Core Competencies

Core competencies were revised in 2019 for use in the goal-setting process. See the rationale for the revision and a comparison to the previous competencies for more details.

Core competencies are broad and inclusive skills which provide a scaffolding for how employees can succeed at work. They relate to our organizational values and create a link between what we believe and how we behave.

The below competencies apply to all positions, but the importance of each competency and how it manifests itself may vary according to position. For example, a county secretary needs a general understanding of Program Development, Evaluation, and Reporting, so that they can better understand the context for those whom they support, since educational programming is at the core of our business. An educator is expected to have a much deeper understanding of topics within this same competency.

These core competencies provide a framework that spans all positions for goal-setting, professional development, and performance management.

Example activities for each competency

Physical and Fiscal Resources

Mindful of individual and shared work spaces and resources. Exhibits good stewardship of physical and financial resources (e.g., storage, supplies, budgets, financial records and reporting).

Team Work and Leadership

Thoughtfully engages in working with others throughout the organization to plan and accomplish the organizational mission and promote shared values. Positively influences groups and individuals.  Establishes and supports teams such as advisory boards, committees, councils, etc. (e.g., coaching, mentoring, creating a vision, implementing action plans).

Partnerships and Collaborations

Is aware of issues and variables vital to the community being served, and understands how these variables impact program prioritization, planning, and delivery.  Continuously seeks opportunities and builds strategic partnerships to leverage and build support for programming to reach organizational goals and serve communities according to their needs. (e.g., communicates with media, communicates Extension’s value to partners, awareness of community).  

Program Development, Evaluation, and Reporting

Supports the development and delivery of programs including the collection of appropriate data to measure impacts. Understands the need to communicate programming outcomes to stakeholders and continuously improve programming content and marketing through evaluation. (e.g., needs assessment, marketing, program evaluation).  

Educational Delivery and Technology Adoption

Delivers content in formal and informal educational contexts using appropriate strategies and methods based on the target audience. Stays current with innovations in educational technology and adopts these technologies as appropriate, using modern theories in teaching and learning. (e.g., being an early adopter or tester of innovative tools).

For a professional development in this area visit the Educational Delivery and Technology Adoption Professional Development page for information on training, online courses, resources, and more!

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Leads and supports efforts to advance a diverse, equitable and inclusive community and workplace consistent with Extension’s core values. Builds awareness (of self and others across differences) and prioritizes diverse relationships, networks and collaborations to build and include all Michigan’s population across program planning, delivery and evaluation. Open to understanding, historical and current barriers that impact constituents and colleagues lives at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and culture levels. Consistently upholds the highest standards of equity and inclusion in programs.

Interpersonal and Organizational Professionalism

Displays positive interpersonal skills and has self-awareness in being accountable, responsible. Recognizes areas for self-improvement and pursues professional development for continuous learning. Aligns actions to the mission and goals of Extension. (e.g., professional in communications, follows through on initiatives and meets deadlines, puts thought into appropriate professional-development, makes an effort to keep skills updated.)


Anne Baker

Anne Baker

Learning and Talent Development Specialist
MSU Extension