WILBERFORCE — Central State University has introduced a new agricultural education degree program and a degree program in exercise science, enhancing its STEM curriculum for fall 2017.
The two Bachelor of Science degree programs bring the total number of baccalaureate degrees offered at Central State’s two locations to 40. The Bachelor of Science in agricultural education is an outgrowth of the university providing more degrees aligned with the university’s Land-Grant mission.
“These two degrees will prepare our graduates for jobs in growing fields, where trained professionals are needed,’’ said Dr. Pedro L. Martinez, CSU Provost & VP for Academic Affairs. “By adding degrees that address industry needs, we continue to prepare Central State students to contribute to Ohio’s workforce and to the economic development of the state.”
The major was developed in response to the “growing demand” for agricultural teachers in the state. Considering that there are more than 300 agricultural education programs in Ohio high schools, and a need to expand 4-H and FFA programs to more than 600 schools, the current supply of credentialed candidates is insufficient.
“We’re excited about the opportunities this agricultural education degree will give students in both the School of Agricultural Education and Food Science and the College of Education,” said Jon Henry, director of Central State’s School of Agricultural Education and Food Science. “The program has been designed inclusive of earning an agri-science teaching license; students in this program will be credentialed for classroom instruction upon graduation.”
To increase access, the School of Agricultural Education and Food Science is developing distance learning courses, and will soon expand partnerships with local community colleges with agriculture programs for those desiring to complete a bachelor’s degree.
“Also, an agricultural education degree provides an excellent foundation for other careers in the agriculture industry, including extension, food production, agri-business and management,” Henry said. “Industry employers including state and federal agencies are anxious to hire students with the communication and professional skills needed to help train employees, educate their customers, and sell their products.”
The exercise science program, housed in CSU’s College of Science and Engineering, offers concentrations in four areas: sports performance, clinical exercise physiology, organizational health and wellness, and integrative exercise physiology. Graduates in these areas will be trained to certification standards consistent with organizations such as the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Association of Cardio Vascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Medical Fitness Association.
The exercise science program aligns with the university’s Family and Consumer Science Program in the Cooperative Extension Service. Example career paths include public or private education, professional sports training or performance coaching, clinical rehabilitation, corporate fitness, and exercise physiology.
Story courtesy Central State University.