Core competencies for MU Extension personnel

Each faculty and staff member is expected to possess knowledge, skills, abilities, behaviors and attributes that contribute to a successful organization. Competencies are used to ensure effective performance, and they are guidelines for individuals to increase their capabilities.

Core attributes for extension faculty and staff are listed below. It is recommended that faculty and staff possess these attributes at the time of employment. If the employee does not display an attribute at that time, the employee should work with the supervisor on a plan for professional development experiences to develop the attribute during the first year of employment.

Detailed core competencies specific for faculty are listed below the basic core attributes for all extension employees. These detailed core competencies can be used in the faculty member’s annual performance evaluation to determine the individual’s professional development needs. The faculty member is encouraged to get help from the supervisor to find appropriate training opportunities. In addition, the faculty member is encouraged to explore internal and external learning experiences that address specific competencies.

Core attributes for extension personnel: entry level

  1. Exhibits a high personal standard of excellence
  2. Is an effective written and oral communicator
  3. Builds and sustains strong interpersonal relationships
  4. Operates with minimal guidance
  5. Is an effective team player
  6. Demonstrates inclusivity, civility and respect for all
  7. Can engage stakeholders, learners and decision-makers
  8. Is a self-directed learner
  9. Demonstrates competence in area(s) appropriate to the position
  10. Is flexible and adaptable to changing circumstances

Detailed core competencies for experienced faculty for performance evaluation and professional development

To see the attributes for the competencies, click the name and description to open for more information.

Communication — The ability to listen and to communicate effectively orally and in writing

  • Ability to effectively publicize programs offered by extension faculty
  • Ability to work effectively with the media
  • Ability to inform constituents about the purpose and role of extension, and the impact of its programs throughout the community, state and nation

Educational programming and knowledge of subject matter — The ability to plan, design, implement, evaluate, account for and report the impact of significant extension education programs that improve the quality of life for extension learners

  • Ability to conduct needs assessment or facilitate asset mapping
  • Ability to develop programs that address identified needs, including program objectives, performance indicators and evaluation plans
  • Ability to engage in extension scholarship that includes transferred or applied knowledge and applied research — such as guide sheets, curricula or journal articles — in-service education instruction, articles in professional and popular press, presentations at professional meetings, and funded grant proposals
  • Ability to understand and apply research being conducted by faculty and others in the program area
  • Ability to engage learners and partners to teach and to facilitate co-learning and co-discovery of knowledge

Inclusivity — The awareness, commitment and ability to include broad cultural perspectives in programming

  • Ability to demonstrate understanding and respect of varying racial, ethnic, religious and social groups, and conduct programming with diverse audiences
  • Ability to incorporate demographic, economic, human service and environmental data into educational programs and services
  • Ability to ensure that programmatic content reflects a valuing of all people
  • Ability to effectively communicate with diverse audiences
  • Ability to recognize, understand and facilitate opportunities within diverse communities
  • Ability to broker the necessary resources that best respond to the needs of individuals and communities
  • Ability to work locally, statewide, nationally and globally

Information and education delivery — The ability to effectively deliver educational programs and information in a way that meets the learning styles of the target audience

  • Ability to utilize new and existing technology and social media as appropriate in educational programming
  • Ability to use delivery methods that support educational programs and guide behavior change among extension learners

Interpersonal relations — The ability to successfully interact with individuals and groups to create partnerships, networks and dynamic human systems

  • Ability to promote the positive exchange of ideas
  • Ability to work as an effective team member
  • Ability to collaborate with faculty and staff located in county offices, across programmatic disciplines, regions and campuses
  • Ability to work with stakeholders, maintaining essential partnerships

Knowledge of organization — Understanding the scope of extension as it is carried out on campus and in the field

  • Mastery of an understanding of the history of extension
  • Mastery of an understanding of the philosophy and mission of extension
  • Mastery of an understanding of the contemporary nature of extension

Leadership — The ability to proactively influence a wide range of diverse individuals and groups positively

  • Ability to make sound decisions, use effective judgment, motivate people and promote excellence
  • Ability to try new ideas
  • Ability to supervise faculty, staff and volunteers

Organizational management — The ability to establish structure, organize processes, generate and monitor revenue, and lead change to obtain educational outcomes effectively and efficiently

  • Ability to manage time
  • Ability to balance multiple priorities and tasks
  • Exhibits entrepreneurship to garner resources for programs

Professionalism — The demonstration of behaviors that reflect high levels of scholarship and performance, a strong work ethic, and a commitment to self-assessment and continuing education and to the mission, vision and goals of extension

  • Actively participate in professional development opportunities to continuously improve skill and research-based knowledge
  • Ability to solve problems and engage in conflict resolution
  • Ability to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability in changing circumstances and opportunities
  • Ability to operate with minimal guidance
  • Shows passion for the mission of extension
  • Ability to pursue working within a framework of professional ethics, promoting collegiality and maintaining integrity
  • Exemplifies the values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence
  • Maintains a high personal standard of excellence


Core competencies for MU Extension faculty: For performance evaluation and professional development assessment and planning checklist (DOC)

Competency-based training and development opportunities and resources (XLSX)