Agricultural Education & Communication

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Agriculture Bldg. (10), Room 244
Phone: 805.756.2803
https://aged.calpoly.edu

Academic Programs

Program name Program type
Agricultural Communication BS, Minor
Agricultural Education Master of, Minor
Agricultural Science BS

The Cal Poly Agricultural Education and Communication Department’s contribution to the agriculture industry is unparalleled in preparing passionate leaders to advance agricultural education and communication.

Graduates are prepared to effectively organize, communicate, and lead. Whether teaching the students of California about the application of science and management in the food fiber and natural resource systems — or sharing the compelling story and science of agriculture — our graduates help shape the public opinion of the multibillion dollar agricultural industry.

Students studying agricultural science are exposed to a wide variety of coursework in the various disciplines featured in the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences. The degree provides the flexibility to explore careers leading to teaching, animal and plant production, the food and fiber service industry, and various management and leadership positions in agriculture. Graduates leave Cal Poly with the technical and professional skills needed to lead in a variety of occupations and with a comprehensive understanding of how the various sectors contribute to overall industry success.

In addition to the department’s long history of leadership and service to the state’s agricultural education profession, it also boasts California’s only agricultural communication major, widely considered one of the country’s premier undergraduate programs. Through a partnership with the university’s Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, plus unique Learn by Doing opportunities, students gain the necessary knowledge to be effective communicators who are fully equipped to promote agriculture and serve the needs of the industry.

Undergraduate Programs

BS Agricultural Communication

The BS Agricultural Communication program prepares students to become professional communicators in the agriculture industry and related fields. Graduates of the program are effective oral and written communicators with an applied knowledge of emerging new media. All students within the major take a common series of courses. The Brock Center for Agricultural Communication provides students the opportunity for industry linkages and professional preparation in this rapidly growing career area.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum
 

BS Agricultural Science

The BS Agricultural Science program is a flexible program in agriculture, allowing students multiple options and opportunities to select courses according to their areas of interest.

The major was developed to provide students with direction as they consider career options in the agricultural industry. Students complete coursework deemed broad and general to ensure a systems perspective in agriculture. Foundation courses are meant to help students identify an area of emphasis. 

The six emphasis areas are:

  • Agricultural Engineering Technology
  • Agribusiness
  • Animal Science
  • Crop and Soil Science
  • Forestry and Natural Resources
  • Ornamental Horticulture

Many of the emphasis areas have courses embedded within them that lead to the completion of a minor. Students should consult with their academic advisor when considering a minor or minors.  

Teaching Credential

Students can declare their candidacy for teaching while pursuing the undergraduate degree. The minor in Agricultural Education should be declared early during the student’s academic career to ensure requirements for obtaining certification to teach are met. Early field experiences are a part of the minor and are required for entrance into the credential program.

Teacher candidates are required to enroll in post-baccalaureate work to obtain the Single Subject in Agriculture and Agricultural Specialist credentials. Candidates must complete a minimum of 45 units of post-baccalaureate coursework. The Single Subject Content Advisor in Agricultural Education can provide more information. It is to the advantage of the post-baccalaureate teaching candidates to be simultaneously enrolled in the Master of Agricultural Education degree program.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum
 

Agricultural Education Minor

The Agricultural Education minor addresses subject matter competency requirements for the Single Subject-Agriculture and the Agriculture Specialist teaching credentials. Students must obtain prior program approval from the Single Subject Content Advisor for Agriculture Education in selecting approved electives courses. This is based on the student's prior agricultural background and the completion of major-specific courses. Students are encouraged to express interest in this minor early in the academic program in order to get proper advisement relative to all requirements for teaching in the public schools.

Minor Requirements


Additional Minors

Agricultural Communication Minor

In association with the Brock Center for Agricultural Communication, selected interdisciplinary courses in Journalism, Graphic Communications, English, Communication Studies and Agriculture make up the Agricultural Communication minor. Career preparation includes a breadth and depth in agriculture along with a foundation in journalism, and an industry internship. For more information about the minor, see College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Agricultural Leadership Minor

For more information about the minor, see College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences.

