The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education actively supports the global land-grant mission of Virginia Tech and works closely with CALS Global in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. As a department, we are deeply interested and actively engaged with the improvement of human, social, and institutional capabilities for international development, especially as applied to strengthening agricultural research, education, and extension or outreach systems in developing countries. ALCE’s international work cuts across the departments three core programs areas - teaching and learning in agriculture, leadership and social change, and community education and development - with various faculty members and students engaged in international activities.
For many years, the department has collaborated with the Virginia Tech Center for International Research, Education, and Development (CIRED) on international projects, including the Education and Research in Agriculture (ERA) project and the Youth in Agriculture project (YIA), both in Senegal; the global Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE) project; and the Catalyzing Afghan Agricultural Innovation project, all funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Youth and Development in Senegal” (ALCE 3954/5954) is a Winter Semester study abroad course. It is a transdisciplinary service-learning experience in Senegal, West Africa, in partnership with 4-H Senegal, focused on youth development in relation to social entrepreneurship, technological innovation, agricultural value chains, community and economic development, and culture. Students learn new concepts related to issues facing youth in agricultural and community development in Senegal. They also gain life skills such as self-confidence, teamwork, cross-cultural communication, and more. Students partner with the 4-H Senegal program to accomplish specific research and development tasks. Conceptually, the program is rooted in the overlap of: (1) Positive Youth Development; (2) Community Development, and (3) Fair Trade Learning.
Linking Lives Lugano Study Abroad program associated with the Leadership and Social Change Minor
Linking Lives has been designed to provide students with coursework, experiential learning, on-the-job experiences, and post graduation training to create a foundation for personal growth and skills to transform passion for change into a meaningful life-long journey.
The Illuminating Agricultural Extension and Education Career Opportunities project is accepting applications!
The United States is facing historical shortages of agriculture extension agents and teachers. With fewer undergraduates exposed to these career opportunities, this shortage will likely continue and magnify. This project aims to illuminate career opportunities for STEM and liberal arts majors at two land-grant universities in the Appalachian region of the United States. Mentoring for the students will come from university faculty, county extension agents, and peers in the program. Focusing on food safety, health and nutrition will address a need in Appalachia and internationally in Senegal, a Feed the Future nation in West Africa. The undergraduates from Virginia Tech and Tennessee State University will be trained in safe food handling, food preparation, and food preservation. Each of the four cohorts of students will provide extension programming in food safety, food preparation, and food preservation to household members responsible for the health and nutrition needs in the household in Appalachia and in Senegal.
The participating undergraduates will receive leadership training for problem-solving, communication, conflict resolution, decision making, and cultural competence. The students will present extension leadership programming to youth in Appalachia and Senegal. The youth training will build on positive youth development and include a module on preparing for post-secondary education.