A Profile of Credentialing Programs Offered in Pennsylvania Secondary School-based Agriscience Programs

Open Access
Seaman, Jonathan
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
June 14, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Dr. John Ewing, Thesis Advisor
  • Dr. Daniel Foster, Committee Member
  • Dr. Mark Threeton, Committee Member
  • Agricultural Education
  • Industry Certification
  • Global Challenge
  • Secondary School-based Agriscience Education Program
As part of career and technical education, school-based agriscience education plays a vital role in preparing youth for future vocations and careers within the agricultural sector. Preparing students for future education and careers within agriculture has become increasingly important as the global agricultural industry prepares to meet the predicted demands of a continuously growing population. Known for utilizing hands-on learning, school-based agricultural education has historically included industry-recognized certifications to validate students’ knowledge and skills achievements. These industry-recognized certifications can and do serve as important credentials for students as they seek employment and/or future educational opportunities. Furthermore, agribusinesses are searching for credentialed candidates to fill the voids left by a retiring workforce coupled with an increased demand for agricultural commodities and services. The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Bureau of Career and Technical Education is aware of the industry certifications being offered by a portion of school-based agricultural education programs in the State of Pennsylvania; however, only those programs that have been approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education are included in this census of data. This study intended to identify certifications offered by schools that may not be included in the existing body of data. Furthermore, this study intended to identify which industry certifications are offered most frequently and determine whether or not those certifications were among those also desired by Pennsylvania’s agricultural industries. Upon making this comparison, future opportunities for research on the matter, as well as professional development opportunities for school-based agriscience educators related to industry-recognized certifications were also identified.