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The Master of Science in Agricultural Education

This master's degree is offered entirely online and partners with the AG*IDEA consortium. Courses are offered from participating universities and instructors across the United States. However, students are enrolled as California State University, Chico students and receive grades and the degree from CSU, Chico.

Course Requirements for the Master's Degree: 30 units

Continuous enrollment is required. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.  This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through the Center for Regional and Continuing Education.

Graduate Time Limit:

All requirements for the degree are to be completed within seven years of the end of the semester of enrollment in the oldest course applied toward the degree. See Master's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements.

Prerequisites for Admission to Conditionally Classified Status:

1. Satisfactory grade point average as specified in Graduate and Postbaccalaureate Admission Requirements in the University Catalog.

2. Approval by the department and the Office of Graduate Studies.

3. A baccalaureate in agriculture, food, or natural resources from an accredited institution, or an equivalent approved by the Office of Graduate Studies. The GRE is not required, but the prospective student must have sufficient background to undertake a graduate program in agricultural education.

Prerequisites for Admission to Classified Status:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Formation of a graduate advisory committee.

2. Development of an approved program in consultation with the graduate coordinator in agricultural education.

Advancement to Candidacy:

In addition to any requirements listed above:

1. Students must have classified graduate standing and must have completed at least 9 units of the proposed program at the University.

Requirements for the MS in Agricultural Education:

Completion of all requirements as established by the departmental graduate advisory committee or graduate coordinator in agricultural education, and the Office of Graduate Studies, to include:

1. Completion of an approved program consisting of 30 units of 400/500/600-level courses as follows:

  1. At least 12 units must be completed in Research Methodology in Agricultural Education (AGED 600), Program Planning in Agricultural Education (AGED 601), Instructional Methodology in Agricultural Education (AGED 602), and Assessment in Agricultural Education (AGED 610).
  2. At least 18 of the units required for the degree in 600-level courses.
  3. At the discretion of the academic program, a maximum of 30 percent of the units counted toward the degree requirements may be special session credit earned in non-matriculated status combined with all transfer coursework.  This applies to special session credit earned through Open University, or in courses offered for academic credit through the Center for Regional and Continuing Education.
  4. Not more than 3 units of Independent Study (AGED 697); not more than 6 units of Master's Thesis (AGED 699T) or Master's Project (AGED 699P).
  5. Approval by the graduate coordinator in agricultural education and the Graduate Council on behalf of the faculty of the University.

Course Requirements for the MS in Agricultural Education:

12 units required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
Research methods are presented in support of decision-making in a scientifically literate world. Literature, logic, and research methodologies for quantitative paradigms are presented. Studies in the social sciences are emphasized. Students prepare a proposal for their thesis, dissertation, or creative component. The goal of this course is to gain an understanding of the theory and practice of social science research through critical evaluation of the research literature and by developing a research proposal. 9 hours independent study. (021209)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
Development of a total agricultural education program in communities using all available resources. The purpose of this course is to expose students to a variety of situations and experiences that improve their ability to develop and implement effective education programs in formal and non-formal community education settings. To achieve this desired end, students (a) acquire an understanding of program development from theory to practice and (b) strengthen or develop their skills in planning, designing, implementing, evaluating, and accounting for educational programs for targeted audiences. 3 hours lecture. (021210)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This is an online course designed for graduate students who have a desire to improve their teaching ability by incorporating a variety of teaching methods into the learning setting. Specifically, this course focuses on various learning theories and teaching methods for both formal and non-formal learning situations. This online course is composed of teacher-centered approaches the first half of the semester with a focus on theory. Student-centered approaches consume the second half of the semester with a focus on the application of teaching methods and an emphasis on reflection. Students are expected to access the D2L site for course content and discussions. 9 hours independent study. (021213)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This graduate level course is designed to develop an understanding and application of assessment relevant to agricultural education. Students develop, administer, and analyze formal, informal, and performance assessment techniques to monitor and evaluate student learning and guide modification. 9 hours independent study. (021216)

