It is important to focus attention on the pre-entry competencies of new organization members and to identify the competencies needed by Extension agents to determine adequate education curricula and training, and to improve retention. Current professional development models disregard the competencies needed by agents entering Extension. This article describes Florida Extension agents' perceptions of necessary pre-entry competencies. The most necessary competencies reported by respondents were: self-management, program development process, communication skills, interpersonal skills, technical/subject matter expertise, and teaching skills. UF/IFAS Extension administrators and personnel should build upon the competencies new Extension agents possess when entering Extension.

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