University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, offering educational programs to residents of all of Illinois’ 102 counties – and far beyond.
Through learning partnerships that put knowledge to work, U of I Extension’s programs are aimed at making life better, healthier, safer and more profitable for individuals and their communities. U of I Extension offers educational programs in five broad areas:
- Healthy society
- Food security and safety
- Environmental stewardship
- Sustainable and profitable food production and marketing systems
- Enhancing youth, family and community well-being
While most Extension programs are offered on an informal, non-credit basis, U of I Extension does offer continuing education credits in some fields of study. Extension programs may be offered as hands-on workshops, field days, self-paced tutorials via the World Wide Web, or in other formats that are suitable for the audience and subject-matter.
More than 2 ½ million Illinois residents take part in Extension programs each year, including nearly 300,000 who participate in 4-H youth programs. Each month, U of I Extension web pages draw more than 10 million page views, and people in more than 200 countries access Extension’s web-based information.
Communities are directly served by Extension staff in 27 units located throughout Illinois. Extension educators in local offices and specialists located on the U of I campus develop and deliver in-depth programming locally, in regional venues, and through distance-learning technologies.
As part of the nationwide Cooperative Extension System, U of I Extension also is able to draw on research-based expertise from land-grant universities all across the country. Volunteers who serve on local advisory councils provide direction for U of I Extension programming, ensuring that programs continue to meet critical needs.
U of I Extension is based in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Some U of I Extension programs are offered in conjunction with the College of Applied Life Studies or the College of Veterinary Medicine.