Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Agricultural & Extension Education

Committee Chair

Haley Rosson

Committee Co-Chair

Aaron Giorgi

Committee Member

Aaron Giorgi

Committee Member

Michael Dougherty


The central mission of the Extension Service is to diffuse knowledge and resources developed by teaching and research experts at land grant universities to clientele within local communities (Cummings, et al., 2015; Hall & Broyles, 2016; Seevers & Graham, 2012). Making sure faculty are prepared to carry out their roles in all aspects to serve their clientele is key to quality Extension programs. Extension faculty can come from various backgrounds, interests, and expertise, all of which are influencers of self-efficacy. Having defined competencies for employees in Extension can help express what to expect in this job day-to-day. McClelland (1973) described competencies as the combination of skills and knowledge relevant to successful performance in a specified role. Self-efficacy in these competencies plays an important role as self-efficacy is a personal belief in one’s own capability to accomplish a certain level of performance, how much effort will be given, and how long the effort will persist (Bandura, 1986; VvanVianen, 1999).

This study based its theoretical framework on Albert Bandura’s (1997) Self-Efficacy Theory: The Exercise of Control. Perceived self-efficacy is defined as beliefs in one’s own capabilities to carry out a task to produce results (Bandura, 1997). Efficacy beliefs can be increased and changed by the personal mastery of experiences or through secondhand experience, social evaluations, and changes in emotional states or how these states are understood (Bandura, 1997; Bandura 1986).

Determining the self-efficacy of West Virginia University Extension faculty’s defined job competencies for working in Extension will be useful in building the organizational capacity of current and future Extension faculty. Finding out what competence areas Extension faculty may need more experience with or exposure to will help those in charge decide on professional development topics. While determining these values, gaining input from current faculty on what other competencies or sub-competencies are a necessity for working in Extension will aid in preparing future prospective employees.