Graduate Program

Master of Agricultural Education

The Master of Agricultural Education program provides student with the opportunity to focus their graduate study in agricultural education, with an emphasis on preparing candidates for positions as teachers of agricultural education in public schools.  The non-thesis degree has two tracks: (1) to provide practitioners with opportunities for professional development, requiring at least one year of successful high school or community college teaching for completion, (2) to provide agriculture credential candidates an opportunity to simultaneously complete the degree.  Working with their advisor and graduate committee, students generally complete project for coursework in the program to enhance their employment settings or assist them to become compliant with statewide standards in agricultural education.  All students in the Master of Agricultural Education degree program are required to pass a written and oral comprehensive examination, scheduled during the final quarter of the program of study.

Degree Requirements and Curriculum

How to Read Course Descriptions

AGC Courses

AGC 102. Orientation to Agricultural Communication. 2 units

Orientation to the communication sector of agriculture. Overview of professional opportunities and skills needed for success in agricultural communications. Preparation of press releases and short articles, and development of a planned program of study. 2 lectures.

AGC 200. Special Problems in Agricultural Communication. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

Individual investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems in Agricultural Communication/Agricultural Education. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

AGC 207. Software Applications for Agricultural Publications. 2 units

Emphasis on software applications in agricultural communications, including basic Adobe Creative Suite techniques of InDesign and Lightroom, MS Word and Excel. Best practices in electronic delivery and print. Adobe Premiere video, blog template usage and cloud collaboration for professional agricultural communications. 1 lecture, 1 activity.

AGC 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

AGC 301. New Media Communication Strategies in Agriculture. 4 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing. Recommended: JOUR 203, JOUR 205.

Exploration and implementation of emerging new media communication strategies and technologies to convey information on important issues in agriculture to a global audience. Focus on food and farming dialogues currently populating conversations about production agriculture. Adaptation of different writing styles based on requirements of the various new media channels. Analysis of metrics to measure level of engagement with desired audience. 3 lectures, 1 laboratory.

AGC 339. Internship in Agricultural Communications. 1-12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Selected Agricultural Communication students will spend up to 12 weeks with an approved agricultural firm engaged in production or related business. Time will be spent applying and developing production and managerial skills and abilities. One unit of credit may be allowed for each full week of completed and reported internship. Degree credit limited to 6 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AGC 400. Advanced Special Problems in Agricultural Communication. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

Individual investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems in Agricultural Communication/Agricultural Education. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

AGC 407. Agricultural Publications. 4 units

Prerequisite: JOUR 205 and AGC 207.

Integration of writing, editing, and layout skills in producing agricultural publications. Emphasis on using computer applications in designing publications. Total credit limited to 8 units. 2 lectures, 2 activities.

AGC 426. Presentation Methods in Agricultural Communication. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A1 with a grade of C- or better (GE Area A2 for students on the 2019-20 or earlier catalogs); and junior standing.

Development, delivery and evaluation of effective means of communication by use of a variety of presentation methods and the use of technology for effective communication. 2 lectures, 2 activities.

AGC 452. Current Trends and Issues in Agricultural Communication. 4 units

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Presentations by experts from government, industry, and professional organizations. Focus on trends and issues that impact agriculture, in particular agricultural communication. Exploration of solutions to problems facing agricultural communication. Field trip required. 4 seminars.

AGC 461. Senior Project I. 1 unit

Prerequisite: AGED 460.

Empirical application of the scientific method as it relates to the selection of a project. Projects typical of problems that graduates must solve in their field of employment. 1 seminar.

AGC 462. Senior Project II. 1 unit

Prerequisite: AGC 461.

Completion of a project begun in AGC 461. Projects typical of problems that graduates must solve in their field of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. 1 seminar.

AGC 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

AGC 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

AGC 500. Individual Study In Agricultural Communication. 1-3 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head, graduate advisor and supervising faculty member.

Advanced independent study planned and completed under the direction of a member of the Agricultural Education and Communication faculty. Total credit limited to 6 units.

AGC 539. Graduate Internship in Agricultural Communication. 1-9 units

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Application of theory to the solution of problems of agricultural production or related business in the field of Agricultural Communication. Analyze specific management problems and perform general management assignments detailed in a contract between the student, the firm or organization, and the faculty advisor before the internship commences. Degree credit limited to 6 units.

AGC 570. Selected Topics in Agricultural Communication. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 12 units. 1 to 4 seminars.

