Agricultural Education majors may choose from two options: 1) Teaching Option or 2) Communications, Leadership, and Extension Option. Agricultural Education graduates are employed by high schools, area vocational schools, community colleges, the public agriculture sector, Extension Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and other federal, state, and government agencies.
The Agricultural Education curricula are designed to provide professional preparation for extension agents, middle school and secondary agricultural education teachers and service providers in agricultural areas where content knowledge, pedagogical and andragogical skills, and experience in public communication are desirable attributes. Our graduates are prepared for a wide variety of jobs because they have a broad base of scientific knowledge combined with excellent people skills.
Students enrolled in Agricultural Education options gain leadership experience through active participation in Collegiate 4-H, Collegiate FFA, MSU Agricultural Education Club and other College of Agriculture student clubs and organizations.
The Teaching Option permits a student to choose a balanced program among agricultural economics, agricultural mechanics, animal & range sciences, and plant & soil sciences, while also gaining teaching and presentation skills. Students preparing to teach spend 14 weeks in an approved high school agriculture department as teaching candidates. Graduates are eligible to receive a Montana Class Two (standard) teaching license which permits them to teach in middle and high schools. This licensure is recognized in most other states throughout the U.S.
Students may pursue a teaching minor in a variety of disciplines that provides them with additional employment opportunities.
Agricultural Education Communications, Leadership, and Extension Option
The Agricultural Education Communications Option emphasizes academic coursework to prepare students to communicate about emerging agricultural issues to diverse audiences. Students will develop professional verbal, written, and technological skills to advocate for the agricultural industry. Courses in this track include advanced writing, communications, interpersonal skills, marketing, and media development. All students will also enhance their degree by pursuing a Leadership Fellows certificate integrated into their program of study. Careers may include agribusiness and communication positions related to public relations, rural broadcasting and news, magazine editors and writers, communications specialists, and sales representatives. An approved internship with an agricultural agency is required.
The Agricultural Education Extension Option emphasizes academic coursework to prepare students for careers to educate others in the Cooperative Extension Service and other non-formal settings. This track provides broad-based coursework that includes animal science, plant science, agricultural economics, non-formal teaching methods, adult and youth education, communications, and leadership development. All students will also enhance their degree by pursuing a Leadership Fellows certificate integrated into their program of study. Careers may include positions in extension education, community and nonprofit education, government and nongovernmental agencies, and other non-formal educational organizations. An approved internship in a local Extension office or with an agricultural organization is required.
The Agricultural Education Leadership Option emphasizes academic coursework to develop knowledge and skills necessary to work with people in leadership and management positions. Students will develop fundamental abilities in interpersonal communication, teamwork, leadership, motivation, and management in the broad area of agriculture. All students will also enhance their degree by pursuing a Leadership Fellows certificate integrated into their program of study. An array of careers in private and public sectors may include sales, management, organizational training, community development, non-formal education, and consulting in agricultural and natural resource industries. An approved internship with an agricultural agency is required.