Agricultural Education: BS
The agricultural education degree at USU offers a pathway to teacher certification in school-based settings as well as training for community-based agricultural education careers through two different emphasis areas. This degree program prepares students for a professional teaching practice in Agricultural Education as well as Career and Technical Education working in school-based settings such as high schools and technical education centers. This degree also prepares students as professional agricultural educators in non-formal or community-based settings such as extension, agribusinesses, or agritourist locations.
In addition to courses in agricultural education (formal and non-formal teaching methods), the curriculum for both emphasis areas includes courses in technical agriculture areas, including agricultural economics; agricultural mechanization; animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences; plant and soil science; and natural resources.
- School-Based Agricultural Education: The school-based agricultural emphasis prepares students to meet state teacher certification requirements to teach agriculture in the public schools. Students can become school-based agriculture teachers and FFA advisors in high schools and technical education centers. School-based agriculture teachers educate students on a wide variety of subjects, including, but not limited to animal science, plant science, agricultural biology, natural resources, horticulture, agricultural systems and technology, and leadership. They receive high-quality training at USU resulting in high job placement for school-based agriculture teachers across the state and nation. Students have the unique opportunity to work with mentor teachers starting their junior year as well as the opportunity to receive instruction and build relationships with mentor teachers before they enter the classroom as student teachers. Students will often obtain a biology teaching endorsement after they are licensed as agriculture
- Community-Based Agricultural Education: This emphasis prepares students for outreach and education in non-formal and adult education settings. Students will develop a diverse background in agriculture highlighting leadership, human relations, communication, analytical reasoning, critical thinking, effective writing and teamwork. The curriculum includes courses in technical agriculture areas such as agricultural economics, agricultural mechanization, animal, dairy, and veterinary sciences, plant and soil science and natural resources. Additional courses in non-formal education include teaching methods, volunteer programs, community programming and evaluation, and youth development. Students are encouraged to engage in a variety of internships in community-based education with an agricultural business, public or private agency, commodity organization, nonprofit organization or extension office.
School-Based Education Component:
In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU's School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Students must apply to TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students generally spend their first two years learning technical agriculture content and completing general education courses, with the final two years focused on teacher education courses taught primarily the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education and the School of Teacher Education and Leadership within the STEP program. Students in the agricultural education program is a composite degree, which means students do not need to have a minor because the program provides students with knowledge in several subject areas, which expands their career options.
With a degree in agricultural education, students can pursue the following careers:
- High school agriculture teacher
- Cooperative Extension professional
- Ag Literacy coordinator
- Agricultural education professor
- Farm Business Management instructor
- 2-year technical college agriculture instructor
- Adult agricultural education instructor
- Young Farmer instructor
Career Services provides counseling and information on hundreds of job and internship opportunities and even helps students apply and interview.
In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the agricultural education program has additional requirements:
- Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major.
- Transfer Students: Transfer students from other institutions and students transferring from other USU majors need a 2.75 total GPA for admission to this major.
- STEP Requirements: In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
- Complete of 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 3.0
- Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
- Complete a speech and hearing test
- Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
- Provide an unofficial copy of your transcript
- Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)
International students have additional admissions requirements.
Professional Organizations, Honor Societies, and Clubs
National Association of Agricultural Educators: NAAE seeks to advance agricultural education and promote the professional interests and growth of agriculture teachers as well as recruit and prepare students who have a desire to teach agriculture. The organization is dedicated to developing professional pride, to nourishing a spirit of unity among classroom teachers, and to recognizing members for conducting outstanding programs. It monitors governmental affairs affecting agricultural education and assists in the development of priorities and strategies to effect federal legislation and appropriations.
Alpha Tau Alpha: Alpha Tau Alpha is a national professional honorary agricultural education organization that plays a vital role in the preparation of those who have chosen a major in agricultural education or Extension education.
Collegiate FFA: Collegiate FFA is the service arm to the national FFA organization. USU Collegiate FFA members serve the agricultural industry, the agricultural education profession, and the FFA at the local, state, and national levels. Students from all majors interested in agriculture are encouraged to join.
Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers: The USU Collegiate Young Farmers and Ranchers chapter is associated with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation and is open to all USU students with an interest in agriculture regardless of major.
Labs, Centers, Research
With the second oldest undergraduate research program in the nation, USU offers students a wide range of opportunities to gain hands-on research experience. USU’s Honors Program prepares students for excellent graduate programs by helping them build relationships with professors, participate in research projects, take smaller, more intensive classes, and develop leadership skills.