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Engaging Secondary Teachers in CALS Research for Agricultural Literacy

The Engaging Secondary Teachers in CALS Research for Agricultural Literacy program will establish a sustainable continuing professional education model to meet the challenge of training middle and high school educational professionals in the food and agricultural sciences. As a part of the land grant university, it is essential that Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences develop sustainable pathways to connect emerging research and resources to the current secondary curriculum to encourage youth to explore the opportunities available in food and agricultural science career paths.

The program hopes to support 80 teachers from schools serving predominantly minority identifying students, seeking to engage youth in pathways for STEM fields within the food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences. The long-term goal is to develop collaborative partnerships between university researchers and high school and middle school teachers to enrich secondary course content and opportunities for student recruitment in FANH sciences.

Focus points of the program include:

  • Developing a model on-campus continued professional education opportunity
  • Facilitating new partnerships between FANH science researchers and secondary teachers.
  • Developing lesson plans to support the sustainability of the learning activities.
  • Secondary teacher teams will conduct training workshops.
  • Providing recommendations to the relevant content specific Virginia State Education staff. 


Donna Westfall-Rudd
Associate Professor
Undergraduate Director

Karen Eley Sanders
Associate Vice Provost for Access
(540) 231-4925