Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


The purpose of this study was to investigate Florida County Extension Directors* and county Extension advisory committee members* perception of the roles and role performance of county Extension advisory committees. This purpose evolved from Extension personnel experiencing varying degrees of success in the committee approach to Extension program development. It was felt that this could be due to a lack of common understanding by Extension agents and committee members of the roles and functions of advisory committees. Two, similar but separate, mail questionnaires were sent to the County Extension Directors and 303 members of the over-all Extension advisory committee in a random sample of 30 Florida counties. Fifty-two percent of the committee members and 93 percent of the County Extension Directors returned useable questionnaires. The questionnaires contained four sections: sixteen selected role statements that the respondents were asked to respond in their perception of what advisory committees should do; the same selected role statements that the respondents were requested to respond in their perception of what their committees did; five statements to assess committee members' attitude toward local Extension units, and five to assess County Directors' perception of professional improvement; and selected personal characteristics. A significant difference was found between perceived role function and role performance in 94 percent of the role statements by committee members, and &1 percent of the role statements by County Directors. However, there were also true relationships between role functions and role performance by both groups of respondents as their perception of how their committees performed was related to their knowledge of what committees should do. There was a significant difference between County Directors' and committee members' perception of both role functions and role performance. Committee members expressed more agreement with the selected roles and perceived committees more completely performing these roles. There was also a significant difference in the respondents' combined perception of role performance and role functions, with the combined group realizing that advisory committees did not completely perform their roles. Significant differences also existed in the total respondent perception among the counties included in the sample.