Signature Programs

A signature program in UME is one that:

  • fits the mission of UME;
  • meets critical clientele needs; incorporates research, evaluation, and scholarship;
  • demonstrates the ability to be replicated;
  • incorporates a marketing and communication component;
  • establishes public value; and
  • demonstrates sustainability through ongoing UME funding.

Explicit details of these components can be found in the UME Program Assessment Tool (PAT).

Action teams, in conjunction with Program Leaders, determine when a program should be submitted for signature program status.

Programs submitted for signature program status will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee made up of the:

  • UME Associate Dean/Director,
  • UME Assistant Directors, and one
  • Representative of each professional association that is recognized by JCEP.

Committee members will serve for two years and be appointed by their respective associations. This committee will meet two times per year and coincide with regularly scheduled program leadership team meetings. The committee will meet each April and October on the second Tuesday. This committee meeting will be held during the program leadership meeting from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

Committee members who must travel to this meeting will have all expenses covered by the University of Maryland Extension administration.

Assessment Procedures:

  1. Action team members or groups of faculty members should schedule a time to work together to review and conduct an assessment of the development level of the program. The PAT Worksheet should be used as a guide in the assessment process. Applicants are encouraged to work with their respective program Leaders during the review process to increase their understanding of their review criteria and to offer helpful suggestions to strengthen the application.

    It should be noted that not each item in the PAT and the PAT Worksheet within all of the categories must be present in the program. In other words, not all boxes have to be checked. However, the action team members or faculty members conducting the review must believe there is enough evidence present to warrant consideration for signature program status. This form with notes about the program is to be submitted as part of the application.
  2. The application packet will include a cover letter, PAT worksheet completed by application(s), the application narrative, and program documents. Applicant narrative will describe how the program meets the PAT criteria with evidence and will follow the PAT category headings (no more than 12 pages). Program documentation could include needs assessments, logic models, evaluation reports, brochures, web sites, web site analytics, IRB documents, marketing materials, journal articles, and other items that can be used by the committee to gain an understanding and appreciation of the program’s accomplishments.

Submittal Procedures:

  1. The Program Assessment Worksheet and program documentation (which constitutes the application) should be submitted to the respective program leader two months prior to the April and October regularly scheduled program leader meetings (second Tuesday of each month).

    Submission Calendar

    Second Tuesday of February or August: Application is given to respective program leader.
    One week after that date The Program leader makes a decision as to whether or not the application will go forward for committee review. The Program Leader should believe, after review, that the program meets expectations for signature status before sending it forward for committee review.
    Two weeks after that date The Program leader forwards the application to the review committee. The committee will review the application and be ready for discussion and decision at the next program leader meeting.
    Second Tuesday of March or

    The Committee meets to discuss application and makes decision. The committee can meet in person or via distance technology.


    The Program Leader submitting the application on behalf of the action team will take notes about both strengths and weaknesses according to the PAT criteria.


    At least two-thirds of the committee (66%) must accept the program as a UME signature program.


    If two-thirds of the committee is not in agreement about signature program status, the deficiencies and associated remedies are to be noted in writing by the Program Leader and returned to the Action Team with instructions to resubmit again after the items have been addressed.


    Action team members are notified of decision by the respective program leader.

Recognition Procedures:

  1. When the committee has made its decision, the members of the action team submitting the request will be notified by their respective program leader.
  2. A formal announcement will be sent from the Associate Dean/Director and respective program leader to the UME organization.
  3. A formal presentation to the program team members will be made at an appropriate AGNR and/or UME event, such as the AGNR Awards Luncheon, UME Conference, or UME Program Summit.
  4. The action/program team who developed the signature program will receive a program funding award for future work.* The funds will be transferred to the associated UME KFS account. Funds cannot be transferred to any account that exists outside of the UME financial system.

    *Amount is subject to change depending on funding availability. The award amount for 2022 will be $2,500. A maximum of two programs will be awarded each year.