In early September 2017, eXtension received formal notification from the EPA of their acceptance of the grant application to establish and administer a national sub award program in support of pesticide applicator education and training for certified applicators of restricted use pesticides. eXtension Foundation was invited in early 2017 to apply for this grant by pesticide safety education coordinators and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC). The goal of the newly-formed NPSEC is to support Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) educators.
The NPSEC seeks to strengthen the national system of university extension PSEPs by improving the quality, consistency, and accessibility of educational offerings, promoting collaboration and leveraging of educational resources and learning assessment tools, and increasing revenue generation of Extension programs. The eXtension Foundation currently provides contractual services to NPSEC to deliver online programs and temporarily serves as the Center’s fiduciary service provider. NPSEC and eXtension are partners in the grant deliverables and implementation.
Grant is in Start-Up Phase
The startup phase of this grant is in progress and because of changes in EPA requirements, the process will be different than in the past. Tom Smith, Director of the NPSEC and Beverly Coberly, eXtension Chief Operating Officer, will co-chair an advisory committee and lead this effort. Things to look for as this grant is rolled out are:
- EPA rules have changed so the application process, use of funds, compliance understanding and reporting of outcomes will require more accountability. There will be an online application system and award system to help with the transparency and accessibility of information for, applications, awards, reports and communications.
- Survey Monkey Apply will be used for those completing these processes due to the familiarity that many PSEP Coordinators are likely to have with Survey Monkey. At this time, these systems are being put into place by eXtension.
- An Advisory Board will be formed to provide input and advice regarding the educational products developed throughout this program. One requirement for each state will be to develop an educational product that can be shared with another state, regionally, or nationally. Efforts will be made to reduce duplication of efforts and to help those interested in similar products to collaborate.
- A Project Manager will be hired to lead this effort. Applications for the position are being taken and will be reviewed soon.
- Standard Operating Procedures are being developed so that as the grant is administered, the procedures will be transparent and sub recipients will be fully aware of the procedures of the grant and will have greater ease of use through the online system. These processes will be evaluated and improvements to streamline and facilitate the process will be made in the future as necessary.
Projected timelines are:
- Hire Project Manager by October 15, 2017
- Create Advisory Board by October 30, 2017
- Have on-line application system in place by late October 2017
- Take applications and distribute funds November-December 2017
- Grant in in full implementation January 2018
What Can Directors Do?
- Understand new expectations and timelines to support your state’s PSEP Coordinator
- Contact eXension with any questions you have. The primary contact is Chief Operating Officer Beverly Coberly firstname.lastname@example.org