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Agricultural and Extension Education

The vision of the Agricultural and Extension Education (AEE) program cluster in the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education is to be a leader in Pennsylvania, nationally, and internationally, in preparing formal and nonformal educators in agricultural sciences, applied youth, family and community education, community wellness and civic development, and leadership development. Our faculty, staff, and graduates are to be noted for developing contemporary curricula and programs, conducting high quality research, and disseminating new knowledge in these areas.

The mission of the AEE program cluster is to improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities through contemporary undergraduate and graduate education, research, and extension programming.

Agricultural and Extension Education is about DEVELOPING HUMAN POTENTIAL!

Knowledge is discovered, applied in authentic settings with purposeful, pragmatic instruction to develop the careers of our students and improving the lives of children, youth and families. This aspiration is achieved by bringing our vision and mission alive through teaching, extension and research.

Students in AEE pursue careers as leaders in secondary Agriscience Instruction, Extension Education, International Agricultural Education, Agribusiness Sales & Service, and Industry Training & Consulting.  The Department of Agricultural Education was formed in 1909 , and has engaged in the mission of preparing highly qualified agricultural educators with a four-year program since 1912.

Undergraduate Majors and Minors

Agricultural and Extension Education Major

A degree in Agricultural and Extension Education can help prepare you for education and leadership positions in agriculture including working in schools and colleges, cooperative extension, business, trade and professional associations, and government agencies.

Agricultural Science Major

This major enables students to develop their unique programs of study to serve their individual needs by assembling courses selected from various departments within the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Agricultural Communications Minor

This minor offers interested students in the College of Agricultural Sciences a coherent and recognized focus for their communication interests within their overall academic program.

Students need to know how to communicate effectively in the workplace. Communications is the essence of all professional practices. This interdisciplinary program of study is designed to introduce majors in the College of Agricultural Sciences to the skills and professional practices in communications and to the interdependence between communications and society.

Leadership Development Minor

This minor is designed for students in any major who want to supplement their program with studies in leadership development. The goal of the minor is to expand a student's knowledge, skills, and understanding of specific leadership theories, concepts, models, and current leadership issues in applied settings. It is intended for students interested in a cross-disciplinary approach to gathering, interpreting, and applying knowledge about leaders and leadership practices. This minor teaches students the skills necessary to excel as leaders in their professions and help others accomplish their goals.

Agricultural and Extension Education Graduate Program

We offer Master's and Doctoral graduate degree programs in the following core areas of study: Educational Processes, Leadership Development and Communications, Program Development, and Research.

Primary objectives of AEE graduate education

  • To prepare students to conduct educational programs and research and to assume academic or managerial positions in public and private youth-serving agencies and foundations concerned with youth, family and community development.
  •  To conduct research related to youth and family education, teaching, administration, and supervision of agricultural and non-formal (extension) education in the United States as well as internationally.
  •  To recruit, prepare, and place qualified teachers of agricultural and environmental sciences to meet the needs of the state.
  •  To provide a comprehensive in-service education program, including graduate studies to meet the professional education needs of teachers of agriculture, teachers of family and consumer science, extension professionals, youth and family professionals, and personnel with similar needs.
  •  To provide educational consultation services relating to youth and family education and to agricultural, vocational, and extension education programs.
  •  To provide educational support services to the College of Agricultural Sciences and the University, including advising students and teaching professional education courses.
  •  To support the national and international efforts of the College of Agricultural Sciences and the University.

Specific Degrees include:

Centers and Special Initiatives

AgrAbility

The mission of AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians is to assist farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities or long-term health conditions by providing the resources and support they need to live independently and continue in production agriculture.

Lead Faculty Contact: Connie Baggett

Better Kid Care

Better Kid Care provides evidence-informed professional development to early care and education and youth development professionals to improve the quality of their care and educational practices.

Lead Faculty Contact: Claudia Mincemoyer

Center for Professional Personnel Development (CPPD) in Agricultural Education

Home of "Teach Ag!" at Penn State, the center is committed to the operation of a comprehensive program of professional personnel development for career and technical education.

Lead Faculty Contact: John Ewing

Global Teach Ag! Initiative: Unique in the nation, is the Global Teach Ag! Initiative as part of the CPPD. The mission of the PSU Global Teach Ag! Initiative is to develop capacity in agriscience teachers and agriscience education programs for global impact in food, fiber, and natural resources through youth development and education programming.

Lead Faculty Contact: Daniel Foster

Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness

The Clearinghouse has become a widely used resource for professionals working with Service members and their families. Thus far, over 1,100 programs have been vetted on the Clearinghouse’s Continuum of Evidence. The Clearinghouse provides a variety of services that include the following: (1) program selection; (2) program implementation assistance; (3) professional trainings and other educational opportunities, including continuing education credit for licensed professionals; and (4) evaluation and research assistance. In 2016, the Clearinghouse was awarded the W. K. Kellogg Community Engagement Award for its partnership with the military.

Lead Faculty Contact: Daniel Perkins

UNESCO Chair in Community, Leadership and Youth Development

The UNESCO Chair at Penn State aspires to be the leading source of high-impact research, educational programs, policy and partnerships that improve the lives of youth and communities worldwide.

Lead Faculty Contact: Mark Brennan

2iE-Penn State Centre for Collaborative Engagement in Burkina Faso, West Africa

Lead Faculty Contact: Nicole Webster