Date of this Version
Merging the departments of Agricultural Communications and Agricultural Education provided fresh perspectives on graduate education. While Agricultural Communications had no graduate program, Agricultural Education traditionally offered one graduate program at the masters level largely designed for agricultural educators in Nebraska’s public schools. During the last five years, the program of study leading to the Master of Science degree in Agricultural Education has begun to reflect the changing nature of our clientele, their needs, and new directions.
Candidates for the master of science degree now include greater numbers of those with interests in human resources development who are pursuing careers in agribusiness, cooperative extension, government, or postsecondary teaching. In the past those seeking advanced degrees were predominantly white, male teachers in public school agricultural education. Today, more female, more international , and more racially diverse students are enrolling programs of study in agricultural education.
The foundations of the emerging graduate program lie in the realm of procedural knowledge. Students in the graduate program, working with members of the graduate faculty, are doing advanced study in the processes of leadership, teaching and learning, and communication. We study to discover not only what the processes are, but how to apply theory in actual contexts; evaluate the application; and improve the practices of how we teach and students learn, how we lead, and how we communicate.