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Extension Mentoring: Agents

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Suggested Topics for Mentors and Their Mentees

  • Organizational Development
    • Daily planning (calendars)
    • Organizing work area
    • Setting up personal files
    • Handling (returning) phone calls/e-mails
    • Paperwork
    • Office staff relationships (with co-workers, COSS, etc.)
    • Guidance and advice with completing the Field Faculty Guide and Online Onboarding
  • Organizational Structure
    • Organizational charts for the district and county and Extension overall
    • Policies and procedures for the district, county and as a university employee
    • Roles and job descriptions within the district, county and Extension
  • Financial Management
    • Budget management
    • Spending procedures
    • Grants/alternative funding
    • Reimbursement process
    • Accounts
  • Time Management
    • Scheduling meetings and programs
    • Mail, e-mail
    • Office conferences
    • Volunteer utilization
    • Reporting (ERS)
    • Deadlines
    • Farm/home visits (purpose; techniques; approaches)
    • How to set priorities
    • Utilizing calendar and managing events/programmatic activities
    • Balancing job and family
  • Programming
    • Program techniques
    • Program development process (advisory systems; impact planning and evaluation)
    • Programming for special audiences (disabled, migrant, senior)
    • County delivery system
    • Utilizing extension specialists and other resources
    • Utilizing volunteers
    • Delivery methods
    • Evaluation; thank you notes; reporting
    • Networking with other agencies/associations/departments
    • Co-sponsoring of programs with other agencies/
  • Public Relations/Marketing
    • Marketing programs and activities
    • Community involvement
    • Newsletters/news articles
    • Impact/success stories
    • Relationships with co-workers
    • Relationships with local media
    • Relationships with volunteers
    • Professional image
    • Customer service
    • Relationships with key leaders (county and state officials)
    • Response to clients
    • How to respond to sensitive situations
    • Conflict resolution
    • Professionalism
  • Professional Development
    • Membership in agent and appropriate professional associations
    • Public service promotion
    • Advanced degrees
    • In-service trainings and educational opportunities
    • Self-directed study (community workshops; continuing education classes)
    • Extension Title Promotion System
    • List of relevant specialists to contact
  • Volunteer Management/Advisory Leadership Council
    • Risk management issues involving volunteers, programs and clubs
    • Volunteer recruitment and management
    • Delegation of tasks to volunteers
    • Guidance for how to work with an Advisory Leadership Council
  • Resource Development
    • Identifying external mentors
    • External agency contacts
    • Local leader identification
    • Office reference materials
    • Schedule meetings with relevant specialists and develop discussion topics
  • Other
    • Challenges of being a new agent
    • The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Vision and Mission
    • Extension cultural norms