While at the State FFA Convention, I was surprised to run into an alumni of the Sanilac FFA, Nathan Clark. Nathan is now an ag teacher in Colorado and was back for his 10-year state officer team reunion. While we chatted for a little bit, we got talking about possibilities for transferring to another school to finish my degree. I have long been unhappy with Michigan State's Agriscience Education program. When you look at the curriculum in comparison to other high caliber agriculture schools, it is significantly lacking. Not only that, this past year the major got a title change from Agriscience Education to Environmental Studies and Agriscience (oh yeah, with a concentration in Education). Overall, it's really disappointing to see MSU have such little faith and support in preparing Agriscience teachers in this state.
When I was talking to Nathan, he described how, when he did his degree here, he only completed a degree in Agriscience (no education focus). From there, he transferred to the University of Arizona into the Agricultural Education master's program, took a few courses, did his student teaching there, and got a job. He felt that it was a much better way to accomplish Ag Ed certification and that it was more beneficial than the teaching program at MSU. He suggested that I look into doing the same thing at Arizona or at Colorado State, where he is currently helping a lot with the ag teacher prep program.
At this point in time, I'm so far into my studies that I--at the very least--will finish my degrees in Agriscience (I'm grandfathered in so I don't have to have the new stupid title) and Agriculture and Natural Resources Communications. Still, what Nathan proposes is definitely something to look into. I'm scared, though, to all of a sudden jump ship from the track I've been on. Part of me says, finish the few classes, do your student teaching here and get it over. However, I feel I'd be better prepared and have a better student teaching experience if I ventured out west. I don't know...... :(