Imagining America’s Extension Reconsidered Initiative

Posted by Imagining America on May 5, 2014

Imagining America’s Extension Reconsidered Initiative

About the Initiative
Extension Reconsidered is an Imagining America initiative that is engaging a diverse range of participants in constructive and critical deliberation about the future of the land-grant system’s Cooperative Extension programs. Read our press release here.

During 2014, the centennial anniversary year of the Smith-Lever Act, the Extension Reconsidered initiative challenges groups from across the nation to reconsider the past and imagine alternative futures for extension and outreach—not only in the narrow sense as a formal system that is unique to land-grant institutions, but also in a broader sense as public work that has resonance and relevance across the whole of American higher education.

Self-selected teams from 13 land-grant universities have taken up this challenge. Each team is approaching the task with different methods, team make-up, and goals depending on the historical and social context they face in their own state systems. But each team has agreed to include several key elements in their “reconsideration” process over the spring semester of 2014 and beyond:

  • Engage a diverse range of participants for the planning and implementation of Extension Reconsidered events. Include team members from the local community as well as from arts, humanities, and/or design fields.
  • Utilize a deliberative forum to encourage multiple points of view or visions of what Extension can and should do in the next 100 years.
  • Document the reconsideration process—and what was learned at Extension Reconsidered events—through writing, video, and other media.

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