Job Titles and Positions
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Follow these guidelines when referencing specific Extension positions and personnel:
- Extension Agents, Assistant Agents and Associate Agents
- Extension Program Assistants, Associates and Technicians
- Area Specialized Agents (ASAs)
- Extension Specialists
- Department Extension Leaders (DELs)
- County Extension Directors (CEDs)
- District Extension Directors (DEDs)
- Regional Program Coordinators (RPCs)
- Organizational Resources
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, depending on the circumstances (e.g. news media outlets are more keen on brevity).
Specialists are department-based Extension faculty, both on and off campus. The term “specialist” is a formal title, and should only be used by those with an official appointment.
NC State editorial guidelines discourage the use of “Dr.” as a title in front of someone’s name in *most cases. It’s preferable to state your academic rank (optional) and area of expertise, while indicating your university Extension affiliation (i.e. “NC State Extension”).
Print example: “Jane Doe, assistant professor and poultry specialist with NC State Extension…” or “Jane Doe, NC State Extension specialist in poultry….”
Verbal example: “My name is John Doe. I’m an Extension poultry specialist with NC State University.” or “My name is John Doe. I’m a poultry specialist with NC State Extension.”
Consider the Context
*Because specialists may hold several titles, it can sometimes be hard to choose which to emphasize when working with the media or others. Rest assured, most media outlets won’t list them all.
One rule of thumb is to use the title that will resonate the most with the intended audience:
- If the news media interview you on a timely public topic, it’s best to emphasize your Extension role and area of expertise. Use terms to describe you and your work that relate to why the media are calling.
There are situations where more formal titles are appropriate:
- When publishing a research paper, interviewing with industry media or speaking at a professional conference, for example, using your academic degree and professorial title is advised.
Handing out your business card is often a good way to ensure accurate title citations. Because so much communication is digital these days, make sure your email signature is up to date.
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 director, N.C. Cooperative Extension…” or “Jane Doe, Southeast district Extension director with NC State University….”
Verbal example: “Hi, I’m Jane Doe, N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Southeast district director.”
Regional Program Coordinators (RPCs)
Regional Program Coordinators oversee N.C. A&T personnel at Extension local centers divided into eastern and western halves of the state.
Print example: “John Doe, Eastern Regional Program Coordinator for N.C. Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T….”
Verbal example: “Hi, I’m John Doe, the Eastern Regional Program Coordinator for Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T.”
- Editorial Guidelines | NC State
- NC State Extension Leadership
- Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T Directory
- Advisory Leadership System
- Extension District Map
- Our Commitment to Diversity