Agricultural Education is defined as a systematic program of instruction for students desiring to learn and teach/educate the science, business, and technology of agriculture, food and environmental/natural resource systems. Agricultural education prepares students for successful careers and a lifetime of informed choices regarding agriculture. Agricultural Education is a major in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. CSU focuses on two delivery concentrations in Agricultural Education: Teacher Development for school-based agricultural education, and Agricultural Literacy. The program also offers a minor in Agricultural Literacy.
The successful student will demonstrate:
- Competent knowledge of agricultural subject matter
- Ability to create instruction opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners in agricultural education
- Employment of innovative instructional methodologies and assessment techniques to promote learning in agriculture
- Effective program management and program evaluation techniques
Graduates in Agricultural Education are in demand to fill a fifteen-year shortage of agricultural teachers in Colorado and nationwide. Two-thirds of the CSU graduates have become teachers or administrators in public schools. Other graduates take agribusiness positions with seed, fertilizer, feed, machinery, or finance firms. Students are also prepared to teach in community or junior colleges, area vocational schools, and technical institutes. Participation in internships is required to enhance practical training and development. Graduates who go on for advanced studies can attain more responsible positions with the possibility of rising to top professional levels.
Some examples include: high school agriculture teacher, post-secondary vocational agriculture teacher, agribusiness or agriservice representative, cooperative extension agent, education specialist, 4-H association youth specialist, youth development specialist, science teacher.
A Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education with a concentration in Teacher Development leads to teacher licensure by the State of Colorado. Teachers combine classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experiences to teach high school students about the myriad agricultural topics. The curriculum requires students to demonstrate a competent knowledge of educational theory and a broad-based understanding in agricultural content. Students combine practical experience and technical course work including animal science, plant science, agricultural mechanics, forestry, natural resources, horticulture, agricultural processing and supplies, and services in agriculture. Courses from biological sciences, liberal arts, and social sciences round out a student’s education. Students must apply to the Teacher Licensure Program in the School of Education after they have completed at least 30 college credits, usually during their sophomore or junior year. A few of the requirements for acceptance are: having at least a 2.750 cumulative GPA, completion of introductory education courses, and 20 hours of documented work experience with school-age children. This curriculum includes instructional methods and assessment, classroom management and technology, exceptionality, and courses specific to teaching in the agricultural field. All students are required to student teach for one semester.