Program integrationThematic area integration

University of Missouri Extension improves lives and communities through programs delivered by extension specialists. Programming is a cornerstone of how MU Extension fulfills its land-grant mission. Many extension programs are developed by specialists at the state or local level to address issues within a specific academic unit. To address complex societal issues, extension units often collaborate with one another and with external organizations to succeed. Under the guidance of the strategic plan, program integration offers a framework to ensure programs are effective and efficient as they respond to Missourians' needs.

Program integration is a structured approach to interdisciplinary work in five theme areas, with teams dedicated to developing and improving programming in each thematic area:

  • Educational attainment
  • Environmental concerns
  • Community, workforce, economic and business development
  • Global food systems
  • Health systems

How to get involved

There are several ways to get involved in the program integration process. You might submit an idea for a program or be a thematic team member or facilitator. As teams have need of specialized expertise, you might be called upon or volunteer to serve as an ad hoc team member. The Thematic Group Pipeline (XLSX) allows extension faculty and staff to track individual programs as they progress through the process of program integration, and the Program Integration Handbook (PDF) offers more detailed information on the program integration process.

Extension has set aside $100,000 for seeding of FY2015 proposals to enable testing, piloting or proving innovative programs. Learn more by reading how to get seed money for your idea or concept (PDF).

Idea generation

In the beginning stage of any project, faculty or staff generate program ideas or concepts to address a societal issue. Extension faculty and staff are encouraged to bring their ideas or concepts to the attention of thematic team facilitators for consideration. These might be entirely new programs or rooted in existing programs that can be scaled up to address a broader audience. As the contributor of an idea or concept, faculty or staff can decide to remain involved in the process or entrust their idea to a thematic team to move the process forward toward a development team.

Ad hoc team members

As program concepts move through the development process, thematic team facilitators bring on ad hoc team members to contribute specialized knowledge to the project as needed. Individuals interested in becoming ad hoc team members should contact the relevant team facilitator.

Thematic team members

As needed, a thematic team facilitator seeks team members to broaden a team's skill set. If you are interested in participating in the process, express your interest to the appropriate facilitator.

Thematic team facilitators

A facilitator provides a thematic team with leadership in the interest of identifying ideas and concepts and seeing them through to becoming a viable program.

When a team facilitator position is vacant, peers, colleagues and supervisors can nominate employees to be program integration facilitators. Before submitting a name for consideration, ensure the co-worker is willing to serve as a facilitator. If interested in serving as a facilitator or team member, employees are strongly encouraged to apply directly. A detailed explanation of the process is available in the Program Integration Handbook (PDF)

Tracking program development progress

Each thematic team keeps track of individual ideas or concepts as they move from beginning phases to deployment. This progress is documented on the Thematic Group Pipeline (XLSX), which is updated quarterly by Sherry Howard.

Learn more about program integration

The Program Integration Handbook (PDF) provides more information about the various aspects of this key initiative. The Thematic Team Directory (PDF) has contact information for everyone currently engaged on the five thematic teams.