By Dr. Alyssa Rockers
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University College of Agriculture will welcome the first students in a new Master of Science in Agribusiness and Leadership degree program in Fall 2023. The new program will allow students pursuing a master’s degree in agricultural business or agricultural leadership, education, and communications (ALEC) to take a program of study more specific to their needs and interests. TSU will offer this new degree both in person and online, with and without the thesis option.
“The new MS degree will broaden the scope of graduate degree offerings in the College and meet the tremendous market demand and student interest,” said Dr. Chandra Reddy, dean of TSU’s College of Agriculture.
According to Dean Reddy, Agribusiness is a popular undergraduate major at TSU and many other institutions, and the new program will align graduates with their career choices, which will benefit students in finding better employment opportunities.
“Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication is very popular with those wanting to be leaders and communicators in the agricultural sector,” he said. “Many of our extension agents have been asking for such a graduate degree for a long time. The new degree is a more robust program and will be helpful to students seeking employment.”
Dr. Prabodh Illukpitiya, agricultural business professor in the College of Agriculture said the college has been anticipating this great opportunity as it will have a tremendous impact and benefit for the university.
“It’s a great collaboration between agribusiness and agricultural leadership, education, and communications,” Illukpitiya said.
“The program will benefit TSU by providing more opportunities to minority students and will enhance student retention and TSU’s reputation in agribusiness and ALEC programs.”
Agricultural education professor Dr. John C. Ricketts noted that in addition to creating workforce development opportunities, the program will specifically allow the university to offer agriculture teachers and extension agents an online program that’s respective of their needs. In addition to an experience for those who aren’t looking to become a bench scientist.
“It’s also going to provide content that meets their needs as educators,” Ricketts said.
“They will be able to take research and statistics courses that are meant for them as social scientists. Our students will be prepared to lead others and perform at top levels in business, education, government, nonprofit, and communication sectors,” he said.
To learn more about this new program and specifically the Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication focus, contact Dr. John Ricketts (email@example.com). If students are interested in Agribusiness Management, contact Dr. Probodh Illukpitiya (firstname.lastname@example.org). To apply for the program contact Dr. Bharat Pokharel (bpokhare@Tnstate.edu), the department of Agriculture Director of Graduate Programs.