AGC 571. Selected Advanced Laboratory in Agricultural Communication. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

AGC 580. Special Problems in Agricultural Communication. 1-3 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head, graduate advisor and supervising faculty member.

Individual study of modern issues and problems conducted through research, planning and development. Field problems and in-service study in agricultural industry encouraged. Final written report required. Total credit limited to 9 units with not more than 3 units in any one quarter.

AGED Courses

AGED 102. Introduction to Agricultural Education. 2 units

Overview of agricultural education career pathways including goals and purposes. Kinds of classes and types of programs. Qualifications essential to success in teaching agriculture. Planned program of studies to meet requirement for teaching agricultural science and related disciplines. 2 lectures.

AGED 200. Special Problems in Agricultural Education. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

Individual investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems in Agricultural Communication/Agricultural Education. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

AGED 220. Agricultural Youth Conferences. 2 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Problems encountered and practices applied during the conduct of the annual FFA State Convention. Methods, procedures and materials adapted for use by the student in developing the committee system to produce conferences, conventions and workshops of all kinds and sizes. Total credit limited to 6 units. Credit/No Credit grading only. 2 activities.

AGED 270. Selected Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

AGED 303. Agricultural Youth Leadership Development. 4 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area A with grades of C- or better.

Historical, philosophical and social foundations of agricultural education as it relates to the development of youth leadership skills through classroom/laboratory instruction, project-based learning, and involvement in student organizations. Application of integral components in developing a total program of agricultural education. Field trip required. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 2 lectures, 2 activities.

AGED 339. Internship in Agricultural Education. 1-12 units

CR/NC

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Selected Agricultural Education students will spend up to 12 weeks with an approved agricultural firm engaged in production or related business. Time will be spent applying and developing production and managerial skills and abilities. One unit of credit may be allowed for each full week of completed and reported internship. Degree credit limited to 6 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AGED 350. Early Field Experience in Agriculture Education. 2 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Observation of the practices and techniques utilized by agriculture teachers in conducting organized instruction in high school classrooms, shops, school farms, and laboratories. Discussion of activities and programs unique to teaching agriculture in California secondary schools. Participation in public schools requires mandated fingerprint clearance. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 2 seminars.

AGED 400. Advanced Special Problems in Agricultural Education. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head.

Individual investigation, research, studies or surveys of selected problems in Agricultural Communication/Agricultural Education. Total credit limited to 8 units, with a maximum of 4 units per quarter.

AGED 404. Agricultural Leadership. 3 units

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Area E (GE Area D4 for students on the 2017-19 or earlier catalogs); and junior standing.

Emphasis upon equipping current and prospective leaders in agriculture with the background and skills to achieve their potential. Class members will assess their status as leaders and identify means to improve their effectiveness. Focus on the theoretical underpinnings of human motivation, personal leadership, and organizational development. 2 lectures, 1 activity.

AGED 410. Computer Applications in Agricultural Education. 2 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing. Recommended: AGED 303.

Advanced use of computer technology to address professional demands in a variety of agricultural education situations. Practical application of computer applications as tools for presentations, informational aids, instruction, assessment, and other common uses. Provide support to industry pre-professionals and pre-service teachers. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 2 activities.

AGED 412. Advanced Agricultural Leadership Development Practicum. 3 units

Prerequisite: Junior standing and consent of instructor.

Leadership team facilitates a campus event under the direction of the Agricultural Education and Communication Department. Team identifies goals, recruits students, organizes committees, addresses tasks, and conducts the event. Practical application of problem solving, critical thinking, communication and collaboration skills. Total credit limited to 6 units. 3 seminars.

AGED 424. Organizing and Teaching Agriculture. 3 units

Prerequisite: AGED 438 and consent of instructor.

Determining course objectives, content, and calendar for use by the teacher in classroom, shop and field instruction while assigned to community schools. Concurrent with student teaching. 3 activities.

AGED 440. Student Teaching in Agricultural Education. 6-12 units

CR/NC

Off-campus assignment to a selected cooperating public school. Participation in all phases of agriculture teacher duties and activities including departmental organization and administration. Prior approval and appointment necessary. Total credit limited to 18 units. Credit/No Credit grading only.

