Since its establishment through the Smith-Lever Act, the Cooperative Extension Service has sought to use non-formal education programs centered on community needs to provide research-based information. However, the onset of the information age has transformed the way knowledge is shared and as a result altered the way people access information. Based on observations and program evaluations clients are more interested in the development of communities than passive dissemination of information from traditional Extension programs. Consequently, we assert that the current Extension paradigm of information-centric programming is no longer adequate and Extension should move toward one that is community centric.
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Strong, E., Rowntree, J., Thurlow, K., & Raven, M. R. (2015). The Case for a Paradigm Shift in Extension from Information-Centric to Community-Centric Programming. The Journal of Extension, 53(4), Article 8. https://doi.org/10.34068/joe.53.04.08