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Central State University (CSU) is a Historical Black College and the second institution in Ohio to hold Land-Grant status. CSU became an 1890 Land-Grant University on Feb. 7, 2014. The designation enables CSU to establish its Research and Extension Program and the opportunity to provide quality extension education that can focus on (a) sustainable agriculture, (b) water resources management for community and agriculture use, (c) youth development, (d) community economic development, and (e) health and nutritional disparities in communities throughout Ohio.

For the past 100 years, CSU has been an institution focused strictly on teaching. In 2015, however, this slowly began to change. Since 2015, the CSU Senate has passed the Sustainable Agriculture major, Agriculture Business concentration courses, and the Agricultural Education major. CSU is broadening its curricula to reflect a more comprehensive and global vision of the food and agricultural system to enable contribution of agriculture-workforce ready students. This is essential to Central State University Extension’s (CSUE) beginning efforts as a Land-Grant program. It will enable the University to expand into the area of agriculture and become more program specialized, develop more depth in their specializations, and allow for regional and multi-institutional collaboration with other 1862 and 1890 Institutions. Linking faculty with teaching, research, and extension will enable the University to be more than a just a teaching institution.

In the 21st century, CSUE must integrate a community-based Extension model that focuses on a holistic program service approach which addresses: a) methods of youth development, b) delivery of research-based science to families, and c) outreach to share new knowledge to farmers and communities. To achieve this, CSUE has placed a County Agent in five of Ohio’s major cities/county locations.  Each County Agent has a level of responsibility in each program area; as a result, CSUE is able to assimilate and transform its Extension programs from a socioeconomic and technical standpoint to cohesively address the needs of under-represented citizens (youth, family, businesses, farmers, and non-farmers) of Ohio located in socially disadvantaged, limited-resources, and underserved communities.

CSUE’s community approach includes the following strategies. First, to be adaptive for different community demands. CSUE is designed to be relevant to rural communities which brings a multitude of issues associated with agriculture, farm management, livestock, and environmental problems. CSUE is also adaptive to urban communities in order to address issues driven by concerns such as food scarcity, youth development, nutrition, health, urban agriculture, disease, poverty, unemployment, and educational deficiencies facing socially disadvantaged, limited-resourced, underserved and under-represented communities. The second community approach is to be specialized in a particular food and agriculture system. CSUE is specialized in systems approach to provide more depth in water quality, natural product, and natural science. The specializations allows for the development of research-based programs for communities as well as regional and multi-institutional collaboration with other 1862 and 1890 Institutions.


The following services represent an integrated program approach to implement CSU’s Extension and Research: