Curriculum

Master's Degree

Core Courses

Philosophical Foundations of Agricultural and Extension Education provides an overview of the development of agricultural and extension education in the United States by examining the significant educational philosophies, historical events, scientific innovations, legislation and policy shaping agricultural and extension education today.
Logical structure and the method of science. Basic elements of research design; observation, measurement, analytic method, interpretation, verification, presentation of results. Applications to research in economic or sociological problems of agriculture and human environmental sciences.
Course description coming soon.
This course focuses on concepts, methods,strategies and learning theories relevant for both formal and nonformal education settings. The course will address the relationship between teaching methods and the learning experience in food, agricultural, and natural resources contexts.
Application of theoretical models and research on effective teaching in secondary agricultural education programs. Teaching strategies, planning required, and instructional management for students with varying backgrounds. Evaluation of student learning and teacher evaluation of instruction.
Program Planning focuses on the specifics of the planning end of the Program Planning and Evaluation process. Emphasis is placed on the principles, theories, and skills of the program processes including planning, designing, implementing an educational program.
The intent of this course is to prepare students to be effective educators in non-formal settings such as Extension education. Students will learn theoretical concepts and their application for planning an effective educational program to meet learning needs of the target audience. Concepts presented will include conducting needs assessments for planning educational programs, educational program development, writing educational objectives, lesson planning, effective teaching methods, and assessment. The course explores theoretical models of program development, with emphasis on a conceptual model for program planning. The course will include discussion of stakeholder involvement throughout each phase of the planning process.
The intent of this course is to teach students how to plan and conduct a meaningful and useful evaluation in extension and non-formal settings. Students will gain knowledge and skills in planning evaluations; designing evaluation studies and evaluation instruments; collecting and analyzing data; and using evaluation results. Students will learn evaluation theoretical concepts and their application in real-life situations.
Program Planning and Evaluation is designed for students with interests in developing and evaluating educational programs for agricultural, community, and extension audiences in formal and non-formal settings. An overview is provided in reference to the principles, theories, and skills of the program development and evaluation process. This includes planning, designing, implementing, measuring, and communicating program impact.
This graduate level course is designed to develop an understanding and application of assessment relevant to agricultural education. Students develop, administer, and analyze formal, informal, and performance assessment techniques to monitor and evaluate student learning and guide modification.
The development of competencies in analyzing, interpreting and reporting the results of analyses of social science data in agriculturally related professions. Students will select appropriate analysis techniques and procedures for various problems, analyze data, and interpret and report the results of statistical analyses in narrative and tabular form.
Course description coming soon.
Course description coming soon.
Course description coming soon.
Course description coming soon.
This course provides students the opportunity to learn about the establishment of the Land Grant University system and its impact on higher education and society. Students will learn about history and events that led to the passage of the Morrill Acts (1862, 1890) that established the Land Grant System and consider the influence of the Act on contemporary higher education institutions. Specific focus will be given to the tripartite Land Grant mission of teaching, research and extension, and its role in addressing the contemporary challenges facing higher education. Students will interact with leaders and influencers in higher education and have access to their insights regarding the future of the Land Grant University system.
- Organizational concepts of leadership; administrative styles and structures; leadership for boards, committees, governmental bodies, and review of societal and political processes.
Films are a catalyst" (Clemens, 1999). They make you laugh, cry, cheer, and think. Flaum (2002) stated leadership is best learned in the leadership moment. Moreover, the principles of Andragogy advocate adult learners best learning when there is a practical application of the learning subject. Therefore, this course builds upon the study of leadership theory by allowing students to analyze, reflect, synthesize, and apply leadership theories, models and concepts in the context of film. The course materials encourage students to reflect, synthesize, analyze, and apply the information learned from major leadership theories and apply them to various scenarios and situations demonstrated in selected films.
This course will explore historical foundations of agricultural communications including selected philosophical concepts, how the field has changed over time, where it is today, and what it may look like in the future. In addition, this course will focus on an in-depth analysis and discussion of communication theories and their application and relevance to current issues in agriculture and agricultural communications.
Effective communication is at the heart of successful operation in every enterprise in agricultural and natural resources-based industries. Whether communicating interpersonally, inter-organizationally, or through the mass media, it is critically important to understand the communication process to achieve effective discourse on the major issues facing agricultural and natural resources industries. This course is specifically designed to teach communication theory and concepts and research processes as they apply to important agricultural/natural resource issues. The major objective of the course is to enhance students' ability to think critically and develop effective strategies and tactics that draw on the theoretical frameworks and methodologies most central to the communication process for agricultural communications professionals.
This course focuses on audience identification, writing, editing, formatting and production of social science-based materials for publication. Much of the course content is in the context of developing the findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the master's thesis or other research manuscript. Principles include communicating information relevant to human subject research in agriculture, natural resources, and life sciences to research peers.
The purpose of this course is to assist graduate students in the preparation of their thesis or dissertation research proposal. Students will produce the first three chapters of their thesis by the end of the course.
This course provides students with the experience of navigating the research grant writing process, covering the process from idea conception through planning, proposing, receiving, executing grant-funded projects. Students will write an independent grant proposal as a major assignment in this course.
Course description coming soon.
Identify agricultural audiences, conduct analyses, and use results to evaluate and produce online media that utilizes design fundamentals, visual communication theories, and new media technology.
This course provides students with graphic design and software skills specific to industries in Agriculture, Food, and Life Sciences. Students will learn to use industry-standard software (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Microsoft Excel, etc.) to prepare text and graphics and package them for use in print production.
This course introduces a structured approach for dealing with the organizational and human aspects of technology transition, including the key concepts of resistance and change management, organizational change, communications, and processes by which professional change agents influence the introductions, adoption, and diffusion of technological change.
This course is designed to provide the expertise required to design and conduct survey research. Students will understand the instruments (scales/questionnaire) used in data collection processes and acquire the statistical skills necessary to develop and test these survey instruments. This course uses both theory and practice. Hands-on training will be provided via SPSS package for data analyses, and Qualtrics will be used for web-based surveys.
This course provides an opportunity to learn about global agricultural and extension education issues, challenges and opportunities relating to agricultural development. The course emphasis is on building necessary knowledge and skills for analyzing global agricultural and extension education issues and formulating alternatives for agricultural development. This course has been designed to help graduate students understand agriculture and extension education with a global perspective.
This course facilitates the development of critical and creative thinking through the study of theoretical underpinnings, cultural models, and support processes. Students will grow to engage in critical and creative thinking processes in order to solve problems they face and will face in their studies and careers through the critique of the processes used by others and the guided application of the processes to personally relevant problems.
Combines theoretical discussions with practical experience regarding communication about environmental issues and provides introduction to natural and applied science topics related to the communications plan.
Course description coming soon.
This course will cover three broad areas (Global Horticulture, Sustainable International Development, Human Health and Nutrition) and is intended to be multi-disciplinary. Students should use their contextual knowledge to add to discussions.
Program Summary
Cost per credit hour:

2021-2022: $590

Average time to complete: 24 months

30–36 Hours

University Members
Members of the Great Plains IDEA are universities accredited by a regional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Member universities recruit, admit and graduate students, teach in an academic program and contribute to the leadership and maintenance of the alliance. Membership in the alliance is a selective process that engages institutional leadership at all levels.

Andrew Carl on duty as a park rangerThe Great Plains IDEA community development program has helped me become a better leader as a park ranger for the National Park Service. The skills I have gained empower me to bring colleagues and community members together toward positive change.

– – Andrew Carl, Community Development Student,
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