Agricultural Education and Communication Program
The Master of Science program is designed to prepare graduates for domestic and international teaching, research, extension, administrative and leadership positions in both the public and private sectors. Courses are taught in an agricultural and natural resources context and are broadly applicable in educational, business, government, and agency settings. The Master of Science program is delivered on-campus and online via the AEC e-Learning Institute (eLI). The Doctor of Philosophy degree program is primarily designed to prepare graduates for academic positions in teaching, research, and extension within the realm of Agricultural Education and Communication. In addition, graduates may obtain positions in administration, human resource management, or training and development.
The Agricultural Communication specialization prepares students for professional communication careers in or dealing with agriculture and agribusiness. It is intended primarily for students who enter with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, agricultural communication/journalism, advertising, broadcasting, public relations, or related fields. Graduates of this option are employed in: (1) communication or management positions with the numerous commodity or special-interest associations in agriculture and related fields; (2) communication support positions in agricultural extension and research information departments of land-grant universities, agencies of USDA, state Departments of Agriculture, and agricultural development projects overseas; (3) advertising and public relations positions with agribusiness firms or commodity associations; and (4) media positions involved in reporting on agriculture, agribusiness, and natural resource issues. Students in Agricultural Communication also develop strong skills/application in media writing, production, campaign strategies and/or Web design/desktop publishing. Graduates become prepared for positions in both public and private sectors in both industry and educational settings.
The Agricultural Education specialization is designed to enhance the careers of those employed in the educational professions in agriculture and natural resources. Regardless if one is employed in public school teaching, community college instruction, or training and development in agribusiness, students gain valuable knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. In addition, graduates of the program command added depth in the understanding of the teaching and learning process. This specialization may be designed to allow students to complete the requirements of teacher certification while completing their master’s degree program. The PhD is a research-oriented degree that has a primary focus of preparing candidates to assume faculty positions in colleges or university teacher education programs. Candidates develop an individual program of study that provides a comprehensive knowledge of teaching and learning processes. The degree also seeks to extend the candidate’s development by providing instruction, research opportunities, and experiences that enhance the depth and breadth of the candidate’s prior learning opportunities.
The Extension Education specialization is designed to prepare students for careers in the Cooperative Extension service, outreach education, and/ or other international agencies. Through coursework and research, students will gain valuable knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. Extension graduate students choose between a domestic or international focus in regards to coursework and/or research. In addition, graduates of the program command tremendous depth of the teaching and learning process. Candidates who select the Extension Education specialization develop an individual program of study that focuses on such topics as program development, experiential education, the change process, educational technologies and extension, program evaluation and organizational accountability, administration and leadership, and international extension. Graduates become prepared for a variety of positions including extension specialists, county and district extension directors, outreach education coordinators for private and public agencies, 4-H Extension agents and specialists, and educator specialists with international agencies.
The Leadership Development specialization is designed to prepare students for educational leadership, training, and outreach positions in agricultural, extension, community and governmental agencies. Course work in the major will focus on a core of agricultural courses along with emphasis in designing educational/training programs, professional presentation enhancement, leadership development, teaching/training methods, and interpersonal communication. Candidates who select the Leadership Development specialization develop an individual program that focuses on leadership theory and measurement, critical and creative thinking, and leadership in cross-cultural settings. Students will encompass a strong research and theory-based program with a strong knowledge of training and development, and human resource management. Graduates become prepared for positions in both public and private sectors in both industry and educational settings.