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Graduate Programs

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, leadership and social change, and community education and development.

Masters:  Agricultural and Extension Education

Ph.D.:  Life Sciences Agricultural Education

Collaborative Community Leadership Certificate

Problem Solving for Leading Change Certificate

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 supporting faculty research and program grants, special department projects, and teaching assistantships for undergraduate courses.  Assistantship opportunities outside the deparment include assignments in Virginia Cooperative Extension, the Graduate School learning communities, 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.  
  • ALCE’s Graduate Student Council offers an opportunity for students in our department and those across the College of Agriculture with research relevant to our topics to present at our annual Symposium held in the Spring semester. This is an opportunity for students at all levels to practice presenting, receive constructive feedback, and showcase interdisciplinary work across ALCE’s domains.
  • 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.