2022-23 Academic Catalog

Agricultural and Extension Education

Department Head: Dr. Michael Newman
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Kirk Swortzel

120 Lloyd-Ricks-Watson Building
Box 9745
Mississippi State, MS  39762
Telephone: 662-325-7837
E-mail: kirk.swortzel@msstate.edu

The Agricultural Education, Leadership, and Communication program in the School of Human Sciences offers graduate programs leading to the following degrees.

  1. Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with a concentration in Teacher Licensure or Community and Extension Education
  2. Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Science with a concentration in Agricultural and Extension Education

Admission Criteria - Master of Science Degree

To obtain admission to the master's program, the applicant must meet all the general requirements of the Office of the Graduate School.  Specifically, an applicant must:

  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission.
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with scores competitive with other applicants (recommended).
  • Have an upper-division undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 (approximately last 60 undergraduate hours).
  • Provide the names and e-mail addresses of three individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation.  These letters of recommendation will attest to the applicant's academic performance and potential ability to successfully complete graduate degree requirements.
  • Write a statement of purpose (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant's purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans and career goals.
  • International non-native speakers of English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work (see International Admission requirements in this catalog).

A student applying to the Master of Science degree in Agricultural and Extension Education in the teacher certification concentration must have an undergraduate degree in an agriculturally related field and submit GRE scores.  The student must qualify for admission to teacher education by presenting an ACT score of 21 (SAT equivalent of 860) or by obtaining at least the following scores:

Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST)

Subject Score
Reading 156
Writing 162
Mathematics 150

Admission Criteria - Doctor of Philosophy

To obtain admission to the master's program, the applicant must meet all the general requirements of the Office of the Graduate School.  Specifically, an applicant must:

  • Meet all MSU Graduate School requirements for admission.
  • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), with scores competitive with other applicants.
  • Have earned a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Have at least a 3.00 grade point average on previous graduate coursework.  
  • Provide the names and e-mail addresses of three individuals who can provide a letter of recommendation.  These letters of recommendation will attest to the applicant's academic performance and potential ability to successfully complete graduate degree requirements.
  • Write a statement of purpose (500-1,000 words) describing the applicant's purpose for undertaking graduate study, including professional plans and career goals.
  • International non-native speakers of English must submit TOEFL or IELTS scores indicative of ability to successfully complete graduate work (see International Admission requirements in this catalog).

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has not fully met the GPA requirement stipulated by the University may be admitted on a provisional basis. The provisionally-admitted student is eligible for a change to regular status after receiving a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University (with no grade lower than a C).  The first 9 hours of graduate courses must be within the student's program of study.  Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement.  If a 3.00 is not attained, the provisional student shall be dismissed from the graduate program.  Academic departments may set higher standards for students to fulfill provisional requirements; a student admitted with provisional status should contact the graduate coordinator for the program’s specific requirements.  While in the provisional status, a student is not eligible to hold a graduate assistantship.

Academic Performance

Unsatisfactory performance may be defined as the failure to maintain a "B" average in graduate courses attempted after admission to the program; a grade of "U," "D," or "F" in any course; more than two grades below a "B"; failure of the comprehensive examination or of the thesis/dissertation defense. Any one of these or a combination of these may constitute the basis for the termination of a student's graduate study in a degree program. To be eligible for the comprehensive examination, a graduate student must have a 3.00 GPA on all graduate courses taken after being admitted to the degree program.

Upon the recommendation of the major professor or the graduate coordinator, a student whose academic work is unsatisfactory at any period during a given semester or term may be forced to withdraw from a graduate program. A student forced to withdraw can appeal to department faculty and, if upheld by the faculty, the student can then submit a written appeal to the Director of the School of Human Sciences. If upheld there, the student may appeal the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. 

For those completing the thesis option, students must complete a minimum of 12 hours of coursework at the 8000-level. And those completing the non-thesis option, students must complete a minimum of 15 hours of coursework at the 8000-level. All students must either complete a thesis (AELC 8000) or a creative component (AELC 8100) for a minimum of 6 credit hours to meet degree requirements.

A student who chooses to complete a thesis must pass a final thesis defense and submit the thesis to complete degree requirements. A student who chooses to complete a creative component must pass the final defense of the creative component and complete an oral comprehensive examination over all course work completed. A minimum of 33 hours of coursework in a planned program of study must be completed for all concentrations.

