UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Graduate Program

Master of Science - Agricultural Education

The future for Agricultural Education masters graduates is promising. With the rising demand in the agricultural industry, an Ag Ed masters is sure to provide excellent job opportunities, with competitive starting salaries, in promising and exciting careers.

The future of agricultural education is related to dynamic changes in all fields of agriculture, food and environmental sciences. These changes include a need for knowledgeable and quality leaders. A critical element for this continued success is continuing education to support the future of the agriculture industry.

Students in the masters program have three "plans" in two "options" to choose from - a total of six different program choices, providing maximum flexibility for students. Online and off-campus course make the program accessible to working professionals.

Professional Development Option

This option is designed for educators in both classroom and non-formal settings to continue their professional development. The degree includes 6 credits of Professional Education, 21-25 credits of Specialization, and 3 credits of Non-Specialization.

This degree program can be completed using online and independent courses. Students do not have to take classes on the UWRF campus. Flexible course offerings fit the needs of working professionals.

Please visit the Graduate Degrees section of the UWRF Catalog for additional degree information.

Initial Teaching Certification Option

 This option is designed for students with a non-teaching baccalaureate degree seeking initial teacher certification as agricultural education instructors. It includes 15 or more credits of Undergraduate coursework, 27 credits of graduate coursework, and 4-6 credits of Research coursework.

Please see the Graduate Degree section of the UWRF Catalog for program details.

Overview of Plans A, B and C

Thesis Plan (Plan A)

A minimum of 30 semester credits of graduate course work, including a master's thesis for which you may receive no more than 4 graduate credits, with an oral comprehensive examination based on the thesis.

Research Paper/Project Plan (Plan B)

A minimum of 30 semester credits of graduate course work, including a research paper approved and filed as part of the graduate program for which you may receive no more than 3 credits, with an oral comprehensive examination based on the project.

Examination Plan (Plan C)

A minimum of 34 semester credits of graduate course work, with an oral comprehensive examination based on a portfolio.

Graduate Program Alumni Spotlight:

Meet Dustin

Dustin Williams

Dustin Williams

Agribusiness and Farm Management Instructor

Blackhawk Technical College, Monroe, WI

Hometown: Hillsboro, WI

B.S. Animal Science- UW-River Falls (Dec 2003)

M.S. Agricultural Education- UW-River Falls (Aug 2010)

When I became the Agricultural Education Instructor and FFA Advisor at Black Hawk School District, I worked hard to build a strong program, instilling leadership and values in the students that I taught. Additionally, I focused on building community relationships and maintaining the long-standing relationship with the FFA Alumni.

In the spring of 2008, I accepted a position at Blackhawk Technical College to build an Agribusiness program at the Monroe Campus. I teach classes in soils, plants, animals, nutrients, agribusiness, agricultural commodities, pest management, etc. I have worked hard to build a program based on community and industry needs and expectations. Graduates of the Agribusiness Specialist program have been successful in obtaining positions as managers and introductory level workers in agribusinesses that work with feed, seed, fertilizers and chemicals. 

During the school year, I spend time outside of class preparing and grading coursework, but I do maintain a flexible work schedule throughout the week and I enjoy time off in the summer. The most gratifying part of my career is seeing students succeed.

UWRF prepared me to be successful in the Agricultural Education field. The hands-on experiences I received prepared me to be a well-rounded agricultural education instructor.  I really enjoyed the personal commitment by the faculty and staff to ensure I received the best education possible. They were always friendly and willing to talk with students to ensure that we felt like we were part of the Ag Education family.

Meet Sara

Sara Novotny

Sara Novotny

4-H Youth Development Agent

UW-Extension, Eau Claire County, Eau Claire, WI

Hometown: Tomahawk, WI

B.S. Animal Science (December 2007)
M.S. Agricultural Education (May 2009)

As a 4-H Youth Development Agent, I serve as program advisor and educator for over 490 4-H youth and 135 4-H adults. I attend local club meetings as well as county and statewide events, working directly with youth in a hands-on, educational setting where they develop valuable life skills. I also promote the 4-H program in underserved populations and manage the volunteer club leaders and project educators that aid in the program. One of the most important elements of the job is maintaining working relationships with county constituents, including board supervisors, school district administration and teachers, as well as youth program coordinators.

Through my faculty position with the University of Wisconsin-Extension, I have the opportunity for continued professional development and collaboration with colleagues across the state. I enjoy taking part in two statewide, colleague work teams that strive to improve Wisconsin 4-H. With a flexible workweek, I spend time behind the desk as well as out in the field working with youth and adults. No two days are ever alike!

The Agricultural Education Graduate Program at UW-River Falls has provided a strong foundation for success in this position. The educational experiences I had in college led to a 4-H Youth Development Internship as well as a Graduate Assistantship during my time in the program, where I learned skills that directly apply to my day-to-day tasks.

Contact Us

Agricultural Education Department
ag.ed@uwrf.edu
Ph: 715-425-3555
Fax: 715-425-3785
Location: 131 Agricultural Science Building
Mailing Address: 410 S. 3rd Street, River Falls, WI 54022