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South Dakota State University
SDSU Extension/School of Health & Consumer Sciences
South Dakota
Posted: 05/4/2022
Community Vitality Extension Field Specialist I

South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension is offering an exciting career opportunity as a Community Vitality Extension Field Specialist I. We are looking for a creative and innovative professional to join us in growing and building our regional extension center located in Mitchell, SD. This is a 12-month, 100%-time, benefit-eligible position. This position is supervised by the Director of the School of Health and Consumer Sciences and the SDSU Extension Community Vitality Program Manager. 

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant mission of access.


The Community Vitality Extension Field Specialist I will provide a blend of educational outreach, technical assistance, and community coaching in order to connect communities with current community development research, various skill building opportunities, curricula, community assets and applicable community-based outreach practices. This position will assess the learning interests of the community and then guide the community to a course of action that meets their identified interests. This position requires strong knowledge and experience in developing the learning of community leaders; ability to conduct impact programming based on local asset assessments; commitment to the development of emerging technology materials for program development and delivery; ability to collaborate on emerging issues; and ability to develop positive working relationships with pertinent stakeholders. This position also has a responsibility to secure program funding, conduct evaluation, and successfully engage with the public by bridging research to practice.

Specific aspects of duties include:

  • Develop and interact with learning communities.
  • Exercise facilitation skills in working with community groups.
  • Apply community coaching practices in building community relationships.
  • Commit 20% of work time and effort to creating and delivering technological outreach by writing articles and creating webinars for
  • Commitment to statewide program marketing and delivery strategies and create enthusiastic implementation among local and state stakeholders.
  • Develop and implement presentations, workshops, and training to a variety of audiences.
  • Develop and implement formative and summative evaluation tools for measuring and reporting consistent program impact.
  • Utilize and implement program business plans to manage large projects.
  • Monitor multiple project budgets and expenditures and provide recommendations for utilization of funding.
  • Develop grants and cost recovery mechanisms to assist with program sustainability.
  • Establish strong collaborative partnerships.


  • Master’s Degree in Community Development, Sociology, Education or a closely related field completed by first day of employment;
  • Knowledge of community development theory and practice;
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, implement, and evaluate educational programs;
  • Demonstrated collaboration or ability to work as a contributing team member;
  • Demonstrated use of technology in managing or delivering educational programs;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated organizational and time management skills;
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences;
  • Willingness to travel statewide to deliver programs in communities;
  • Valid driver’s license, or ability to obtain one within 30 days of hire, and willingness to travel.


  • Experience working with and delivering programming to community groups;
  • Demonstrated ability to generate grants and other outside funds;
  • Demonstrated leadership in developing and leading learning communities;
  • Demonstrated leadership and teamwork with stakeholders;
  • Demonstrated experience working with entrepreneurs and supporting businesses;
  • Demonstrated experience in leading programs that effectively involve people from a variety of backgrounds;
  • Experience in group facilitation;
  • Demonstrated experience in publishing Extension or other organizations materials and peer reviewed journals;
  • Conducted programming and measured for impact.


Commensurate with qualifications.


South Dakota State University offers a wide range of benefits including medical, dental, and flexible benefits, retirement plans, compensation packages, paid holidays, and vacation leave. Employees also have access to internal and state-sponsored training as well as reduced tuition for state-supported courses at all State of South Dakota academic institutions.


South Dakota State University offers a rich academic experience in an environment of inclusion and access through inspired, student-centered education, creative activities and research, innovation and engagement that improve the quality of life in South Dakota, the region, the nation and the world. Its employees embrace the university’s core values of being people-centered, expanding knowledge through creativity, embracing organizational and personal integrity, commitment to diversity of thought, and excellence through continuous improvement.


As the outreach arm of South Dakota State University, SDSU Extension serves as a lifelong network to provide the people and places of South Dakota with the research-based information and education needed to positively impact quality of life, economic viability, and environmental surroundings. SDSU Extension has four educational program areas: Agriculture and Natural Resources; Food & Families; Community Vitality and 4-H Youth Development.


Position is open until filled with full consideration given to applications received by May 25, 2022.


South Dakota State University accepts applications through an online employment site. To apply, visit:, search by the position title, view the job announcement, and click on “apply for this job.” This system will guide you through the electronic application form. This employment site will also require the attachment of a cover letter, which should specifically address how the candidate meets the qualifications as outlined in the advertisement, resume, and a reference page with the contact information for three professional references. Email applications will not be accepted. Please contact South Dakota State University Human Resources at 605-688-4128 if you require assistance with this process. 

Any offer of employment is conditioned upon the university’s verification of credentials and other information required by law and/or university policies, including but not limited to, successful completion of a criminal background check.

South Dakota State University is a tobacco free environment. It is university policy to maintain a drug-free environment and to thereby establish, promote, and maintain a safe and healthy working and learning environment for employees and students. This position is subject to South Dakota State University’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy 4:14. 

For questions on the position, contact Anna Barr at 605-995-7378 or

South Dakota State University promotes access to and opportunities for all to receive the benefit of and participate in education, research, and service and is especially interested in candidates that can contribute to this land-grant access mission. SDSU is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration without regard to, and SDSU prohibits discrimination on, the basis of sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, gender, gender identification, transgender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, or any other status that may become protected under law against discrimination in the offering of all educational programs and employment opportunities. Arrangements for accommodations required by disabilities can be made by emailing Individuals with concerns regarding discrimination should contact: Equal Opportunity Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources, Morrill Hall 100, SDSU, Brookings, SD 57007, 605-688-4128.