A career in Extension offers you an opportunity to create innovative solutions to solve pressing issues facing Nebraskans. Extension faculty become a voice in their local community. Through Extension, you can be a leader for change from the ground up. Our faculty work in areas that mean the most to them. Passions transfer into careers helping Nebraska to succeed.

We seek key characteristics in those we invite to join our team of change-agents. These characteristics of ideal Extension professionals serve as guidelines as we search for others to impact our communities.

Successful Teacher

  • Implements an effective, ongoing needs assessment program.
  • Develops effective educational programs with defined educational objectives.
  • Meets participation target by successfully marketing programs to the public.
  • Tailors the educational program to accommodate learner needs and differing learning styles.
  • Conducts evaluation based on the educational objectives and reports impact to stakeholders and administrators.

Subject Matter Competent

  • Builds on base knowledge to stay current in focus area.
  • Ties professional development to educational programming opportunities.
  • Accesses developed network for expertise as needed.

Skilled Communicator

  • Communicates effectively with internal and external clients using a variety of tools.


  • Takes appropriate leadership role with clientele. Can communicate the mission of the organization.
  • Embraces conflict as a growth process.


  • Funds program from a variety of sources. Uses these funds to build a solid resource base for future programming.


  • Responsive to the needs of diverse groups.

Change Manager

  • Comfortable discussing and facilitating change.

Strong Collaborator/Team Player

  • Works effectively with local groups and organizations.
  • Viewed as a valuable team member by co-workers.
  • Contributes to organizational citizenship.

How can the competencies concept be used?

The Competencies documents can be useful to us and our organization to help us enhance our effectiveness:

  • A discussion of Core Competencies with new hires can undergird a powerful orientation program. If a variety of Extension professionals help facilitate this discussion, the new hire can gain an understanding of the wealth of knowledge of our Extension professionals and also begins to develop an important resource network.
  • Extension professionals who use this document as a guide for their educational programming and personal conduct should position their program accomplishments for strong performance evaluations and rapid promotion.
  • Regular (at least annual) reviews of this document by Extension professionals can contribute to the development of a targeted professional development strategy focused on personal and professional growth.
  • When extension education programs are not reaching the level of excellence expected by the Extension professional or the District Director, this document could serve as a diagnostic tool to help identify key areas for professional development.
  • For seasoned Extension professionals, a review of the Transformational Skills section should help define strategies to enhance their programmatic and organizational effectiveness.
  • Disclaimer - These documents are not intended to be used as a 'score sheet' for annual performance evaluation ratings. Evaluation ratings are based on educational outputs. It is likely, however, that Extension professionals skilled in Core Competencies and/or Transformational Skills will enhance their opportunity to demonstrate excellence in extension program outputs.