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The National Science Foundation's Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program has been funding innovation at two-year colleges for over twenty years. With a focus on the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy, and strong partnerships between academic institutions and industry, ATE promotes improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels.

To learn more about ATE, please visit the NSF ATE program home page.

This project aims to expand agricultural career training in a region with a continual shortage of skilled labor. The program is designed to produce graduates with the skills and knowledge to keep up with rapidly-changing technological advances and requirements in modern agriculture. It has the potential to advance knowledge and understanding within the field of Agricultural Education by creating an industry-driven, hands-on model for developing an Agricultural Sciences degree and certificate program that includes guided pathways from high school to four-year institutions. As an Hispanic Serving Institution and an Hispanic-Serving Agricultural Colleges and University, the College will work closely with high school districts to create pathways for low-income, underrepresented students to develop their skills and increase their earnings, encouraging future generations of agricultural technicians to remain in the region and address the skilled labor shortage.

This project aims to create precision agriculture and crop protection career pathways for students in a rural, agricultural region. The project also aims to create a robust transfer degree in Agricultural Science and two certificate programs, develop high school to secondary education pathways, and establish field experiences and internships. Industry partnerships will drive curriculum development and students will be connected to regional agricultural businesses. The project projects that at least 75 students will be enrolled in the degree and certificate programs by the end of the project period, with an 80 percent persistence rate. It also projects that more than 400 high school and college students annually will be engaged in field experiences, internships, and other industry and college outreach activities.