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dc.contributor.authorCole, Stephen Earl
dc.description.abstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the level of professional competence among county extension pesticide educators based upon an identified formalized set of competencies. In doing so, the research focused on defining competency development, soliciting self-reported competency measurement, and examining the relationship between personal characteristics and self-reported competency measurements in the Cooperative Extension Systems’ Pesticide Safety Education Program. Specifically, the study produced an expert ranked and validated set of essential pesticide safety education program competencies, studied self-reported competency levels among county extension educators who plan and present pesticide safety education programs, and analyzed county extension educators’ personal characteristics in an effort explain their self-reported level of competence. Two survey questionnaires were developed and administered to different two groups. The first instrument was administered to Pesticide Safety Education Coordinators in the United States and its’ territories. This survey asked these subject matter experts to rank each pesticide competency item based on its’ impact in minimizing human health and environmental risks. This survey yielded 22 responses and validated the pesticide competencies used to measure self-reported competency among county extension educators in the second survey questionnaire. For the second survey questionnaire, a total of 315 county extension educator responses from 15 states were collected. The study yielded an empirically based set of 34 pesticide safety education competencies that was identified and validated by pesticide subject matter experts as being essential in minimizing the human health and environmental risks associated with pesticide use. When examining the results from the second survey instrument, it was determined that county extension educators have a high self-reported level of pesticide competence in areas such as pest identification, pesticide label information, and the different pesticide license classifications. The county extension educators have a low self-reported level of competence in areas dealing with mathematical calculations and pesticide spray equipment selection, calibration and use. The findings show that personal characteristics have little or no relationship with self-reported competency levels. The study findings indicate a need for area specific training for county extension educators who conduct pesticide safety education programs. INDEX WORDS: Professional Competence, Competencies, Cooperative Extension, Pesticide Safety Education, Educational Program Planning
dc.subjectProfessional Competence
dc.subjectCooperative Extension
dc.subjectPesticide Safety Education
dc.subjectEducational Program Planning
dc.titleIdentifying pesticide competencies and perceived competence among pesticide safety educators
dc.description.departmentLifelong Education, Administration, and Policy
dc.description.majorAdult Education
dc.description.advisorLorilee R. Sandmann
dc.description.committeeLorilee R. Sandmann
dc.description.committeeThomas Valentine
dc.description.committeeTalmadge Guy
dc.description.committeePaul Guillebeau

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