The Relationship Among Washington State County Commissioners Knowledge and Perceptions of Washington State University Extension and Their Willingness to Fund WSU Extension
The study determined the relationship between perceptions that the Washington State county commissioners' hold of WSU Extension and their knowledge of WSU Extension. In addition, the study determined whether their perceptions, knowledge, and/or understanding of Extension are related to and thereby may have predictability to their willingness to provide the essential local funding to continue the educational programs Extension delivers. The study addressed the interest Washington State county commissioners/county council members have in funding WSU Extension, which directly affects the critical element of maximizing Extension's impact on society. As a publicly funded educational organization, WSU Extension faces an uncertain fiscal future as funding partners face financial stress. Without funding from the key partners, such as county government, WSU Extension would not be able to continue to provide educational programming and nor would society benefit from the verifiable impacts that Extension has imparted for the past 100 years. An electronic census was administered through a variety of methods to insure sufficient response. There were 43 responses representing each of the 39 counties in Washington State. County commissioners have knowledge of Extension and the educational programs delivered to constituents. Respondents attend Extension programs, read Extension produced newsletters, join Extension educational organizations such as 4-H and access the web resources that Extension produces. Commissioners report that they are willing to continue to fund Extension in both times of financial adequacy and insufficiency. Based on the data, county commissioners in Washington State believe that WSU Extension is effective; the programs that Extension delivers are of good quality and beneficial to their constituents. Extension services are considered to be a good value for the level of county expenditure.
Advisor:Dr. Merle Farrier; Dr. Frances OReilly; Dr. Shawn Clouse; Dr. Kelsey Gray; Dr. William McCaw
School:The University of Montana
School Location:USA - Montana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:school of education
Date of Publication:08/07/2008