77071 Developing Agronomy Internships As High-Impact Learning Tools for University Students.

Poster Number 11

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Sunday, February 3, 2013
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Steve Hague and Megan Teel, 370 Olsen Blvd, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
One of the central questions in our economy and especially the agriculture economy is “Are we adequately preparing students for their careers?”  High-impact learning experiences at the collegiate level have several benefits. They can increase retention rates, especially among at-risk students. They can improve grades and help students be prepared for the challenges they will encounter in finding and succeeding in their first job after graduation. Educators at Texas A&M University are developing guidelines directed at improving internship programs. As part of a broader curriculum change, the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University is now requiring students to participate in at least one high-impact learning practice such as interning. The new guidelines include assisting students with finding the right internship match for them, monitoring the work program, making evaluations more comprehensive and including reflection on the part of the student. Agronomy internships not only make students more employable upon graduation, they provide a linkage and service to the agriculture community.
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