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Community and Extension Education Concentration - Thesis

Core Courses21
Major Required Courses
Administration and Supervision in Agricultural and Extension Education
Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture
Principles and Practices of Extension Education
Advanced Communications in Agricultural and Extension Education
Thesis Hours6
Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education
Electives6
Total Hours33

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Community and Extension Education Concentration - Non-Thesis

Core Courses21
Major Required Courses
Administration and Supervision in Agricultural and Extension Education
Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture
Principles and Practices of Extension Education
Advanced Communications in Agricultural and Extension Education
Creative Component6
Creative Component Project in Agricultural and Extension Education
Electives6
Total Hours33

The Community and Extension Education Concentration prepares future employees and administrators for careers in extension and community/non-formal educational settings. These students will focus on basic foundational principles in agricultural and extension education and enhance their skills in program planning, teaching methods, evaluation methods, and communication technologies. The required courses for the Community and Extension Education Concentration are AELC 6103, AELC 8203, AELC 8243, AELC 8503, AELC 8703, AELC 8803, AELC 8853, and either AELC 8000 or AELC 8100 (minimum of 6 credit hours). The remaining courses (6 hours) in the Community and Extension Education Concentration may be a combination of approved electives or courses being used for a minor in another department. Students who want to earn a minor will be expected to exceed the minimum requirements (33 hours) for the degree. If a student selects to earn a minor, a faculty member from the minor area should also be a member of the student's graduate committee. 

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Teaching and Learning Concentration - Thesis

Core Courses15
Major Required Courses
Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture
Advanced Communications in Agricultural and Extension Education
AELC or Education Courses6
Agriculture Electives6
Thesis Hours6
Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education
Total Hours33

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Teaching and Learning Concentration - Non-Thesis

Core Courses15
Major Required Courses
Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture
Advanced Communications in Agricultural and Extension Education
AELC or Education Courses6
Agriculture Electives6
Creative Component6
Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education
Total Hours33

The Teaching and Learning Concentration enhances the careers of those employed in agricultural education professions, such as public-school teaching; community college instruction; or training and development positions in industry. Students will complete coursework to gain valuable knowledge and experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating educational programs. The required courses for the Teaching and Learning Concentration are AELC 8203, AELC 8503, AELC 8703, AELC 8803, AELC 8853, and either AELC 8000 or AELC 8100 (minimum of 6 credit hours). The remaining credits in this concentration will include 6 hours of AELC or education coursework and 6 hours of agriculture coursework. Students may choose to earn a minor from another department but will be expected to exceed the minimum requirements (33 hours) for the degree. If a student selects to earn a minor, a faculty member from the minor area should also be a member of the student's graduate committee. 

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Agriculture Teacher Licensure Concentration - Thesis

Core Courses27
Major Required Courses
Development of Youth Programs
Teaching Agricultural Mechanics
Pedagogy of AgriScience Programs
Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education (Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education)
Directing Learning Experience in Agricultural and Extension Education
Teaching Internship in AEE I
Teaching Internship in AEE II
Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education
Special Education in the Regular Classroom
Thesis Hours6
Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education
Total Hours33

Master of Science in Agricultural and Extension Education with Agriculture Teacher Licensure Concentration - Non-Thesis

Core Courses27
Major Required Courses
Development of Youth Programs
Teaching Agricultural Mechanics
Pedagogy of AgriScience Programs
Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education (Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education)
Directing Learning Experience in Agricultural and Extension Education
Teaching Internship in AEE I
Teaching Internship in AEE II
Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education
Special Education in the Regular Classroom
Creative Component6
Creative Component Project in Agricultural and Extension Education
Total Hours33

Students in the Agriculture Teacher Licensure Concentration are required to complete a minimum of 33 hours of coursework. The required courses for the Agriculture Teacher Licensure Concentration are AELC 6403, AELC 6613, AELC 6723, AELC 6873, AELC 8403, AELC 8603, AELC 8613, AELC 8693, EDX 8173, and either AELC 8000 or AELC 8100 (minimum of 6 credit hours). Students who have completed AELC/HDFS 4424 as an undergraduate may complete 3 hours of an approved elective in place of AELC 8403. Depending on the student's undergraduate major, the student may be required to complete undergraduate coursework to meet deficiencies required for teacher licensure. Furthermore, a student must have earned at least a 3.00 GPA on coursework taken in the program to be eligible to enroll in AELC 8603 and AELC 8613 (teaching internship). An Application for Admission to Student Teaching form must be submitted to the AEE Graduate Coordinator one semester prior to student teaching. The student must submit the minimum Praxis II - Principles of Learning and Teaching: Grades 7-12 (PLT) score as required by the Mississippi Department of Education to meet graduation requirements and to obtain licensure. To be eligible for graduation, students must have a 3.00 GPA after completion of all coursework and internships. 

