FAQ

WHAT IS PURDUE EXTENSION?

Purdue Extension offers research-based information and expertise to millions of Hoosiers — linking the research performed at Purdue University to innovative lifelong learning opportunities in all 92 counties.

Our Educators, Specialists, and volunteers tailor programs at the county level to offer practical, relevant solutions to regional issues and improve the quality of life for current and future generations. They also partner with key decision-makers, organizations, businesses, and schools to develop, implement, and sustain these programs, in addition to providing community resources and expertise.

We’re part of the Cooperative Extension Service, one of the nation’s largest providers of scientific research-based information and education. This network of colleges, universities, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture serves U.S. communities and counties in four program areas: Agriculture & Natural Resources, Health & Human Sciences, Community Development, and 4-H Youth Development. 

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WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF EACH PROGRAM AREA?

4-H Youth Development

Indiana 4-H is a premier community-based youth program that helps develop and empower young people to reach their full potential. At the county level, 4-H Youth Development Educators work with community partners, develop educational opportunities, and identify volunteers to sustain programs.

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Purdue Extension helps make sure that Indiana remains a strong backbone of U.S. agriculture with a global reach. Our continued agricultural education programs include crop and livestock systems, business management, horticulture, environmental stewardship, agricultural economics, and more.

Community Development

Whether rural or metro, every Indiana community has the potential to flourish through innovation. Purdue Extension helps local leaders, business owners, and decision-makers foster economic and community environments in which promising enterprises can emerge and existing businesses can thrive.

Health & Human Sciences

Healthy Indiana communities are strong Indiana communities. Backed by rigorous research, Purdue Extension strives to improve the quality of life for individuals and families by providing educational outlets related to health, wellness, family sciences, child care, food, nutrition, finances, and more.

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IT’S CALLED PURDUE EXTENSION. DOES THAT MEAN EDUCATORS WORK AT A PURDUE CAMPUS?

No. Extension Educators are employees of Purdue, but they perform their work throughout Indiana’s 92 counties — working out of the corresponding county Extension office where their position is located.

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WHAT EXACTLY DOES AN EXTENSION EDUCATOR DO?

This general outline of responsibilities is not comprehensive, and it also largely depends on the program area. But in support of the Purdue Extension mission, Educators will:

  • Work alongside state and local advisory committees to conduct needs assessments and identify critically important issues
  • Develop effective, contemporary approaches to plan, deliver, and evaluate programming
  • Identify, recruit, and develop volunteer leadership necessary to help carry out the Purdue Extension mission
  • Develop regular, effective communications and working relationships with community colleagues, partners, and stakeholders
  • Quantify, communicate, and promote the value of Extension education to key stakeholders, partners, and decision-makers
  • Develop and cultivate external funding sources to enhance educational programming
  • Ensure every effort is made to reach diverse audiences and provide equitable access to programs and facilities
  • Participate in and / or lead teams to enhance the scope and reach of Extension programming

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WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO I NEED TO BE AN EXTENSION EDUCATOR?

The general outline of Extension Educator qualifications, not intended to be comprehensive, includes:

  • Master’s degree (unless otherwise noted) with academic training and/or professional experience relevant to the position’s responsibilities
  • Valid driver’s license, with successful completion of a background and BMV check
  • A personal vehicle to use for travel; mileage reimbursement is provided
  • Ability to work with minimal supervision, including prioritizing workloads to meet deadlines
  • Knowledge of, and skill with, computer technology in preparing and making reports, presentations, data analysis and retrieval, email and Internet applications
  • Knowledge of basic educational methods and the ability to effectively communicate and teach program-specific material
  • Ability to work with diverse audiences and stakeholders
  • Strong communication, leadership, mentoring, teamwork, and group process skills
  • Flexibility and creativity in the workplace
  • Willingness to work evenings and weekends as necessary

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AS A 4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT EDUCATOR, WHAT WOULD I DO?

You’ll primarily help shape youth to become unique, resilient, and lifelong learners who can actively participate in their own future, set personal goals, and practice self-determination. Duties generally include:

  • Leading the county 4-H program, focusing on 4-H clubs, groups, and youth education initiatives
  • Cultivating an active, engaged volunteer base to successfully sustain local 4-H programs
  • Recruiting, training, and developing 4-H volunteers who work closely with the youth population
  • Collaborating with community partners to develop and implement learning opportunities in numerous topics including:
    • Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)
    • Agriculture
    • Citizenship
    • Healthy living
    • Art
    • Consumer and family sciences

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WHAT DOES AN AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES EDUCATOR DO?

You’ll mainly program dynamic agricultural outreach efforts to help producers respond to growing demands for food, fuel, and fiber and encourage economic development and environmental stewardship. Duties generally include:

  • Agricultural education programming with a dynamic eye for how agriculture, natural resources, economic development, and environmental responsibility intertwine
  • Offering continuing education to help audiences keep abreast of trends and best practices
  • Building partnerships with county and regional agencies, agricultural producers, landowners, agricultural organizations, homeowners, decision-makers, and others interested in agriculture
  • Providing expert information resources, and developing comprehensive programming, in the following areas:
    • Cropping systems
    • Farm business and farm management
    • Livestock systems
    • Horticulture
    • Agricultural economics
    • Natural resource conservation
    • Environmental stewardship

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WHAT DOES A CAREER AS A COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT EDUCATOR ENTAIL?

You’ll primarily help local and regional leaders understand their area’s potential for innovation and how to create environments in which promising enterprises can emerge and existing businesses can thrive. Duties generally include:

  • Helping local leaders and decision-makers translate expert knowledge into new marketplace ideas and understand what makes their communities “hot spots” for innovation
  • Promote 21st-century skills as essential investment sin community development
  • Convey how land use, community design, and global linkages promote sustainable economic growth
  • Deliver comprehensive programming, including such signature programs as Stronger Economies Together and Attracting and Supporting Young Entrepreneurs, in the following areas:
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Planning and visioning
    • Workforce development
    • Resource management
    • Leadership
    • Civic engagement

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AS A HEALTH & HUMAN SCIENCES EDUCATOR, WHAT WOULD I DO?

You’ll mainly help influence everyday attitudes toward healthy living, teach people skills on how to live healthily, and encourage changes toward healthier physical, social, and cultural behavior. Duties generally include:

  • Identifying physical, social, and cultural health needs within the local community
  • Partnering with Purdue University and local resources to plan, implement, and evaluate programs that are sustainable and innovative
  • Improving the quality of life for individuals and families
  • Educating at numerous point of need through information and programming in a variety of topics, including the following areas:
    • Healthcare
    • Nutrition
    • Financial wellness
    • Family health

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HOW DO I APPLY FOR A PURDUE EXTENSION EDUCATOR POSITION?

To apply for a Purdue Extension Educator position, you must visit the Purdue University Careers website and submit your application online. It is the only way to apply for a position at Purdue.

To apply for individual positions listed on this site, please follow the corresponding link in the posting to the Purdue University Careers website. Alternatively, you can go to the Careers Job Openings website and conduct a search using the keyword “Extension.”

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