
  2. 67% of participants stated that the subject matter of these workshops were applicable or very applicable to their situations.
  3. 65% of participants stated that the workshops offered were unique or very unique to NACAA.
  4. 55% of participants stated that their job performance would improve by much or very much as a result of participation in these workshops.
  5. 65% of participants felt that their expertise had increased by much or very much as a result of participation in these workshops.
  6. 83% of participants had learned 1 – 6 new ideas as a result of participation in these workshops.

In addition to the evaluations that were collected at the professional improvement sessions, a slightly different evaluation was conducted at five Search for Excellence programs conducted by the Program Recognition Council. This survey attempted to also determine why members were attending the sessions and then collect some very basic demographic information on the attendees.

  1. When asked why they attended the session (respondents could mark more than one reason), 58% responded that the subject matter was appropriate to their programming and 49% attended to expand their knowledge on the subject matter.
  2. As a result of attending the sessions, 71% indicated that they had gained much or very much knowledge on the subject presented.
  3. Was the subject matter applicable to your position? 42% of those responding said it was applicable and 48% said it was very applicable.
  4. The survey attempted to find out if these professional improvement opportunities were unique to the NACAA AM/PIC. 34% felt that they were very unique (not available elsewhere) and 64% felt that the sessions were "somewhat unique".
  5. 78% of the respondents indicated that their job performance would be improved by some degree or a great degree by attending the session.
  6. When asked how much their expertise in the presented subject matter had increased, 84% indicated it had increased by some or a great degree.
  7. Did the session provide any new ideas that the respondents could take home and use? All respondents indicated that they had gained at least one new idea. Specifically, 6% had gained more than 7 new ideas, 20% 5 to 6 new ideas, 40% had gained 3 - 4 new ideas and 34% had gained 1 or 2 new ideas.
  8. The breakdown of the sampled participants showed that 73% were county or field staff, 8% were area or state specialists, 3% were administrators and 11% were retirees.

The demographics of the respondents showed that on average they had almost 19 years of Extension experience (the range was 1 to 34 years). On average this was their 8th Annual Meeting/Professional Improvement Conference (with a range of 1 to 23 AM/PICs). (Retirees were not included in these last calculations.)

Poster Session

The Poster Session had exceptional entries in 2005. There were 63 posters displayed in the Extension Education section and 40 posters in the Applied Research section. The posters were located in the grand hallway immediately outside the ballroom used for the general sessions. This allowed ample opportunity for viewing of these excellent Extension program and research results.