SUU Helps to Meet Demand for Agriculture Educators

Published: February 27, 2020 | Author: Kierstin Pitcher-Holloway | Read Time: 2 minutes

Agriculture EmphasisIn response to the high demand for agriculture teachers, the Department of Agriculture and Nutrition at Southern Utah University has added a new agriculture education emphasis to its program for students looking to become agriculture educators at the high school level. 

“When we started looking into this new emphasis there were over seven high schools in the state of Utah that could not find agriculture teachers,” said Dr. Randall Violett, associate professor of agriculture at SUU. “And nationwide there is a shortage of agriculture educators.”

According to the American Association for Agricultural Education, Utah averages a shortage of 10 school-based agriculture educators every year. There is a high demand for agriculture teachers in terms of demographic location and more high schools are wanting to offer agriculture programs, but are unable to find teachers. 

“Before we created this emphasis the only place in Utah that students could get trained, licensed and endorsed as agriculture teachers was at Utah State University,” said Dr. Violett. “And we have a lot of students that don’t want to go that far north. 

Consequently, SUU agriculture graduates who wanted to teach would have no other choice than to pursue the alternative licensure route, many having to start teaching while still trying to get licensed. 

“Our students know their agriculture when they leave but they’ve never had a student teaching experience and never had a methods experience,” said Dr. Violett. “We have a reputable college of education and a reputable agriculture degree and so we decided to just bring them together.” 

Students who are interested in pursuing a degree in agricultural education will need to apply and be accepted into the College of Education and Human Development to become licensed as secondary educators. 

The Department of Agriculture and Nutrition Science also offers areas of focus in agribusiness, plant science, animal science, range management, equine science, natural resources, horticulture, and pre-veterinary medicine. The program focuses on helping students become qualified for a wide variety of agriculture industry-based careers through internship opportunities and hands-on experiences in the program. 

Tags: College of Health Sciences Agriculture

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