MTSU’s new Agricultural Education Leadership graduate program offers the opportunity
to study agricultural leadership and its application in a variety of agricultural
and environmental contexts. This concentration leads to a Master of Education (M.Ed.)
degree in the Administration and Supervision major. The program helps disseminate
the latest research and best practices in agribusiness and agriscience to educational
leaders such as extension officers, FFA club advisors, 4-H leaders, and K-12 teachers
who integrate agricultural content into their curriculum. Electives allow master’s
candidates to tailor studies for individual career goals. The program draws upon the
expertise of School of Agriculture faculty and builds on MTSU’s strong foundation
in K-12 education. Although not traditionally identified as STEM fields, agribusiness
and agriscience rest on the ever-growing and ever-changing currents of science, technology,
and engineering that require agricultural leaders to remain up-to-date in scientific
arenas, apply that knowledge to agribusiness and agriscience, and communicate that
information to a variety of audiences in a number of formats.
Agriculture teacher returns to MTSU for new master’s program
Smith County High School agriculture teacher Wesley Foster, a Plant and Soil Science
graduate from MTSU, plans to finish his master’s through the new Agricultural Education
Leadership program. Foster took three graduate classes before being hired mid-semester
in 2012. “This new master's program will benefit me personally because it is focused
more toward me and what I do in my classroom,” he says. “Before, the program was aimed
more toward an administration position rather than toward the agricultural side or
the teaching side.” Foster has increased agriculture enrollment from 104 to 195 at
Smith County and FFA membership from 68 to 126 as advisor. “Agriculture is changing
day by day by day, whether it’s seed varieties, precision agriculture, or the mechanics
on agriculture equipment,” Foster says. “Everything involved with agriculture has
exploded within the past 10 years, so it’s hard to keep up.” Foster also co-owns and
operates his family’s 1,500-acre farm in Cannon County.
Vaught works to meet demand for new degree program
Dr. Alanna (Neely) Vaught is starting up the Agricultural Education Leadership master’s
program at MTSU as graduate director. Vaught, a 2003 MTSU graduate, earned her doctorate
in Agricultural Education from Texas A&M in 2013. “Students have continuously voiced
their desire to obtain an Ag master’s degree from MTSU,” Vaught says. “After many
years of work, we are excited to now offer this opportunity.” She began teaching in
MTSU’s School of Agriculture in 2006 after receiving her master’s in Instructional
Leadership. Vaught then wrote a grant and launched a dual credit program between MTSU
and high schools that the state later took over. “When she first talked to me about
it, I quickly realized that there would be a strong demand for this degree,” says
Warren Gill, former Agriculture director. “Dr. Vaught is passionate about helping
develop the next generation of great teachers.”
MTSU College of Graduate Studies
With leadership being a mandate of employers, the Agricultural Education Leadership
master’s degree positions graduates to work with communities, organizations, and agencies
that are committed to agriculture and the environment. The program is geared toward
agricultural extension agents, 4-H leaders, recent graduates, and teachers who seek
advanced agricultural leadership skills.
Employers of MTSU alumni include
Because this degree program is new, employer information is still being compiled.
The Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Administration and Supervision now offers a concentration
in Agriculture Education Leadership, as well as specializations in K-12 public school,
higher education, and a nonlicensure program.
Applicants must have
- a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination,
or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid Tennessee teacher’s
- an earned bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college;
- teacher licensure (can be waived).
Curriculum consists of 9 hours core classes, 12 hours of specialized coursework, and
12 hours of electives.
Students must select 12 hours from graduate-level elective courses in the College
of Basic and Applied Sciences, the Jones College of Business, and the College of Education.
A minimum of 6 hours must be taken from courses with common rubrics (i.e., FOED, SPSE,
YOED, ABAS, MKT, MGMT).
For example, a student who planned to teach in a K-12 setting could pick up additional
courses in the College of Education. However, a student who planned to lead a 4-H
or agricultural extension might choose further courses in the School of Agriculture.
Other graduate degrees
The Womack Educational Leadership Department awards the Master of Education degree
(M.Ed.) with majors in Administration and Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction,
and Professional Counseling.
Master’s graduates may pursue the Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.), with majors
available in Administration and Supervision as well as Curriculum and Instruction.
Administration and Supervision, Agricultural Education Leadership, M.Ed.
Alanna Vaught, Program Coordinator
The M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision offers a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership as well as specializations in K-12 public school, higher education, and a nonlicensure program.
Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.
Admission to the Master of Education in Administration and Supervision with a concentration in Agricultural Education Leadership requires
- a satisfactory score on the Miller Analogies Test, the Graduate Record Examination, or the Praxis II (Principles of Learning and Teaching) or a valid Tennessee Teacher license;
- an earned bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college;
- teacher licensure. (The licensure requirement may be waived under special circumstances.)
Students pursuing an M.Ed. degree must be fully admitted prior to their initial semester of coursework.
All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.
- submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
- submit official transcripts of previous college work;
- submit three letters of recommendation addressing the applicant's potential for completing the Master of Education degree in Administration and Supervision;
- submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or a copy of the teaching license.
- complete 33 semester credit hours: 9 hours of required courses (Educational Foundations, Analysis and Application of Educational Research and studies in Leadership), 12 hours of specialized core courses, and 12 elective hours). The 12 specialized core hours are housed in the School of Agriculture (History of Agricultural Education, Program Development of for Agricultural Leaders, Foundations of Agricultural Leadership, Diffusion of Innovation and Group, Team, and Organizational development in Agricultural Organizations). The 12 elective hours are selected with an advisor based on the career plans of the student.
- successfully complete a written comprehensive examination during the semester of graduation (exam may be taken once).
Curriculum: Administration and Supervision, Agricultural Education Leadership
Candidate must complete 33 hours in the following course of study:
Core Courses (9 hours)
FOED 6020 - Educational Foundations
Assists educational personnel in developing contexts and concepts in which educational problems and issues may be understood through awareness of findings in humanistic and behavioral studies.
FOED 6610 - Analysis and Application of Educational Research
Qualitative and quantitative research applicable to the field of education. Both producers and consumers of educational research with a literature review presented to support possible solutions to significant hypotheses or problems.
SPSE 6080 - Studies in Leadership
Roles, responsibilities understandings, and behavior patterns in effective administrative and supervisory personnel. Developing sensitivity to individuals, the nature and structures of groups, and the problems of communication within and among groups and individuals.
Concentration Courses (12 hours)
AGED 6010 - History and Philosophy of Agricultural Education
Explores the nature and history of selected philosophical concepts and philosophers and evaluates their influence upon education and agricultural education in the United States.
AGED 6020 - Principles of Agricultural Leadership
Identifies and defines leadership, as well as identifies styles and roles of leadership. Explores development techniques and skills required in working in and with organizations through reading, observing, applying, creating, and evaluating leadership.
AGED 6030 - Theoretical Foundations of Personal Agricultural Leadership
Introduces theories of teaching and learning and related research. Explores trait, behavioral skills, situational approach, path-goal theory, leader-member theory, and other leadership theories. Explores applications of teaching and learning theory in the context of teaching agricultural subject matter.
AGED 6050 - Leadership Development in Agricultural Organizations
Examines leadership as it related to organizations and their group and team behavior. Identifies styles and roles of leadership, development of leadership techniques and skills required in working in organizations and youth groups, methods of resolving conflict, communicating, guiding and evaluating leadership, and ethical consideration of leaders. Capstone course for the Agricultural Education Leadership concentration.
Electives (12 hours)
- Guided or general electives 12 credit hours
- file a degree plan with the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
- file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the semester in which the student intends to graduate.