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New Major Prepares Ag and Environmental Science Teachers

August 17, 2007

Concerned that training of agricultural teachers is not keeping up with the demand for these specially trained educators, UC Davis has developed a new agricultural and environmental science education major, offered for the first time this fall.

The new major, a collaborative effort by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and the School of Education at UC Davis, will provide students with a broad background in agricultural and environmental sciences, as well as the social sciences related to human-resource development. It will equip them for teaching careers in schools and other educational programs including, for example, nature preserves and environmental camps.

"With this new major, UC Davis will prepare teachers with the most comprehensive science background in the state," says Cary Trexler, a professor of education and master advisor for the new major. "Not only will our students be ready to teach agricultural and environmental science, they also will be credentialed to teach other science courses as well."

After completion of the undergraduate degree, students would be prepared to enroll in the UC Davis School of Education's credential program, and could simultaneously earn a teaching credential and a master's of education degree in agricultural and environmental science in just six quarters, the equivalent of two school years at the university.

"By educating more college students to be teachers, we are supporting the ongoing success of agriculture and the protection of our environmental resources in California," said Neal Van Alfen, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis. "At the same time, this major will help improve science literacy for Californians now and into the future."

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