The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education is nationally recognized as a comprehensive program encompassing teaching and learning, Extension, and leadership in agriculture. We are social scientists practicing in the context of agriculture and life science. Our research, teaching, and Extension programs enhance and strengthen the people engaged in agriculture and life sciences.  

Research Areas

Graduate studies in ALCE are grounded in our programmatic research in:  

  • Agricultural education teacher licensure
  • Problem solving
  • Leadership development
  • Critical thinking
  • Program development and evaluation
  • Secondary education
  • Non-formal education
  • Continuing professional education

These research areas form our concentration areas of teaching and learning, Extension program development and evaluation, and agricultural leadership.

Online Education

For students interested in a completely online education, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a Master's of Agricultural and Life Sciences degree. Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education faculty are available to serve as advisors for students in this terminal professional degree program.

Professional Opportunities

The Department of Agricultural, Leadership and Community Education recognizes the significant contributions made by graduate students to departmental research, teaching, and Extension programs and is committed to providing the best possible opportunity for students to learn and develop as professionals in their areas of interest.  These professional graduate opportunities include:

  • Relevant graduate assistantships within the department include assignments in current faculty research and program grants, special department projects, and teaching assistantships for undergraduate courses.  A number of our graduate students also have assistantships outside of our department.  These other assistantship opportunities include assignments in Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Graduate School, and other offices within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to participate in regional and national research and professional conferences by submitting research papers, symposia, and poster proposals.  The department provides limited travel funds for those individuals who are selected to make conference presentations.  Guidelines for travel award are outlined in the Graduate Student Handbook.
  • Faculty members are encouraged to provide opportunities for graduate students to serve as co-principal investigators on department research projects.
  • Graduate students are invited to participate in collaborative teaching experiences with faculty members teaching upper-level graduate courses.
  • Faculty members in the department offer a variety of study/reading groups and seminars each year. The group and seminar topics vary each year based on the research and teaching activities in which the faculty members are engaged.
  • Graduate students are encouraged to participate in the formal graduate student association as well as informal activities within the department community.

These experiences provide graduates with a collection of experiences that will assist them as they pursue their career goals.  Students interested in applying for one of our programs should work closely with the University's Graduate School Admissions office and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Facilities

The department is located in Litton-Reaves Hall, that is also home to the CALS Office of Academic Affairs, the two-year Ag Tech Program, as well as several other departments in CALS.  In addition to offices, the department facilities also include a contemporary teaching and learning research laboratory and classroom facilities designed to support the department’s research, teaching, and Extension programs. The department is able to provide off-site research, teaching and learning, as well as leadership experiences for graduate students through formal and non-formal partnerships with local school systems and other educational organizations throughout Virginia.

Interested in pursuing graduate studies?  Contact Dr. James Anderson, Graduate Coordinator.

Contact
Sharon Williams
Academic Coordinator
2270 Litton-Reaves Hall (0343)
Blacksburg, VA  24061
(540) 231-6337
sharon.williams@vt.edu

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Prospective Students

Students interested in applying for one of our programs should work closely with the University’s Graduate School Admissions office and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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