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Agricultural Education Leadership, M.Ed.

MTSU’s new Agricultural Education Leadership graduate program offers the opportunity to study agricultural leadership and its application in a variety of agricultural and environmental contexts. This concentration leads to a Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in the Administration and Supervision major. The program helps disseminate the latest research and best practices in agribusiness and agriscience to educational leaders such as extension officers, FFA club advisors, 4-H leaders, and K-12 teachers who integrate agricultural content into their curriculum. Electives allow master’s candidates to tailor studies for individual career goals. The program draws upon the expertise of School of Agriculture faculty and builds on MTSU’s strong foundation in K-12 education. Although not traditionally identified as STEM fields, agribusiness and agriscience rest on the ever-growing and ever-changing currents of science, technology, and engineering that require agricultural leaders to remain up-to-date in scientific arenas, apply that knowledge to agribusiness and agriscience, and communicate that information to a variety of audiences in a number of formats.

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Agriculture teacher returns to MTSU for new master’s program

Agriculture teacher returns to MTSU for new master’s program

Smith County High School agriculture teacher Wesley Foster, a Plant and Soil Science graduate from MTSU, plans to finish his master’s through the new Agricultural Education Leadership program. Foster took three graduate classes before being hired mid-semester in 2012. “This new master's program will benefit me personally because it is focused more toward me and what I do in my classroom,” he says. “Before, the program was aimed more toward an administration position rather than toward the agricultural side or the teaching side.” Foster has increased agriculture enrollment from 104 to 195 at Smith County and FFA membership from 68 to 126 as advisor. “Agriculture is changing day by day by day, whether it’s seed varieties, precision agriculture, or the mechanics on agriculture equipment,” Foster says. “Everything involved with agriculture has exploded within the past 10 years, so it’s hard to keep up.” Foster also co-owns and operates his family’s 1,500-acre farm in Cannon County.

Vaught works to meet demand for new degree program

Vaught works to meet demand for new degree program

Dr. Alanna (Neely) Vaught is starting up the Agricultural Education Leadership master’s program at MTSU as graduate director. Vaught, a 2003 MTSU graduate, earned her doctorate in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M in 2013. “Students have continuously voiced their desire to obtain an Ag master’s degree from MTSU,” Vaught says. “After many years of work, we are excited to now offer this opportunity.” She began teaching in MTSU’s School of Agriculture in 2006 after receiving her master’s in Instructional Leadership. Vaught then wrote a grant and launched a dual credit program between MTSU and high schools that the state later took over. “When she first talked to me about it, I quickly realized that there would be a strong demand for this degree,” says Warren Gill, former Agriculture director. “Dr. Vaught is passionate about helping develop the next generation of great teachers.”

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With leadership being a mandate of employers, the Agricultural Education Leadership master’s degree positions graduates to work with communities, organizations, and agencies that are committed to agriculture and the environment. The program is geared toward agricultural extension agents, 4-H leaders, recent graduates, and teachers who seek advanced agricultural leadership skills.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

Because this degree program is new, employer information is still being compiled.

The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Administration and Supervision now offers a concentration in Agriculture Education Leadership, as well as specializations in K-12 public school, higher education, and a nonlicensure program.

Applicants must have

  • a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid Tennessee teacher’s license;
  • an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
  • teacher licensure (can be waived).

Curriculum consists of 9 hours core classes, 12 hours of specialized coursework, and 12 hours of electives.

Students must select 12 hours from graduate-level elective courses in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business, and the College of Education. A minimum of 6 hours must be taken from courses with common rubrics (i.e., FOED, SPSE, YOED, ABAS, MKT, MGMT). 

For example, a student who planned to teach in a K-12 setting could pick up additional courses in the College of Education. However, a student who planned to lead a 4-H or agricultural extension might choose further courses in the School of Agriculture. 

Other graduate degrees

The Womack Educational Leadership Department awards the Master of Education degree (M.Ed.) with majors in Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction, and Professional Counseling. 

Master’s graduates may pursue the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.), with majors available in Administration and Supervision as well as Curriculum and Instruction.

Professional Licensure Disclosure

The Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) College of Education’s teacher licensure preparation programs are accredited by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) and are eligible for accreditation by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). The Master of Education (M.Ed.) degree in the Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership program at MTSU is designed to meet the licensure requirements set by the Tennessee Department of Education. Students should be aware that licensure requirements vary from state to state and are subject to change. MTSU has not made a determination whether a specific program will meet all of the requirements of another US state or territory. MTSU recommends that students who plan to seek licensure outside the state of Tennessee contact the appropriate licensing agency and discuss their plans with their advisor. To obtain current information about each state’s and territory’s licensure requirements and any additional regulations, students should consult the US Department of Education’s website for state contacts at

Graduates of MTSU teacher education programs certified to teach in Tennessee are eligible for certification reciprocity in many states. Reciprocity is not an automatic or complete transfer of certification, thus individuals should consult the Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) site at and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.

Our adjunct faculty bring outstanding professional experience to our programs. Many are industry leaders with decorated careers and honors. Importantly, they are innovative educators who offer hands-on learning to our students to prepare them to enter and thrive in a dynamic, and oftentimes emerging, industry and professional world. They inspire, instruct, and challenge our students toward academic and professional success.

Online or Hybrid Programs at a Glance

This program is available .

For More Information or Explore Your Options​

Contact your department / program coordinator or advisor for more details about the program OR work one-on-one with your advisor to explore your options.

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The Online Advantage​

With over 25 years of experience in online teaching and learning, MTSU Online offers students access to innovative, high-quality programs. Designed with students in mind, our courses allow maximum flexibility for those unable to participate in person. ​

Resources and services for online students are available from MTSU Online or contact us at

Contact Information

Alanna (Neely) Vaught

Who is My Advisor?

Alanna (Neely) Vaught

Mailing Address

Agricultural Education Leadership Program
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
MTSU Box 5
Murfreesboro, TN  37132

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