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Community Education and Development


Mission Focus Area: Community Education and Development is dedicated to the creation, facilitation, and evaluation of educational programming and outreach that strengthens and enriches individuals, families, and communities.

According to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, universities and colleges of agriculture and life sciences will be “challenged to transform” academic, research, and outreach agendas to better respond to our rapidly changing social conditions. This transformation emphasizes the role of integrating missions of learning, discovery, and engagement for sustainable program and student learning outcomes. The Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education embraces this call for change through our Extension and community education efforts.

Our efforts broadly focus on interdisciplinary and engaged scholarship to enhance the success of programs provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension's field- and campus-based faculty and a range of community partners across Virginia. We do this by assisting stakeholders to engage with a comprehensive programming process: 

  • Identify and articulate community needs
  • Build partnerships and social networks
  • Design and implement educational efforts and programs
  • Evaluate these efforts and programs to determine their benefit to participants and communities

Collaborative, capacity-building, and leadership development approaches are central to this process, as it is applied in a variety of social contexts. 

For additional information on any of the Extension programming elements, please visit the programming process, which is also applicable for non-governmental and community-based organizations in Virginia and beyond.