Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Cornell University, Ithaca College Offer Master's Program for Ag Teachers

From Cornell University and Ithaca College:

Cornell University and Ithaca College will offer a new Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) program to help meet growing demand for qualified agricultural educators. 

Students in the graduate program will earn a degree in agriculture education from Ithaca College in collaboration with Cornell Connect, a program of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

“This unique M.A.T. in agriculture education combines the strength of an established, highly regarded education program at Ithaca College with the internationally recognized agricultural knowledge of Cornell,” said Jeff Perry, education specialist in CALS’ School of Integrative Plant Science. 

“Students will graduate with a strong knowledge of the agricultural education community while also being comfortable with their general education peers,” he said.

This cross-university partnership, unique in the United States, reflects CALS’ commitment to agricultural science education. 

“Our goal has been to expand opportunities for Cornell students to obtain teacher certification. This innovative program is a true partnership with Ithaca College’s nationally accredited, state-approved and much-respected teacher education programs,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Ithaca College and Cornell University have been collaborating in the preparation of teachers for many years,” noted Linda Hanrahan, chair of graduate programs in education at Ithaca College. “The newly approved M.A.T. program in agriculture education provides us with yet another avenue for continued collaboration.”

The intensive 13-month program is an extension of other articulation agreements that exist between the two schools, including the transition of prospective teacher candidates from Cornell’s education studies minor program into the M.S. in childhood education or the M.A.T. in adolescence education at Ithaca College.

The program comes at a time when agricultural education programs are growing in popularity in suburban and urban high schools throughout the country. 

According to a 2014 National Association of Agricultural Educators supply-and-demand report, more than 200 additional agricultural teachers are needed due to program growth and expansion each year.

In the 36-credit program, 27 credits will be taken through Ithaca College in general education and field experience and nine credits will be taken in agriculture through CALS’ Cornell Connect. 

The first cohort in the new program will enter May 31, 2016, and will be eligible for graduation, initial certification and a teaching position by the following summer.

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