Volume 38 - Number 4 - 1997 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1997.04021



With the changing demographics of American society, the Cooperative Extension System must reexamine its educational responsibility to local communities. In order for extension programming to truly reflect the needs of increasingly diverse communities, extension boards and program committees must include and involve people from diverse audiences. Between 1993 and 1996, Pennsylvania State University conducted an extensive civil rights assessment of Cooperative Extension programs in its 67 counties. Utilizing the data collected during the civil rights assessment, this study examined the responses of extension professionals relative to recruitment, retention, and participation of underrepresented groups on extension advisory boards and committees. A number of problems, as well as strategies for successful recruitment and involvement of underrepresented groups, were revealed. Several recommendations based on study results were oflered.

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