Agricultural Education is defined as a systematic program of instruction for students desiring to learn and educate around the science, business, and technology of agriculture, food and environmental/natural resource systems. Agricultural Education prepares students for successful careers and informed choices regarding agriculture. Agricultural Education is a major in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and the School of Education – Center for Educator Preparation. CSU focuses on two delivery concentrations in Agricultural Education: Teacher Development for school-based agricultural education, and Agricultural Literacy for application in non-formal and informal learning spaces. The department also offers a minor in Agricultural Literacy.

Learning Outcomes

The successful student will demonstrate:

  • Significant knowledge, skills and dispositions in agriculture
  • Ability to create instruction opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners
  • Employment of innovative instructional methods and assessment techniques to promote learning in agriculture
  • Effective program management and techniques in program evaluation

Upon successful completion, graduates will exhibit: 

Professional Development: Graduates will embody a general awareness of issues in agricultural education and their implications in a larger societal context.  Students will begin to develop a network of personal and professional connections which will foster an understanding of the culture surrounding professional expectations and conduct.

Technical Competence: Graduates will demonstrate technical competency within their chosen discipline including the ability to use the appropriate theory and methods in approaching problems, identifying and gathering appropriate evidence, and employing appropriate methods to analyze that evidence, utilizing appropriate available technology in all phases.

Problem-solving Skills: Graduates will demonstrate the ability to solve real-world problems beyond the context of the classroom. Students will be able to identify a problem and its scope, evaluate resources available to address the problem, formulate alternative solutions, and select the solution(s) most consistent with a stated objective. 

Communication Skills: Graduates will demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication in terms of substance, organization, mechanics, documentation, and synthesis. Proficient students will have the ability to clearly communicate findings, critically and analytically, at a professional level within their chosen career.

Leadership: Graduates will have developed leadership qualities that they will use in their professional, personal and community interactions leveraging the other competencies acquired in the program. These leadership qualities include vision, initiative, personal responsibility, team building, and motivating collective action.

Potential Occupations

Graduates in Agricultural Education are in demand to fill a continuous shortage of agricultural teachers in Colorado and nationwide. Two-thirds of the CSU graduates have become teachers or administrators in public schools or with commodity and other agriculture-related entities that hire education/marketing specialists. Other graduates take agribusiness positions with livestock, seed, fertilizer, feed, machinery, or finance firms. Students are also prepared to teach in community or junior colleges, area career and technical schools, and technical institutes. Participation in internships is required to enhance practical training and development.

A Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education with an Agricultural Literacy concentration will enable students to guide, direct, plan, deliver and assess agriculture programs for non-formal or informal programs such as museums, business or industry programs, county or state fair displays or integrated after-school programs. A Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education with a Teacher Development concentration leads to teacher licensure by the state of Colorado. Teachers combine classroom, laboratory, and hands-on experiences, and leadership education 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.

Advanced studies after graduation include graduate studies in agricultural education, extension education and administration, or more in-depth studies in other areas of agriculture, food and natural resources. Upon completion of these advanced degrees, additional opportunities exist for program completers including leadership positions in agricultural education, post-secondary agriculture teacher, agribusiness or agriservice representative, cooperative extension agent, education specialist, 4-H Agent, youth development specialist, science teacher.