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When the Department of Agricultural Education at Texas A&M University first began, we served one purpose to prepare future Secondary Agriculture Teachers. Now, our department has grown in scope and size. Agricultural Science provides the foundations for students to earn a degree along with teacher certification in Secondary Agricultural Science.
Coursework for the Agricultural Science major is diverse. Students choose coursework from four general areas: Animal Science, Plant and Soil Science, Agricultural Systems, and Agricultural Economics. Students may select coursework throughout the College of Agriculture and Life Science, such as additional coursework in the above areas or Wildlife, Range, and Ecology. These technical agriculture courses are paired with courses that prepare students to work with diverse student environments in an agricultural setting. Courses include Educational Psychology, Special Populations, Educational Technologies, Instructional Design, and Program Planning in Agricultural Science. The highlight of the Agricultural Science degree is student teaching. This full-semester experience occurs the semester of graduation. Student teaching allows students to gain practical experience in scientific agriculture, professional education, and classroom management. The first phase of student teaching occurs on campus for 2 weeks during which students prepare lessons and activities to be used in the second phase. The second phase consists of actually teaching at an assigned student teaching center for 13 weeks under the supervision of both an outstanding agricultural science teacher and an ALEC faculty member.
Though coursework is aimed at creating the finest agricultural science teachers, other career areas often benefit from this training in technical agriculture and people. Students typically accept positions in a variety of areas including agricultural science teaching, but expanding beyond into sales representatives, insurance specialists, juvenile officers, breed organization directors, county extension agents, and other agricultural communication positions.