Assessing the Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Coordinator Manual

in HortTechnology
Authors:
Sheri DornDepartment of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327.

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Paula Diane RelfDepartment of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0327.

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The Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) Master Gardener (MG) Coordinator Manual, a 14-chapter resource book, was developed cooperatively with teams of VCE MGs, coordinators, and agents to enhance coordinators' skills. It includes chapters on risk management, volunteer management, the educational process, current policies, and the volunteer section of the VCE Master Gardener's Handbook. The VCE MG Coordinator Manual was the basis of four local VCE MG coordinator-training sessions in 1998. This evaluation showed that coordinators are using the manual and adapting the suggestions and samples to fit their local programs, despite the fact that more planning time is often required. Those using the manual increased their understanding of VCE goals and the role of the VCE MG and slightly increased their leadership skills. Reading the manual showed a need for information on training VCE MGs to work with agents to design and implement strong horticulture education programs for Virginia communities. Areas for improvement were identified before final publication.

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