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Job Titles and Positions

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Follow these guidelines when referencing specific positions within N.C. Cooperative Extension:

Extension Agents, Assistant Agents and Associate Agents

N.C. Cooperative Extension agents are subject-matter professionals based in county centers. The official working title for all is “N.C. Cooperative Extension agent.” We have historically not referred to agents as “assistant” or “associate” because it confuses the public, who feel they should only speak to a “full agent” for their need or question.

    Print example: “John Doe, N.C. Cooperative Extension agriculture agent in Adams County….”

    Verbal example: “My name is John Doe. I’m an agriculture agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Adams County Center.”

Extension professionals may opt to use a program descriptor before their title, but after the Extension affiliation. Here is an example:

    Print Example: “John Doe, an N.C. Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Adams County….”

    Verbal Example: “My name is John Doe. I’m a N.C. Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Adams County.”

Extension Program Assistants, Associates and Technicians

N.C. Cooperative Extension assistants, associates and technicians are also employees based in county centers. The official working titles are “N.C. Cooperative Extension program assistant,” “N.C. Cooperative Extension program associate” and “N.C. Cooperative Extension program technician.”

    Print example: “Jane Doe, a N.C. Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County….”

    Verbal Example: “Hi, I‘m Jane Doe. I’m a N.C. Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County.”

*Program assistants, associates and technicians based on a university campus should identify with their university Extension brand standards when describing their position.

Area Specialized Agents (ASA)

Area specialized agents provide local expertise related to commodities or specific issues on a regional scale, covering multiple counties. Because of their daily role in the counties, ASAs should identify themselves with N.C. Cooperative Extension, along with their area of expertise and region.

    Print example: “John Doe, a N.C. Cooperative Extension area specialized agent in commercial fruits and vegetables for the Eastern region….”

    Verbal Example: “Hi, I‘m John Doe. I’m an area specialized agent in commercial fruits and vegetables for the Eastern region with N.C. Cooperative Extension.”

Because the title introduction can get a bit wordy, ASAs can choose to leave off the region at times, depending on the circumstances (e.g. if a local newspaper is interviewing you, make sure to state your region).

Extension Specialists

Specialists are campus-based Extension faculty. When representing Extension, specialists should refer to themselves by their subject matter and specialist title and indicate their university Extension affiliation (e.g. “NC State Extension”), but only if the title of “specialist” was made in an official appointment letter.

    Print example: “Jane Doe, a poultry specialist with NC State Extension…” or “Jane Doe, an NC State Extension poultry specialist….”

    Verbal example: “My name is John Doe. I’m an Extension poultry specialist with Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University.”

Because campus faculty may hold several titles, it can sometimes be hard to choose which to emphasize when working with the media. Rest assured, most media outlets won’t list them all. One rule of thumb is to use the title that best describes why the media are contacting you:

  • If the media call is related to your Extension work, emphasize that title.
  • If the primary focus is primarily a university-based issue, such as research methodology or area of inquiry, then the professorial title should be emphasized.

Handing out your business card is one way to get the job done. (Note, however, that most business cards may not reflect multiple titles and roles.) Because many contacts occur over the phone or via email, be sure your email signature is up to date and the words you use to describe yourself relate to why the media are calling you.

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Department Extension Leaders (DELs)

DELs are the Extension leaders for their individual campus departments. Because the title refers to an internal administrative assignment, DELs may want to identify themselves as subject-matter experts (and specialists if that title is also applicable to the DEL role – see above) when dealing with external audiences.

    Print example: “Jane Doe, an entomology specialist with Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University….”

    Verbal example: “Hi, I’m John Doe. I’m an entomology specialist with NC State Extension.”

County Extension Directors (CEDs)

County Extension Directors are based in county centers and oversee the Extension programs for that county. CEDs use the title that refers to their individual counties.

    Print Example: “Jane Doe, N.C. Cooperative Extension director in Adams County….”

    Verbal Example: “Hi, I’m Jane Doe, and I’m the director for N.C. Cooperative Extension in Adams County.”

District Extension Directors (DEDs)

District Extension Directors are based on campus at NC State University and oversee one of five Extension districts (view a map). DEDs use the title that refers to their individual districts.

    Print example: “Jane Doe, Southeast District, N.C. Cooperative Extension Director…” or “Jane Doe, District Extension Director, Southeast District….”

    Verbal example: “Hi, I’m Jane Doe, and I’m N.C. Cooperative Extension’s director for the Southeast District.”

Cooperative Extension Regional Program Coordinators (RPCs)

Regional Program Coordinators are based at N.C. A&T and oversee county centers divided in eastern and western halves of the state.

    Print example: “John Doe, Eastern Region, Cooperative Extension Program Coordinator….”

    Verbal example: “Hi, I’m John Doe, and I’m N.C. Cooperative Extension’s program coordinator for the Eastern Region.”

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Organizational Resources

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