AGED 441. Student Teaching Practicum. 2 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Problems encountered and practices applied during student teaching. Methods, procedures and materials adapted for use by the teacher concurrent with student teaching. 2 activities.

AGED 460. Research Methodology in Agricultural Education and Communication. 1 unit

Prerequisite: Junior standing.

Introduction to the research process and topic selection as it relates to the design and development of the senior project within the Agricultural Communication and the Agricultural Sciences majors. 1 lecture.

AGED 461. Senior Project I. 1 unit

Prerequisite: AGED 460.

Empirical application of the scientific method as it relates to the selection of a project. Projects typical of problems that graduates must solve in their field of employment. 1 seminar.

AGED 462. Senior Project II. 1 unit

Prerequisite: AGED 461.

Completion of a project begun in AGED 461. Projects typical of problems that graduates must solve in their field of employment. Project results are presented in a formal report. 1 seminar.

AGED 470. Selected Advanced Topics. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures.

AGED 471. Selected Advanced Laboratory. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

AGED 481. Developing Digital Presentations for Instruction in Agricultural Education. 1 unit

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Directed group study and individualized projects in the design and development of digital presentations in technical agriculture for use in teaching and program public relations. Total credit limited to 3 units. 1 laboratory.

AGED 482. Teaching Resources and Curriculum Design. 1 unit

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Traditional academic and student-centered approaches to gaining resources and curriculum design. Methods of using, and the development of the knowledge and skills related to planning, implementation and assessing the high school agriculture curriculum. Organization and management and their relationship to education effectiveness and productivity. 1 lecture.

AGED 500. Individual Study in Agricultural Education. 1-3 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head, graduate advisor and supervising faculty member.

Advanced independent study planned and completed under the direction of a member of the Agricultural Education and Communication faculty. Total credit limited to 6 units.

AGED 501. Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education. 2 units

Prerequisite: Admission to the Credential Programs in Single Subject Agriculture, or Agriculture Specialist, and/or the Masters of Agricultural Education.

Orientation to the Master of Agricultural Education program. Current requirements, processes, documentation, and discussion of expectations of pre-professional teacher candidates. Completion of formal documents for credentialing in California. 2 seminars.

AGED 513. Field Experience - Agricultural Education. 1-3 units

Prerequisite: Prior approval and appointment.

Practice and techniques in management and supervision of programs in agricultural education. Relationships among students, staff, community and school groups. Budgeting, staffing, records, reporting. Student activities and Future Farmers of America programs. Total credit limited to 6 units.

AGED 520. Program Development in Agricultural Education. 3 units

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Approaches to the development of an integrated agricultural education program in the comprehensive high school, based on occupational opportunities and community needs. Philosophy, organization, and administration of programs. Development in curriculum, supervised occupational experience, student leadership such as Future Farmers of America, and summer programs. Field trip required. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 seminars.

AGED 522. Laboratory Pedagogy in Agricultural Technology. 3 units

Prerequisite: Senior standing.

Organizing agricultural technology laboratory instruction, curriculum, and facilities. Student demonstrations and presentations; assessment, analysis, and evaluation. Field trip required. Not open to students with credit in AGED 523. 1 seminar, 2 laboratories.

AGED 523. Laboratory Organization and Management in Agricultural Education. 3 units

Prerequisite: Enrollment in MS degree in Agricultural Education.

Organizing and managing laboratories, including agriculture mechanics curriculum and determining course content. Student demonstrations and presentations; assessment, analysis, and evaluation. Course is designed for in-service secondary agriculture teachers. Field trip required. Not open to students with credit in AGED 522. 3 lectures.

AGED 524. Instructional Processes in Agricultural Education. 4 units

Prerequisite: Admission to one of the following programs: the Single Subject Agriculture Credential. the Agriculture Specialist Credential, or the Master of Agricultural Education. Co-requisite: EDUC 412, EDUC 414, and EDUC 418. Recommended: AGED 303, and AGED 350.

Principles of agricultural teaching methods and developmentally-appropriate pedagogy. Daily and unit lesson plans incorporating content, teaching methods, and assessing learners. Accommodations for English learners and students with special needs. Class demonstrations in teaching procedures, analysis, assessment and reflection. Field trip required. 2 lectures, 2 activities.

