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New Mexico State University                                 Fostering Collaboration between Family and Consumer Sciences T...
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Fostering Collaboration between Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers and Cooperative Extension Service Faculty: Results of a Pilot Study

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Although commonalities (educational backgrounds, content expertise, societal issues)exist between Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teachers and Cooperative Extension Service (CES) faculty (county agents and specialists), little is known about collaboration between the two groups.
. Sharon Jeffcoat Bartley, Ph.D., M. Fahzy Abdul-Rahman, Ph.D., Merrilyn N. Cummings, Ph.D.

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Fostering Collaboration between Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers and Cooperative Extension Service Faculty: Results of a Pilot Study

  1. 1. New Mexico State University Fostering Collaboration between Family and Consumer Sciences Teachers and Cooperative Extension Service Faculty: Results of a Pilot Study Sharon Jeffcoat Bartley, Ph.D., M. Fahzy Abdul-Rahman, Ph.D., Merrilyn N. Cummings, Ph.D. INTRODUCTION METHODOLOGY SIGNIFICANT ATTITUDINAL CHANGES LEVEL-ONE EVALUATIONAlthough commonalities (educational FCS teachers and CES agents from two counties surrounding FCS teachers’ regard for county agents as very important The results of the Level One evaluation follow. Thebackgrounds, content expertise, societal issues)exist Las Cruces area and three counties surrounding the to FCS teachers increased as result of the workshop. mean scores given are for the two meetings combined.between Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) teachers Albuquerque area were invited to Saturday morning 20and Cooperative Extension Service (CES) faculty (county meetings. Each meeting was designed to foster collaboration 18 Statements – Scale was Strongly Agree (5) to Mean 16agents and specialists), little is known about between the groups by allowing them to share 14 Strongly Disagree (1), n=31 Score Frequency 12collaboration between the two groups. resources, network, and discuss ways to work together. 10 The meeting was well organized. 4.74 8 6 Food/refreshments were appropriate. 4.74Collaboration appears logical given commonalities, and it A pre-collaboration survey was administered to the 4 The meeting was helpful and I was able to 4.67would certainly allow both groups to stretch scarce participants at the beginning of each meeting: 2 0 develop contacts.resources. • to measure current collaboration efforts and existing Strongly Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly attitudes about collaboration and Disagree Pre Post Agree The meeting was held at an appropriate time . 4.65 PURPOSE • to determine the perceived need for and interest in FCS teachers responded that they needed to increase The facility was appropriate for the meeting. 4.53 collaboration. county agents’ involvement in schools and school projects. The meeting met my needs for information. 4.45The purposes of this study were to determine the: 20 The date for the meeting was convenient. 4.45 18 At the end of the meeting, the post-survey was administered 16 Enough time for collaboration was provided. 3.83• level of collaboration between New Mexico FCS to determine if the groups had altered their attitudes about 14 Frequency 12 Enough time was provided for individual input. 3.77 teachers and New Mexico CES county agents, the need for collaboration, had developed a greater interest 10 in collaboration, identified potential areas for 8 Participant Comments 6• perceived need for and interest in collaboration collaboration, and identified factors impacting collaboration. 4 “Thank you. Great idea exchange.” 2 between the two groups, and 0 “Very well spent time.” The statistical analyses utilized were: Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Agree Strongly Agree “This was so helpful being a first year FACS teacher.” Pre Post• impact a workshop on collaboration between the two • Wilcoxon Signed Ranks for Likert-scale items and “Great. Got a lot of resources.” groups might have on their attitudes and desire for • McNemar’s Test for check-off items. FCS teachers concluded after the workshop that county “Great. Would like a list of names.” collaboration. P-value was set at <0.05 agents and FCS teachers should cooperate on a regular “I want a list of all here- address and e-mail.” basis. “Little longer would have been nice.” The Level One evaluation was also administered at the end of 20 “Thank you. There was a good showing of teachers. I PARTICIPANTS 18 the meeting to assess satisfaction with the workshop. 16 made some good contacts.” 14 “Thank you for such a wonderful day. It was so FrequencyTwenty-four FCS teachers and four Extension FCS agents 12in Las Cruces and Albuquerque areas of New Mexico IRB approval was obtained for the project. 10 enlightening and so helpful.” 8were the major participants in this study. Five counties 6 “It was really a good start to improving the Family andwere represented. New Mexico State University college 4 Consumer Sciences curriculum.” 2administrators and Extension specialists, FCS advisory 0 DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONScouncil members, and representatives from supporting Strongly Disagree Disagree Neutral Pre Agree Strongly Agree Postgroups also participated. The FCS teachers and CES faculty appreciated the opportunity to meet, network, and learn about INSTRUMENTS CHANGES IN FACTORS PERCEIVED TO IMPACT colleagues programs. The collaboration meeting in this COLLABORATION (p<.05) study appeared to foster attitudinal changes between Three instruments were developed for this study: the two groups. • We have similar areas of interest. • pre-collaboration survey, • I need the expertise offered. More research should be conducted with FCS teachers • post-collaboration survey, and and CES faculty to determine levels of collaboration • a Level One workshop evaluation form. • They need my expertise. needed, how collaboration can be fostered, and the • Geographical location is conducive to our kinds of networking opportunities that might most The collaboration assessment instrument consisted of a collaboration. benefit the two groups. combination of Likert and check-off formats to assess • We have a working relationship. opinions about collaboration, types of activities where • Money is available to support collaboration. collaboration exists, content areas in which collaboration exists, and factors impacting collaboration Funding for the project, Fostering collaboration between Family and efforts. The level-one evaluation used a Likert format. Consumer Sciences Teachers and Cooperative Extension Faculty was provided by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, New Mexico State University.

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