Who's Who in Extension

Extension Agents, Assistant Agents and Associate Agents

Extension Program Assistants, Associates and Technicians

Extension Specialists

Department Extension Leaders (DELs)

County Extension Directors (CEDs)

District Extension Directors (DEDs)

For Business Card Titles

For Signatures

Please note that "Cooperative Extension" is always capitalized before a position title, but the title is not capitalized unless it appears on a business card or directly before someone's name, as in "Cooperative Extension Agent Jane Doe."

Extension Agents, Assistant Agents and Associate Agents

Cooperative Extension agents are professionals based in county centers. The official working title for all is “Cooperative Extension agent.”  We have historically not referred to our 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, a Cooperative Extension agent in Adams County ….”

Verbal example: My name is John Doe.  I’m a Cooperative Extension agent in Adams County.”

Extension professionals may opt to use a program descriptor before the title, but after the Extension affiliation. Here is an example:

Print Example: “John Doe, a Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Adams County….”

Verbal Example: “My name is John Doe. I’m a Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Adams County.”

Extension Program Assistants, Associates and Technicians

Cooperative Extension assistants, associates and technicians are also employees based in county centers and on campuses. The official working titles are “Cooperative Extension program assistant,” “Cooperative Extension program associate” and  “Cooperative Extension program technician.”

Print example: “Jane Doe, a Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County….”

Verbal Example: “Hi, I‘m Jane Doe.  I’m a Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County.”

Program assistants, associates and technicians based on a university campus should identify their university when describing their position.

Extension Specialists

Specialists are campus-based Extension faculty. When representing Cooperative Extension, specialists should refer to themselves by their subject matter and specialist title and include their university affiliation, when applicable, but only if the title of “specialist” was made in an official appointment letter.

Print example: “Jane Doe, a Cooperative Extension poultry specialist based at N.C. State University….”

Verbal example: “My name is John Doe. I’m a Cooperative Extension poultry specialist, based at N.C. A&T State University.”

Because campus faculty may hold several titles, it can sometimes be hard to choose which to emphasize when working with the media. Rest assured, broadcast media outlets won’t list them all. One rule of thumb is to use the title that best describes why the media are contacting you: 

  • If the media call is related to your Extension work, emphasize that title.
  • If the primary focus is a university-based issue, such as some research methodology or area of inquiry, then the professorial title should be emphasized.

Handing out your business card is one way to get the job done. (Note, however, that most business cards may not reflect multiple titles and roles.)  Because many contacts occur over the phone or via email, be sure your email signatures are up to date and the words you use to describe yourself relate to why the media are calling you. 

Print example: “Jane Doe, a Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County….”

Verbal Example: “Hi, I‘m Jane Doe.  I’m a Cooperative Extension program assistant in Cherokee County.”

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, a Cooperative Extension entomology specialist at N.C. A&T State University….”

Verbal example: “Hi, I’m John Doe. I’m a Cooperate Extension entomology specialist at N.C. A&T State University.”

County Extension Directors (CEDs)

County Cooperative Extension directors are based in county centers and oversee the Extension program for that county. County Extension directors use the title that refers to their individual counties.

Print Example: “Jane Doe, Adams County Cooperative Extension director….”

Verbal Example: “Hi, I’m Jane Doe, and I’m the director for Cooperative Extension in Adams County.”

District Extension Directors (DEDs)

District Extension directors are based on campus at N.C. State University and oversee one of six Extension districts. District Extension directors use the title that refers to their individual districts.

Print example: “Jane Doe, Southeast District, Cooperative Extension director….”

Verbal example: Hi, I’m Jane Doe and I’m Cooperative Extension’s director for the Southeast District.”

For Business Card Titles

Visit the business card directions for N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University.

For Signatures

In correspondence, your signature should read the same as it does on your business card.

For example:
First name Last name
N.C. Cooperative Extension Title (such as Agent, Program Assistant)
Area of Specialization (for example, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences)
County (if applicable)