What is Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
The Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) degree in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources provides an opportunity for students to complete concentrations in five different areas – Agricultural Education, Agricultural Extension Education, Agricultural Leadership, Agricultural Communications and Agriculture Sciences (that allows a student to earn a minor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources). These concentrations prepare graduates for careers in both formal and non-formal education. Completion of the Agricultural Education concentration leads to certification by the Tennessee Department of education and a license to teach agriculture in one of Tennessee’s public schools and is also transferable to other states. Completion of the Agricultural Extension concentration prepares students for employment as Extension Agents with UT Extension or in many of the other state Extension systems throughout the country. The completion of the Agricultural Leadership concentration prepares students for careers in organizational outreach, human resources, management, governmental relations, strategic planning, organizational training, management consulting, community development, political officials and many other business related fields. Completion of the Agricultural Science concentration with a minor in College of Agriculture and Natural Resources provides students with a background in soil science, animal science, plant science, food science, and agriculture business. Completion of the Agricultural Communications concentration provides students with written and oral communication skills and prepares students to communicate in meaningful and effective ways about science, agriculture and nature, while also preparing them for careers in agricultural and scientific industries, agencies and operations that include scientific writing, agricultural promotion and consulting, and agricultural planning and assessment.
Career Opportunities in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
Graduates find employment in very diverse fields, including:
Agricultural education teacher, Agricultural Extension agent, Loan agent/director, Sales representative, Education specialist, Field representative, Peace Corps volunteer, Agricultural journalist, Farm manager, News Reporter, Internet Manager / Staff Writer, Communications Consultant, Law, News Editors, Sales Consultant, Natural Resources Conservation, Supervisors, Sales, Marketing, Program Director, Crop Consultant, Business or Sales Manager, Broadcasting, Public Relations, International Development, Freelance Communication, Directors of Non-profit organizations.
Salary Trends in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
National assessments project that within the next decade, the demand for food, agriculture and natural resources graduates will exceed the available supply by 4 to 10 percent. Salaries are competitive with many other professional fields.
High School Preparation
Should I consider ALEC?
Do you. . .
- Enjoy working with children or adults in educational settings?
- Have an interest in agriculture and natural resources?
- Want to educate people about agriculture?
- Want to enter a job market that encompasses a broad array of opportunities?
- Want to aid in the growth of individuals both personally and professionally?
- Want to make a difference in the lives of people and your community?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you should consider ALEC!
How to Major in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
The Agricultural Education Concentration prepares students to meet teacher certification requirements for agricultural education in Tennessee public schools. The wide array of course choices for students in the Agricultural Education concentration include plant sciences, food science and technology, forestry, wildlife and fisheries, biosystems engineering technology, animal science, agricultural economics, and environmental and soil sciences. In addition to a variety of course offerings, the Agricultural Education concentration offers opportunities for students to explore agriculture by completing a student teaching internship in a Tennessee high school. Students also have the opportunity to complete their student teaching internship in Australia. Once course requirements are met and a student teaching internship is complete, teacher certification is obtained in collaboration with the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences.
The Agricultural Extension Concentration emphasizes the leadership, management and educational skills necessary to work in the Extension services in the United States. County and state Extension services work with local governments, community leaders, families and individuals to address problems and issues and help improve people’s lives. Extension is engaged in a broad range of educational programs in agriculture, natural resources, community resource development, nutrition, health, family issues, lawn and garden, and youth development. An Extension agent is a generalist in agriculture and natural resources or family and consumer sciences who plans and delivers non-formal educational programs for local citizens and community groups. An Extension agent must have an understanding of community needs, educational program planning and the non-formal learner.
The Agricultural Leadership Concentration is designed for students who want to develop their leadership skills and pursue careers in government, youth organizations, business/industry, international environments and leadership positions within the community. Students will learn how to work effectively in small groups and teams, develop interpersonal and intrapersonal communication skills, have a deep understanding of the classical figures in leadership, and learn how to resolve conflict in an effective manner. In addition, students will study the area of leadership and complete a leadership internship. Students majoring in Agricultural Leadership will be well prepared to enter the workforce in a leadership position.
The Agricultural Communication Concentration
If you enjoy studying all aspects of agriculture but prefer to work in communications, it . Students will complete a variety of courses from journalism, public relations, electronic media, radio broadcasting, and web design. In addition, students will also complete a variety of agricultural courses to assist with their agricultural knowledge base. Students learn how to effectively communicate and write so they can relate and promote agriculture to stakeholders. Students majoring in Agricultural Science with a minior in Communication and Information will be prepared to write for publication, broadcasting, radio production, and web design.
The Agriculture Science Concentration is designed for students who want a broad, general background in agriculture and natural resources. Student will take courses in a variety of areas, such as science, economics, business and education. You also learn about the relationship between agriculture and consumers. Often, agricultural science programs cover soil science, animal health, business communications, and management, commodities, finance and plant science. Graduates in these fields have opportunities to help solve challenges related to the food versus fuel debate, the health of ecosystems, gas exploration, biofuels and other renewable energy production, use of technology in farming and food manufacturing, invasive species, sustainability, emerging diseases that affect people, animals, and plants, and many other issues.
Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships
Tennessee 4-H clubs have continually produced national winners in project competition, and Tennessee has one of the largest 4-H memberships in the nation. A collegiate 4-H chapter is active at University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Students in the program have the opportunity to become members of the Collegiate FFA. This organization promotes the development of scholarships, leadership and cooperative qualities through agricultural activities.
The Philip Morris USA internship program provides prospective Extension agents the opportunity to observe and participate in a dynamic county Extension programs.
Several program-specific scholarships are available to students choosing to major in Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication.
Learn more about UT’s Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today’s world.
|Freshman Year||Credit Hours|
|AGNR 100 or ALEC 101||1|
|BIOL 101-102 or 111-112||8|
|MATH 113 and Quantitative Reasoning Course||6|
|ESS 120 or 220||3|
|Critical Courses: BIOL 101-102; ENGL 101-102; MATH 113, 115|
|Sophomore Year||Credit Hours|
|CHEM 100-110 or 120-130||8|
|Agriculture Economics 212||3|
|Critical Courses: ALEC 211, 240; AREC 201, 212; ESS 210|
|Junior Year||Credit Hours|
|EPP 313 or 321||3|
|Cultures & Civilizations Elective||3|
|Food Science & Technology 461 or 462||3|
|Agriculture Economics 315||3|
|Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries Elective||3|
|Arts and Humanities Elective||3|
|ALEC 345; ANSC 220|
|Senior Year||Credit Hours|
|Biosystems Engineering & Technology 432 & 412||6|
|Arts and Humanities Elective||3|
|PLSC 230 and 435||6|
|Biosystems Engineering & Technology 462||3|
|PLSC 220 or 221||3|
For More Information
Dr. Carrie Ann Stephens
Dr. Bryan Patterson
Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications
320 Morgan Hall
Knoxville, TN 37996
Phone: (865) 974-7371
The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.