Huntington University announced that the Indiana State Board of Education has approved its agricultural education program for the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies. Huntington University is one of only two higher education institutions in Indiana that offer four-year degrees in agriculture.
“We are very pleased that our new agricultural education program has been approved by the Indiana Department of Education. This new major will allow us to expand our support for the agricultural sector in Indiana. There is currently a shortage of agriculture teachers in Indiana high schools and this program joins our already strong offerings in education and agribusiness,” stated Dr. Michael Wanous, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty.
Although there are more than 150 high schools in Indiana offering agriculture, there is a shortage of agricultural instructors in the state and nationwide. As such, HU is uniquely positioned to train future agriculture teachers from a faith-based perspective in a small-college environment. The agricultural education program will include courses already offered in agribusiness and education, while adding new courses in agriculture and agricultural instruction that will provide the breadth of academic and practical experience needed. In addition to on-campus education, instruction will include hands-on vocational skills instruction through local education partnerships and field experience in agriculture through internships. The agricultural education program is the newest component of HU’s well-respected Educator Preparation Program.
“The Huntington University Teacher Education Program is excited to be able to join with Agricultural Studies in offering an option for students in Indiana and the surrounding area to prepare for a career in Agricultural Education in the context of a small, private, faith-based institution. We believe this will be an educational option that many students will find attractive and we look forward to helping these students prepare for this important career,” stated Dr. Terrell Peace, director of graduate & undergraduate teacher education.
Huntington University began instruction in agriculture in the 2015-16 academic year through its Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies. Students can major in agribusiness, focusing their studies in one of eight tracks within the agribusiness major: agrimanagement, agrimarketing, agrieconomics & finance, agrientrepreneurial small business management, crop production, animal production, ministry & missions, and communications & public policy. Courses in place for this major include agricultural sciences such as crop science, animal science, agroecology, soils, etc., as well as business courses and basic science courses in biology, chemistry, and statistics.
“I have seen considerable interest in Ag Education among our current students as well as prospective students. We have also received encouragement from ag teachers, farmers, agribusiness and agbiosciences professionals, and others who are excited to see this offered at HU,” said Dr. Raymond Porter, director of the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies. “The Education Department here at HU is top-notch and has a fantastic track record of training teachers in other disciplines. We want to make Huntington a top choice for those who see their future in preparing secondary and middle-school students for careers in agriculture and agricultural science.”