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.
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
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.”
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
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
- 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 https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html.
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 https://www.tn.gov/education/licensing.html and the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC) site at https://www.nasdtec.net/page/Interstate as well as the US Department of Education state contacts site for information about any additional state requirements.
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