To secure a Mississippi Educator's License, the student must request that ETS send a copy of their score on the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) to Mississippi State University (Code R1480). It is imperative that the student retains originals of test scores in a safe place. 

In accordance with statutory provisions, the Mississippi Department of Education, Jackson, Mississippi, has adopted the rules and regulations on issuing and renewing teaching licenses, which are set forth in Guidelines for Mississippi Educator Licensure K-12, July 2020. The licensure program is applicable to all teacher licenses. Satisfactory completion of the Teacher Licensure Concentration offered by the AEE Graduate Program will enable the graduate to apply for teaching licensure in Mississippi, but this institution can neither waive any licensure requirements nor authorize substitutions for mandatory courses. Mississippi State University has submitted and received approval for its programs. Since teacher licenses are issued by the Mississippi Department of Education only, and not by the teacher education institutions, applications for licensure and original test scores must be filed with the Mississippi Department of Education by the applicant. Information concerning teacher licensure can be obtained from the AEE Graduate Coordinator. 

Doctor of Philosophy in Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural and Extension Education Concentration

Agricultural and Extension Education
Major Core Courses9
Historical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education
Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education
Methods of Planned Change in Agricultural and Extension Education
Research, Evaluation, and Statistics15
Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education
Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs
Instrumentation and Data Collection Procedures in Social Science Research
Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture
EPY 9453
(Introduction to Qualitative Research)
Choose from either Quantitative or Qualitative Methods Series6
Quantitative: AELC 9103 (Applied Multivariate Analysis in Agricultural Science) or EPY 9213 (Multivariate Analysis in Educational Research) and AELC 9583 (Analysis and Interpretation of Data in AEE)
Qualitative: EDF 9463 (Qualitative Data Collection) and EDF 9473 (Qualitative Data Analysis)
Cognate or Minor Area12
Graduate-Level Coursework
Dissertation20
Dissertation Research/Dissertation in Agricultural and Extension Education
Total Hours62

The minimum requirement for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Agricultural Science with a concentration in Agricultural and Extension Education is the completion of 62 semester hours beyond a master's degree. Required courses for the Ph.D. include 9 semester hours of core classes in Agricultural and Extension Education (AELC 8413, AELC 8593, and AELC 8693); a 12-hour cognate or minor in an appropriate department or discipline; 21 semester hours in Research, Evaluation, and Statistics classes (AELC 8703, AELC 8803, AELC 8833, AELC 8853, and EDF 9453 are required with the remaining 6 semester hours in either Quantitative or Qualitative Methods), and 20 semester hours of dissertation research. Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a master's degree outside the AEE discipline may need to complete additional coursework to fulfill degree requirements. Students should consult the AEE Graduate Coordinator for specific degree requirement inquires. 

Students must pass a written and oral comprehensive examination in the major area. Students who declare an official minor must also pass a written and oral examination in the minor area as well. In addition, students must also pass the final dissertation defense. The student's graduate committee supervises the dissertation and examinations. 

Health Promotion Emphasis

Ph.D. students in Agricultural and Extension Education may select an emphasis in health promotion by taking courses in the Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion Department's Health Promotion curriculum. These courses must be approved by the Health Promotion graduate coordinator.  This program is designed to equip students for careers as public health educators, health promotion specialists, and health scientists. Students in this emphasis may sit for the Certified Health Education Specialist exam offered by the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing (www.nchec.org) when they have successfully completed at least 25 hours in the Health Promotion area.

AELC 6103 Principles and Practices of Extension Education: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Junior standing). Three hours lecture. Developing, implementing, and evaluating Extension and non-formal educational programs for youth and adult audiences. Comprehension and application of experiential and transformative learning models and teaching methods

AELC 6403 Development of Youth Programs: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Needs and interests of youth; developing, managing, and evaluating formal and non-formal youth education programs; volunteer and paraprofessional staff development; securing and developing supportive services

AELC 6424 Teaching Methods in Agricultural and Human Sciences: 4 hours.

(Prerequisite: College of Ag and Life Science major and junior standing). Three hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Planning instruction; selection teaching techniques; developing teaching plans; teaching agricultural/human science topics; using instructional technologies; and evaluating learner progress. (Same as FDM/HDFS 4424)

AELC 6503 International Agricultural Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Examination of formal and non-formal agricultural education and related processes that influence global agricultural development including impacts of culture and changing demographics. Analysis of current global agricultural issues, roles of international organizations, and effectiveness of technology transfer

AELC 6613 Teaching Agricultural Mechanics: 3 hours.

Two hours lecture and three hours laboratory. Methods and strategies for teaching middle and high school students skills in agricultural mechanics

AELC 6710 Study Tour: 1-3 hours.

