Professional Development

Building Exceptionally Skilled Teachers (BEST) Training

Target Audience: ​Extension Educators

BEST text on stool with the words preparation, presentation, and professionalism on the legs.

The goal of BEST is to equip Extension educators to enhance the quality of their teaching. All new Extension Agents are required to complete the BEST program in their first year. BEST consists of three components:

Preparation Online learning module covering the foundations of teaching and learning. 

Live, interactive session to improve presentation skills. 

Online learning module covering professionalism skills. 

To access BEST, log in to K@TE and search for BEST. 

LEAD95 County Director Training

LEAD95 Logo

Target Audience: County Directors

LEAD95 is a comprehensive training program designed for County Extension Directors. LEAD95 is required for all new County Directors and is open to current County Directors. To enroll in LEAD95, contact your Regional Director. 

Components include

  1. Four face-to-face training sessions
  2. LEAD95 County Director Toolkit
  3. Online learning
  4. Formal mentoring program
  5. LCE (Leadership Competencies in Extension) Multi-Rater Assessment 

Franklin Covey Professional Development Programs

Target Audience: All Extension employees

UT Extension offers The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People program to Extension employees on an annual basis. LEAD95 participants go through The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team workshop. There are also other offerings throughout the year that utilize Franklin Covey content. Programs are facilitated by Extension agents and specialists who are certified through Franklin Covey. 

Coming Together for Racial Understanding

Coming Together For Racial Understanding

Target Audience: All Extension employees 

Coming Together for Racial Understanding is a national curriculum designed to equip Extension employees to help their communities engage in civil dialogues around racial issues. Trained facilitators provide professional development opportunities that foster higher levels of cultural competency and build capacity for engaging in dialogue around issues of diversity. The facilitators implement initiatives that promote education, conversation, cultural competency, and engagement. Those initiatives include targeted training sessions offered throughout the academic year and a book club, with participants coming together every two weeks to review literature regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Online Learning​

K@TE Online Learning Logo

Online Learning (K@TE)

K@TE (pronounced “Kate”) represents “Knowledge and Training Excellence” and is the University of Tennessee’s comprehensive Learning Management System for training and professional development. 

Online Certificate Programs

The UT Office of Employee and Organizational Development offer several certificate programs to UT employees through K@TE. Certificates range from 3 to 27 credit hours. Certificate programs provide participants with a professional-development curriculum focused on particular topics relevant to success and effectiveness in the workplace. The self-paced, the instructor-led, and the blended learning online certificate programs provide structured learning on key topics.​Some of the available certificate programs include:

  • Customer Service
  • Administrative Professional Skills
  • Diversity in the Workplace
  • Leadership Skills
  • Project Management

Other certificate programs are available. For information about all the programs available, visit EOD’s website ​or log in to K@TE and search for “certificate” to register.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning logo

LinkedIn Learning is an online video platform led by industry experts from around the world. It is easy to use and accessible any time from any device. You can log in using your University of Tennessee NetID and password. 

HR128 Training Credit

Human resources policy, HR 128, provides for each UT employee to receive a minimum of 32 hours of training annually. To receive training credit, employees must use the external training credit feature in K@TE. See the External Training Credit Job Aid for more information.​

Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) Career Development Program


Certified Administrative Professional logo

The CAP is a certification owned and administered by the International Association of Administrative Professionals. UT policy HR0465, Salary Increase for Passing the Certified Administrative Professional Exam, outlines provisions for non-exempt employees who perform clerical-secretarial and clerical-management duties to earn a 9% salary increase upon passing the Certified Administrative Professionals (CAP) exam. The UT Extension CAP Career Development Fund provides monetary reimbursement to encourage qualifying Extension non-exempt staff to participate in the process of attaining CAP certification and recertification. ​

Additional information about CAP see:​

Extension Professional Associations

Tennessee has 6 professional associations for Extension professionals. Membership in a professional association provides valuable networking opportunities, professional development, and opportunities for recognition. Visit each of the associations’ websites for more information about membership, dues, conferences, and more.