Bachelor of Science in AGEE
The agricultural and extension education curriculum is designed to prepare students for entry into agricultural teaching, extension, including production and technical agriculture positions or other professional employment in government, industry, or entrepreneurship where competence in communications and leadership are required. In order to prepare career ready graduates, the curriculum provides flexibility to develop programs in options emphasizing teacher preparation, extension education, or production and technical agriculture. Courses are selected by the student, in consultation with an advisor, that will prepare the student to achieve his or her aspirations.
The three options within the agricultural and extension education major are agriculture teacher education; extension, leadership, and communications; and agricultural sciences. Descriptions of these options follow.
Agriculture Teacher Education
An effective agriculture teacher can assist in the economic and social development of a community. Middle school, high school, and adult classes strengthened by supervised agricultural experience programs are the methods whereby the agriculture teacher helps students become involved and established in production agriculture and off-farm occupations which require agricultural knowledge and skills.
Students completing this program will meet the requirements for certification by the West Virginia Department of Education. The program provides graduates with the opportunity to become qualified to teach in the broad field of agriculture as well as to become prepared to teach in such areas as production, agribusiness, conservation and forestry, agricultural mechanics, processing, horticulture and natural resources. In addition to teaching, graduates have the opportunity for employment with governmental agencies and in private enterprise.
To be eligible for student teaching and subsequent certification to teach, the student must: possess a 2.5 grade point average on the total of all college credits, including hours earned in professional education and technical agriculture courses; must pass competency tests in reading, writing, mathematics (Praxis I) and the national teacher exam prior to student teaching (Praxis II); must pass the principles of teaching and learning test (Praxis II) for grades 7-12; and complete the required agriculture and professional education courses.
Extension, Leadership, and Communications
This option prepares students with a foundation for extension education, agribusiness positions related to human resource management, international and corporate training and development, agricultural literacy and public relations, political interests, and commodity service organizations.
Coursework in this option will focus on a core of agricultural courses along with emphasis in nonformal education, designing educational/training programs and professional presentations, leadership development, teaching/training methods, and interpersonal communications. A 12-credit, 12-week internship related to the student’s career objective is required.
Today agriculture faces a tremendous challenge to provide food, fiber, and industrial raw supplies for billions of people at a time when resources are becoming more limiting. Agriculture, meanwhile, has become more technical and complex and qualified college graduates are needed to meet the future demands in this vital field.
The agricultural sciences option is an undergraduate studies program which allows students some measure of flexibility in meeting their own educational objectives, particularly when those objectives may not be fulfilled entirely by any other single college major. This option prepares students to enter into the broad field of production and technical agriculture. The curriculum combines a broad range of technical courses in animal science, crop and soil science, horticulture, biological systems, agricultural mechanics, and agricultural economics. Additional courses in interpersonal and group leadership and communications training give students a competitive edge in the job market.
Students who desire to become owners, managers, or employees in production and or technical agriculture realize that they need a broad-based preparation. Agriculture presents opportunities in the farming and ranching business and industry, research and development, education, communications, governmental employment, and conservation and recreation.
The experiences gained through coursework and internships prove invaluable. General agriculture internships in production and technical agriculture, agribusiness, and commodity organizations enable students to enhance their communications, problem solving and technical abilities, and management and decision making abilities. A 12- credit, 12-week internship related to the student’s career objective is required.