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This publication includes the findings of focus groups conducted with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) agents and specialists in spring 2021 related to professional development organizations. This area of inquiry was a part of one of four categories included in the study of mid-career agents and specialists, between three and seven years of service, to evaluate their needs at this stage in their career. An Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) professional development grant supported this project. Extension professionals in Virginia are eligible to join ESP with three years of service. ESP is a national Extension professional development organization open to all Extension professionals, supporting membership across all program areas and levels within the organizational hierarchy.
The prompt for these findings was for the participants to describe their involvement in professional development organizations and associations and share how ESP could support them in their professional development outside their program area.
Virginia Cooperative Extension materials are available for public use, reprint, or citation without further permission, provided the use includes credit to the author and to Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. Its programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, military status, or any other basis protected by law.
April 5, 2022