Mariellenn Withers

Why AEE?

I chose the AEE program at Penn State because my career goal is to teach in a formal education setting. This program offers an option that includes teacher's certification, which fits into the path that will lead me to my ultimate goal. The faculty with whom I discussed my options in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education were friendly and very helpful.

The Faculty and Staff

Penn State has a great learning environment. The staff in the department is extremely helpful and willing to aide students when the need arises. Faculty members are truly there for you and interested in any questions or concerns you may have and stories you want to pass on. Some of the required courses have not only graduate students enrolled in them, but also undergraduates. These courses are great for bringing all levels of students together. Our department has the Collegiate FFA and Collegiate 4-H clubs, which foster interaction between graduate and undergraduate students as well.

What I Learned

Being a part of the AEE graduate program has helped me grow in ways I cannot begin to put into words. One of the changes most noticeable to me is my improved writing style. I have learned to express even greater clarity in my papers, to the benefit of my audience. As is expected, my knowledge about education, FFA, and 4-H has increased. This new found knowledge is quite important, as I did not attend an agricultural high school or earn a previous degree in education. The members of our department, both faculty members and students, are from many different places, and my interactions with them have increased my cultural awareness.

My experiences in the department thus far have been very positive, and I expect that will continue as I work toward my degree. There are friendly faces just around the corner, waiting to greet you and good courses waiting to seat you. I chose Penn State not just because I could earn the degree I wanted, but because the town and university are full of great people.