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Meeting Current and Future Challenges: Expanding Ag Sciences Technician Training


Hartnell College's NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program will advance and expand agricultural sciences technician training by implementing a food safety technician program and seed science technician program. The project will enroll 35 students in each new program by year three; achieve an 80 percent persistence rate; and engage at least 125 high school students per year through participation in program activities. It will be implemented through: aligned, articulated and new curricula; secondary school program enhancement; new faculty; intense outreach; hands-on workshops; extensive industry partnerships; academic counseling; cohorts/learning communities; faculty mentors; industry internships; academic and student support services; industry networking; professional development; and evaluation.<br/><br/>The project will address critical current and future needs in one of the world's most productive agricultural regions by: building on current programs and infrastructure to develop two high skill, high demand agricultural science technician programs that will meet current industry shortages; linking the project to high schools using a modified 2+2 structure, with a university transfer option; helping industry better respond to changing environmental and regulatory conditions; building on successful ATE models for high skill science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) technician training programs; helping the nation improve its food production and food safety capabilities; and providing access to STEM careers for a largely low income, underrepresented population. The project will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of effective methods to improve low income and underrepresented student achievement in STEM. The project evaluation study will use data analytics resulting in qualitative and quantitative data on, and assessment of, program effectiveness. This will support adaptation and replication.

Wright, Ann; Triano, Steven; Pheasant, Susan
Hartnell College
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