Chesapeake College Announces Newest Degree Program in Agriculture
By offering an AAS degree in Agriculture, Chesapeake College will be the first community college and two-year institution in Maryland to offer an agricultural sciences curriculum pending final approval by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
The Agriculture program will be 60-credit hours, designed to prepare students for a career in agriculture through knowledge of horticulture, soil science, agricultural mechanics, animal science, agribusiness, marketing, economics, food systems, pest management and organic crop production.
Chesapeake College’s President Dr. Barbara Viniar plans to use resources in the community to enhance this program.
“Our primary goal is to give students the educational background and skills needed to graduate and become immediately employable after two years of study,” said Dr. Barbara Viniar Chesapeake College’s president. “We plan to work with local farmers, producers and others in the agricultural industry to offer students classwork and hands-on training in the field with less emphasis on traditional classroom lectures and exams.”
According to Dr. Nicole Fiorellino, Chesapeake College curriculum developer for the agriculture program, the curriculum will also focus on helping students to prepare and pass state and national certification exams.
“Agriculture remains the largest commercial industry in Maryland and about 32 percent of land area in the state is used for farming, so there really is no limit to the number of jobs available for skilled individuals,” Dr. Fiorellino said. “The opportunities really vary and include farm ownership or management; farm equipment sales; seed, fertilizer and nutrient management services; nursery management; and government agencies.”
Chesapeake College will create a database of agricultural internship opportunities, and students will be required to have two credits of cooperative work experience as part of the degree program.
Open registration begins May 9 with priority registration being offered to current students now through May 8. Those seeking more information may email Dr. Fiorellino at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the college’s website.