Orientation for Extension Professionals

Bubble graphic links to steps in new employee orientation

The development plan for new staff is presented in nine modules designed to help employees learn about Extension, its history, vision, mission, and operation during the first year of employment. Although designed for new Extension Assistants, Educators and Specialists, other staff are welcome to participate. Each module targets specific skills identified as being important to a successful career with Extension.

Self-Study & Reflection
This component is a reference source tailored for newer staff which includes links to the 21st Centrury Extension Handbook, UNL and Extension websites, and various on-line training opportunities and resources.

Pre-start Information/First Day Packet
In most situations this packet of information should be on your desk the day you begin. It includes information about the organization, what you should do on your first day, week, etc. Also included is your copy of the 21st Century Extension Handbook.

Orientation with Unit Leader/Office Manager/Department Head/Chair
Unit Leader, Office Manager, Department Head/Chair will introduce you to your new surroundings on and off-site, introduce you to key people in and outside the organization, introduce you to daily office routines and procedures, logistics, roles and responsibilities. You will be provide with a checkoff sheet on what to accomplish in your first week, month and next 3 months.

Orientation with District Director/Department Head/Chair or Designee
District Director/Department Head/Chair or designee take the lead in designing field experiences to complement and enhance the skills of the newly hired staff person. On and off-site experiences will include the Foundations of Extension, reviewing the 21st Century Extension Handbook, and introducing you to the organizational culture of Extension.

Communications Orientation Program
District Director or designee will lead you through this process by providing you with form letters to Extension Boards/Unit Leaders, introducing you to core competencies resource people and network development (office visits to county, district, UNL campus).

Unit Leader Orientation
District Director or designee will lead you through your role and responsibilities, supervising staff, fiancial management, working with boards, and conflict management.

Polycom Workshops
New Employee polycom sessions for all Specialists, Educators and Assistants are scheduled each year. Post discussion will follow by district. To register contact your District Director, or on-campus contact Linda Tempel (402-472-3967). View video files of some of the available sessions (.wmv file uses Real Player):

    Roles and Responsibilities/Managing Time
    Poly Sci 101
    Extension as a Career
    Program Impact Evaluation
    eARFA Development

Each new Extension Specialist, Educator or Assistant is matched with a volunteer mentor to serve as counselor and advisor to recommend opportunities, identify and understand career-related skills, and help identify resources required for career progression. The mentor assignment is made by the Director of Extension Human Resources and the District Directors involved.

Competencies for a Successful Extension Career
District Director/Department Head/Chair or designee will introduce you to the core competencies concept, help you to begin developing your network and to show how you fit into the organizational culture of this organization.