12-15 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
Survey of concepts, theories, and practices of leadership, personal development, and group dynamics. Exploration of leadership traits and models with a focus upon how they apply to Agricultural Education. 9 hours independent study. (021214)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
Techniques in evaluating vocational, technical, and extension education programs. Principles and procedures of evaluation with emphasis on focusing, designing, reporting, and managing evaluation. 9 hours independent study. (021215)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
Determining adult needs, priorities, participation in educational activities and adoption of new ideas and practices. Designing, organizing, conducting, and evaluating adult education programs in agricultural and extension education. The goal of this course is to understand the theory and practice of adult education. Students design an educational program for adult learners in an agricultural and extension education context. 9 hours independent study. (021211)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This class is intended to serve as the foundation of your graduate-level studies in agricultural and extension education. It is intended to acquaint the student with broader cultural and historical conditions based on a philosophical perspective. This course should give you the ability to formulate some of the assumptions on which you will build your particular knowledge base in agricultural education. Through this knowledge acquisition, the student should investigate their curriculum of study, reminded of this general framework within which the specialized knowledge of agricultural education is explained and formulate your philosophical beliefs. The primary purpose of this course is to provide the student with an examined grounding in the principle divisions of thought (philosophies), seminal events and people in the history of agriculture (history), and decisions made (policy), resulting in the current state of affairs in agricultural education. It has been said that policy is the expression or operationalization of philosophy and policy both creates and is influenced by history. The convergence of these factors determines the future direction of agriculture and agricultural education. 9 hours independent study. (021212)
Prerequisite: Graduate Status.
This course is designed to develop an understanding and application of skills needed to successfully integrate special needs students into the secondary agriculture classroom. Specific modifications for a variety of special needs students are addressed, especially as needed to meet the unique nature of secondary agricultural education classroom. FFA and SAE components. 3 hours lecture. (021278)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This course is a graduate-level independent study, offered for 1-6 units. 12 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (021292)

6 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This course is designed to demonstrate an understanding and application of research through the creation of independent and original work, culminating in a scholarly project. The master's project must document original student work and must be of sufficient quality to share with other professionals. The final project should address a particular need in agricultural education, included documented research, and be presented in a scholarly format. 9 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021217)
Prerequisite: Graduate status.
This course is designed to demonstrate an understanding and application of research through the creation of independent and original work, culminating in a scholarly research paper. The master's thesis must document original student research in a scholarly presentation capable of submission to research conferences or a professional journal. The thesis should address a particular need in agricultural education and inform practice. 18 hours independent study. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading. (021218)

2. Completion and final approval of a thesis or project as specified by the student's graduate advisory committee

Culminating Activity:

  1. Thesis Plan: Upon agreement by the student's graduate advisory committee, an acceptable thesis composed of original research shall be submitted as the culminating activity.
    1. Thesis proposal: A formal thesis proposal must be submitted and approved by the graduate advisory committee before students may begin research. The proposal must meet the criteria established by the graduate committee, including format, documentation, and quality of writing. The thesis proposal includes the following: literature review; problem and purpose or hypothesis of the research; research design; and research methodology.
    2. Registration in AGRI 699T, Master's Thesis.
    3. Approval of thesis: Members of the graduate advisory committee shall approve the thesis.
    4. Oral defense: Members of the graduate advisory committee shall conduct an oral defense of the thesis. The oral defense is generally limited to content within the scope of the thesis.
  2. Comprehensive Project Plan: A creative component shall be completed upon the approval of the graduate advisory committee. The creative, comprehensive project will demonstrate applied research to solve a particular need or problem.
    1. Comprehensive Project: A formal plan for the creative component must be submitted and approved by the graduate advisory committee prior to the onset of the project. The formal proposal for the comprehensive project shall include the following: review of literature; identification of problem or definition of a particular need; methodology employed to address the problem or solve a particular need; and a timeline for project completion. The comprehensive project will be reviewed and shall be graded as credit/no credit.
    2. Registration in AGRI 699P, Master's Project
    3. The graduate advisory committee shall review and approve the comprehensive project.

Graduate Grading Requirements:

All courses in the major (with the exceptions of Independent Study - 697, Comprehensive Examination - 696, Master's Project - 699P, and Master's Thesis - 699T) must be taken for a letter grade, except those courses specified by the department as ABC/No Credit (400/500-level courses), AB/No Credit (600-level courses), or Credit/No Credit grading only. A maximum of 10 units combined of ABC/No Credit, AB/No Credit, and Credit/No Credit grades may be used on the approved program (including 697, 696, 699P, 699T and courses outside the major). While grading standards are determined by individual programs and instructors, it is also the policy of the University that unsatisfactory grades may be given when work fails to reflect achievement of the high standards, including high writing standards, expected of students pursuing graduate study.

Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average in each of the following three categories: all course work taken at any accredited institution subsequent to admission to the master's program; all course work taken at CSU, Chico subsequent to admission to the program; and all courses on the approved master's degree program.

Graduate Advising Requirement:

Students are encouraged to seek advising information from the graduate coordinator prior to enrolling in courses each semester.

Catalog Cycle:16