AGED 525. Organizing Instruction for Growing and Selling Horticulture Products. 3 units

Prerequisite: AEPS 120 or AEPS 230, and senior or graduate standing.

Skills and techniques of propagation and production of horticulture crops. Scheduling, growing media, construction and use of forcing structures, and plant identification. Marketing plans and promotions. Teaching methods, curriculum development, and identification of resources and materials for horticultural instruction. 3 lectures. Open to agricultural educators or credential students only.

AGED 526. Curriculum Development in Horticulture Science. 3 units

Prerequisite: AGED 438 and senior standing. Recommended: EDUC 410, EDUC 412, EDUC 414, EDUC 416 and EDUC 418.

Development of curriculum that meets California high school ornamental horticulture instructional needs and provides foundation for student entry into the horticulture industry. Instructional methods for lecture and laboratory activities. Identification of teaching resources and instructional materials. 3 lectures.

AGED 530. Developing FFA and Supervised Agricultural Experience Programs in Secondary Education. 3 units

Prerequisite: Senior or graduate standing.

Integrating FFA and supervised agricultural experience programs into the curriculum. Career development event implementation; record book usage; officer and committee training; recruitment; retention; retreat and leadership training. Current national and state initiatives and experiential learning opportunities in the workplace and entrepreneurial settings. Not open to students with credit in AGED 330. 3 lectures.

AGED 536. Teaching Agriculture in Higher Education. 3 units

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

Selection and use of teaching strategies, methods/approaches, and techniques when planning, delivering, and evaluating instruction. Intended for graduate students interested in pursuing a faculty position in agriculture, as well as other disciplines in higher education. Course may be offered in classroom-based or online format. 3 seminars.

AGED 537. Enhancing Instruction in Agricultural Biology. 3 units

Prerequisite: AGED 438 or consent of instructor, enrollment in agriculture teaching credential program or MS degree in Agricultural Education, or current agriculture teacher; undergraduate biology course (BIO 111 or equivalent).

Teaching methods of important biological concepts using agriculture as the context. Assisting agriculture teachers in identifying proper pedagogical strategies to integrate activities and laboratories into existing agriculture biology courses, including leadership development opportunities and activities. Emphasis on appropriate teaching methods and techniques, curriculum integration and application, and classroom resources. 3 seminars.

AGED 539. Graduate Internship in Agricultural Education. 1-9 units

Prerequisite: Consent of internship instructor.

Application of theory to the solution of problems of agricultural production or related business in the field of Agricultural Education. Analyze specific management problems and perform general management assignments detailed in a contract between the student, the firm or organization, and the faculty advisor before the internship commences. Degree credit limited to 6 units.

AGED 540. Instructional Planning in Agriculture. 2 units

Prerequisite: AGED 524.

Prior to the first day of teaching agriculture, develop a plan for delivery of instruction in a program of agriculture in a K-14 educational setting. Instructional strategies will address the statewide Quality Criteria for Programs of Instruction in Agriculture.

AGED 570. Selected Topics in Agricultural Education. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Directed group study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. The Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 12 units. 1 to 4 seminars.

AGED 571. Selected Advanced Laboratory in Agricultural Education. 1-4 units

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Directed group laboratory study of selected topics for advanced students. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list topic selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories.

AGED 580. Special Problems in Agricultural Education. 1-3 units

Prerequisite: Consent of department head, graduate advisor and supervising faculty member.

Individual study of modern issues and problems conducted through research, planning and development. Field problems and in-service study in agricultural industry encouraged. Final written report required. Total credit limited to 9 units with not more than 3 units in any one quarter.

AGED 581. Graduate Seminar in Agricultural Education. 3 units

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Group study of selected developments, trends and issues in the field of Agricultural Education. 3 seminars.

Karen J. Cannon
B.A., Colorado State University, Fort Collins, 2000; M.S., 2003; Ph.D., University of Florida, 2011.

Ann M. De Lay
B.S., California State University, Fresno, 1997; M.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2002; Ph.D., University of Florida, 2008.

Robert A. Flores
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1977; M.S., 1978; Ph.D., Texas A & M University, 1989.

Benjamin G. Swan
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1997; M.S., 2001; Ph.D., The Ohio State University, 2005.

J. Scott Vernon
B.S., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1983; M.S., 1985; Ph.D., Texas A&M University, 1991.