What is a Success Story?

The satisfaction that is obtained from observing success among our clients or community as a result of Extension program efforts is very gratifying and one of the reasons individuals make a career of Extension. Extension Agents, Associates, and Specialists are required by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to report the success and impact of their Plans of Work and/or annual accomplishments in the form of success stories. These are important for fulfilling part of the reporting requirements to the USDA-NIFA.

Success Stories describe in detail these observations to the public benefits of its Extension, research and academic programs. They will become a set of searchable statements, published on the web, used for purposes including college and university reporting requirements, public relations efforts, grant applications and reports, and to support the college’s legislative agenda.

There is a five step format for the Success Story, which includes:

  1. State the SITUATION
  2. Identify TARGET AUDIENCE
  3. Describe the EDUCATIONAL RESPONSE
  4. Recognize COMMUNITY PARTNERS (if applicable)
  5. Summarize OUTCOMES. Aim to reach intermediate (Change behaviors or adopt practices) or long term (Social, economic or environmental conditions) outcomes. Outcomes should reflect the objectives of the program. Objectives should be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). 

Success stories are in line with logic models, telling what the situation is, who will be addressed and how, who is helping provide resources, and what the impact, or outcome was of the program/plan of work.

For more detailed direction, click on the below links:

Writing & Submission Directions for Agents - Quarterly

Writing & Submission Directions for Specialists and Associates - Annually

Common Errors in Writing Success Stories

What are PAC Codes, Priority Indicators, and Featured Programs?

FY2015-2016 PAC Codes

Success Stories can be submitted no later than midnight, July 15th of each year.

For more information and training, follow this link to a webinar that provides excellent instruction on the topic of Success Stories in addition to fielding questions from the attendees.