MSU Extension adds virtual options and survey to ongoing listening session efforts

Building on the success of previous listening sessions, MSU Extension is offering additional virtual opportunities for the public to give feedback.

Various photos of the MSU Extension 2023 listening sessions to date. The crowd at Frankenmuth (top), a person registering at the Grayling session (middle left), brainstorming data from the East Lansing session (middle right), and staff posing at the Detroit session (bottom).

In late November 2023, Michigan State University Extension — the community outreach arm of the university — began a series of public listening sessions held across the state.

These sessions were part of an ongoing strategic direction process to gather input from a diverse group of people to determine where MSU Extension is, what is working well and opportunities for improvement. Sessions were held in Detroit, Troy, East Lansing, Marquette, Grayling, Frankenmuth, Muskegon and Kalamazoo.

MSU Extension has now announced three additional opportunities for the public to give feedback and help shape the future of the organization: two virtual listening sessions and an online survey.

“We’re so grateful to those who have participated in the listening sessions so far,” said Quentin Tyler, director of MSU Extension. “By offering these additional virtual options, our hope is to hear from even more people, especially those who were unable to attend one in their community.”

Virtual sessions: How to register, what to expect

The virtual listening sessions are open to anyone — youth, parents, community and statewide partners and curious community members alike. It is not necessary for participants to have used MSU Extension services before; everyone can play a part in helping shape the services and offerings in their communities.

Sessions will be held on:

Each virtual listening session will begin with a welcome from MSU Extension leadership and staff. Then, participants will be invited to share their perspectives and insights through a series of facilitated online activities. Finally, common themes heard from participants will be identified and reflected to the entire group.

The sessions will not be recorded, though participants’ anonymous comments will be saved and considered alongside other data being collected through the process.

 Participants will connect to the virtual listening session via Zoom video conference and interact in a cloud-based document. Participants will need an internet connection, and a computer with audio and keyboard is preferred, though a tablet or mobile device is sufficient for advanced digital users able to navigate between multiple applications.

Pre-registration is required; you can register at

Participants will receive the Zoom connection information prior to the virtual session. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Walicki at or 231-873-2129 or Marie Garcia at or 517-353-9464.

Online survey

As with the listening sessions, everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate in this survey. The survey includes four primary questions, as well as demographic questions. All responses are anonymous.

You can take the survey here. The survey will be open until January 23, 2024.

After the sessions

In addition to the listening sessions and survey, an internal committee of MSU Extension staff are also conducting interviews with key stakeholders.

Once the sessions and interviews are complete and the survey is closed, a team of MSU Extension staff will analyze and incorporate all of the data and input into a vision that will guide the future direction of the organization.

“As we build a roadmap for our future, we want to make sure it’s authentic, and that it reflects the communities we serve,” said Tyler. “Everyone’s voice matters, because everyone has a stake in what MSU Extension offers and becomes.”

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