Dickinson State University wraps up first semester of Ag Education Master’s program

Local News

Dickinson State University is wrapping up its first semester with it’s Ag Education Master’s Program.

Students and faculty were pleased with the results, and are looking forward to a bright future.

It’s no secret that ag plays a large role in North Dakota’s economy.

Earlier this year, Dickinson State University announced its ag education master’s program, partnering with NDSU.

Dr. Chip Poland, the head of the Ag department at DSU, said, “There was, from the beginning, when DSU began offering a bachelor’s degree, questions about could we look at combining our expertise in education as well as our expertise in agriculture to offer an agricultural education program.”

Students from western North Dakota, such as Taylor Downing — who’s from South Heart — no longer have to drive several hours to go to school.

The master’s program takes the knowledge students gain from a bachelor’s in ag studies and expands upon it.

“I’ve just taken some basic ag courses such as world food crops, which focuses more on grain harvesting and that process. Feeds and feeding which is like feeding of live stock and other ruminant animals, and this semester, I’m actually taking an intro to education class as my first real education one,” said Downing.

Having that knowledge is important, but the heavy focus on education helps these future teachers pass on that information to our future ag profesionals.

Downing said she’s excited about her future with the program.

“So far it has been a great experience, and I can’t wait to continue to go through it,” said Downing.

Students who successfully complete the program will receive a certification to teach grades 7-12 within the Peace Garden State.

Dr. Poland said there are already other students interested in applying to the program.

He said the program’s success is leading the school to conduct further recruitment efforts down the road.

“Theoretically, we think we have everything in place. Realistically trying to mix and match to make sure things work. I dont know that we’ve had any real snags at the moment,” said Poland.

A project 20 years in the making is now finally enjoying the fruits — and other crops — of their labor.

DSU is also looking to add other programs, such as a welding program, which already has nearly a dozen interested students.

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