EmpowerU trains volunteers to communicate science-based information

A train-the-trainer course (IST #31879) is being offered for UF/IFAS extension agents & faculty interested in experiencing the program and potentially collaborating to teach the program in the future.

EmpowerU is a new program designed to teach extension volunteers and clientele how to use science-based information to meaningfully engage decision-makers about issues they are concerned about. This program can be applied to any area of extension and will help enhance the greater impacts of your other programs by expanding the capacity of your participants to use the science-based information you have taught them in a meaningful way.

The course starts October 19th with 2 hours/week of asynchronous online learning for 4 weeks. Then on November 16 & 18 from 1:00-4:30PM ET each day, the course concludes with 7 hours of live online workshop (both days are required). Register on the PDEC website and see flyer on PDEC for additional information to enroll on the UF/IFAS Instructure Canvas course page.

DEADLINE to enroll extended to Monday October 19th at 5pm. I will send additional instructions to access the online course at that time.

EmpowerU course outline and expectations: During the online learning modules participants will complete self-directed assignments (readings, videos, research) and engage in discussions with other course participants. No prior knowledge is needed; only interest and willingness to engage. Skills are introduced and then incorporated into a personalized engagement plan participants will develop on an issue of their choice throughout the course.

By the end of the online course they will have a developed a 4-5 page roadmap to address their issue, and are expected to:
• Learn about engagement;
• Learn how to find reliable information;
• Identify who can solve specific natural resource problems;
• Understand influence, power and persuasion;
• Review best practices for listening and questioning;
• Learn about framing an issue; and
• Create a plan to engage the right people to move their issue of choice forward.

During the 7 hours of live online training participants will:
• Understand commonalities and practice reflective listening;
• Develop questions and frame issues;
• Practice one-on-one meeting skills or presenting at a public meeting; and
• Review their engagement plan with others to make it better.

Because this is a train-the-trainer course, the last live online session will also include time to discuss detailed information about the process for offering EmpowerU in their county in 2021.

Please contact Dr. Shelly Johnson, SSA Natural Resources, UF/IFAS Extension, with questions (shelly.johnson@ufl.edu)


Posted: October 13, 2020

Tags: Advocacy, Communication, EmpowerU, IST, Natural Resources, Training, Volunteers

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