Faculty Perception of Students’ Extension Competency Needs Within Haiti’s Agricultural Universities
University of Florida
Agriculture plays a fundamental role in securing economic growth and development within developing countries (United States Agency for International Development [USAID], 2011). Haitian agricultural students are future leaders within Haiti’s agricultural sector (USAID, 2011). It is critical that these students receive proper education in necessary extension competency areas during their time at the university. The purpose of this research was to determine Haitian faculty’s perception of what competency areas should be focused on in order to ensure that their students are prepared to be successful extension workers upon graduation. The objectives were to: (a) describe faculty opinions about the importance of extension competency areas, (b) describe faculty opinions about the responsibility of their institution to teach extension competency areas, and (c) describe faculty opinions about student mastery of competency areas upon graduation. Results showed the lowest ranked competency areas in mastery were: (a) gender issues in agriculture, (b) adult learning, (c) behavior change, (d) critical thinking, and (e) youth issues in agriculture. The lowest in importance were: (a) adult learning, (b) gender issues in agriculture, (c) behavior change, (d) youth issues in agriculture, and (e) community organizing. The lowest ranking in responsibility of institution were: (a) adult learning, (b) behavior change, (c) critical thinking, (d) gender issues in agriculture, and (e) adaption to change. An overall recommendation is to create a council consisting of faculty, students, extension personnel, farmers, and government officials who will be tasked with determining necessary competency areas for students.
Keywords: Haiti; Competency, Extension; Development; Agricultural Universities