06/03/07 — Mount Olive College to offer agricultural science program

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Mount Olive College to offer agricultural science program

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 3, 2007 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A partnership with N.C. State University will allow students at Mount Olive College to prepare for a future as agriculture education teachers.

Starting this fall, students can enroll in the agricultural science education program, developed to help meet the growing need for teachers in the field across the state.

According to Dr. Don Thompson, interim director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at Mount Olive, "The increased demand for ag teachers is due partly because many of the current teachers are aging out of the systems. Another reason is due to the tremendous growth of ag programs throughout the state in areas like turf management, horticulture, aquaculture and other areas related to the production and distribution of food, fiber and natural resources.

"Urban high schools are also experiencing growth in these programs, in addition to the popularity of ag education in high schools located in small towns and rural farming areas."

The additional program will build on the existing agribusiness curriculum. Two years of conversations and program drafts preceded the announcement that the expansion will be launched in the fall.

Through the partnership, a student can graduate from Mount Olive with a bachelor of science degree in agricultual science education and receive recommendation for the "A" teacher licensing through the N.C. State University Department of Agricultural and Extension Education.

The majority of course work will be done at Mount Olive, with the curriculum being similar to the agricultural business management concentration in agricultural education at NCSU. Students will then complete the professional education core at NCSU.

Dr. Barbara Kornegay, the college's vice-president for enrollment, said the partnership is a good move for potential students in the field.

"By having the time to attend a private college where they can develop as students and leaders, and then having the exposure to a land grant university, I believe students will have the best of both types of educational environments," she said.