Experiential learning through travel in the United States or abroad focusing on specialized areas of study in Agricultural Education

AELC 6723 Pedagogy of AgriScience Programs: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Senior standing or permission of instructor). Two hours lecture. Two hours laboratory. Theory and practice in planning objectives and materials, and teaching methods for organizing, delivering, and managing agricultural science programs. Restricted to AELC/AEE teaching concentration students

AELC 6873 Professional Seminar in Agricultural Education: 3 hours.

(Prerequisites: Admission to Teacher Education and senior standing). Three hours lecture. Legal, professional, administrative and curricular issues in agricultural and extension education. Includes philosophy, classroom management, curriculum planning, community involvement and problem solving to plan formal and informal education programs

AELC 6990 Special Topics in Agricultural Education, Leadership, and Communication: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

AELC 7000 Directed Individual Study in Agricultural and Extension Education: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

AELC 8000 Thesis Research/Thesis in Agricultural and Extension Education: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

AELC 8100 Creative Component Project in Agricultural and Extension Education: 1-13 hours.

Capstone experience supervised by student's major professor and master’s committee. Individual project involving application of coursework to the student’s career goal. (Hours and credits to be arranged)

AELC 8203 Advanced Communications in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Updating of principles of communicating information in the fields of agriculture/ agribusiness, natural resources, and home economics; review and updating of communications techniques

AELC 8243 Administration and Supervision in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Focus on leadership as a component of good management for educational and human services organizations. Analysis of the decision-making process and discussions about team management, conflict resolution, and situation-based communication skills within the context of a diversity of organizational scenarios

AELC 8263 Public Relations in Agricultural & Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Publics to be dealt with, public relations media; methods and techniques of establishing and maintaining desirable public relations

AELC 8403 Directing Learning Experience in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Planning instructional activities and educational plans for agricultural audiences for formal and non-formal audiences; assessing and evaluating student learning. Note: Not for students with prior credit in AELC/HDFS 4424 or equivalent

AELC 8413 Methods of Planned Change in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. A study of the theories and processes used by change agents to plan, influence and accomplish change in social, educational and corporate environments

AELC 8503 Program Planning and Development in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Principles, theory, and practice in developing local and state programs of vocational, technical, and extension education

AELC 8513 Volunteer Development in Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Principles, theory and practice of volunteer development in extension education, high schools, communities, and/or non-profit organizations

AELC 8593 Historical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Historical development of the land-grant system; implications, influences, and evaluation of policies impacting the future of agricultural and extension education

AELC 8603 Teaching Internship in AEE I: 3 hours.

(Co-requisite: AELC 8613). Professional full-day public school teaching experience in diverse settings and grade levels for 8 weeks (320 hours) under classroom mentor teachers and university supervisors

AELC 8613 Teaching Internship in AEE II: 3 hours.

(Co-requisite: AELC 8603). Professional full-day public school experience in diverse settings and grade levels for 8 weeks (320 hours) under classroom mentor teachers and university supervisors

AELC 8693 Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Philosophies, foundational theories, and research on teaching and learning process applied to formal and non-formal programs in agricultural and extension education

AELC 8703 Evaluation of Agricultural and Extension Education Programs: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Evaluation principles and procedures used in developing and analyzing vocational, technical, and extension education programs

AELC 8801 Graduate Professional Seminar in Agricultural and Extension Education: 1 hour.

One hour lecture. Introduction to the discipline of agricultural and extension education. Preparing research and program evaluations for publication and dissemination and participating as a professional in the publication process

AELC 8803 Applying Research Methods to Agricultural and Extension Education: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Principles and techniques for planning, conducting, and reporting research; development of effective design of research problems; emphasis on understanding and evaluating scientific reports

AELC 8833 Instrumentation and Data Collection Procedures in Social Science Research: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Selection, development, and analysis of instruments and procedures used for collecting research data in the social and life sciences

AELC 8853 Statistics for Social and Life Sciences in Agriculture: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Introduction to statistical techniques used to analyze quantitative data in the social and life sciences in agriculture

AELC 8990 Special Topics in Agricultural Education, Leadership, and Communication: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

AELC 9000 Dissertation Research/Dissertation in Agricultural and Extension Education: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

AELC 9103 Applied Multivariate Data Analysis in AEE: 3 hours.

Three hours lecture. Application of multivariate data analysis techniques used in the applied social and life sciences

AELC 9583 Analysis and Interpretation of Data in Agricultural and Extension Education Research: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: permission of instructor). Three hours lecture. Principles and techniques for collecting, analyzing, and reporting research in agricultural and extension education. Emphasis on student research project development, student authorship