The St. Louis region is experiencing a boom in agriculture related industries. However, students in the St. Charles Community College service area do not have access to higher education programs in agricultural studies, which forces them to either travel long distances or abandon their academic and career goals. This project will be a critical step in addressing the urgent need for agriculture skills education programs locally, to meet the demand for a qualified, prepared agriculture workforce in the regions of St. Charles and St. Louis Counties. If students receive a high-quality education and make strong connections with local industry professionals, it is expected that these students will choose to remain in the local area to fill positions as highly skilled technicians in the robust agriculture industry.

This project implements two newly designed programs, an Associate of Science Degree in Plant Science and an Associate of Science Degree in Natural Resources. In addition, the project aims to recruit and retain students to complete the degree programs, provide pre-professional activities to enhance the academic and career experiences for project participants, and work collaboratively with high school and baccalaureate institution partners. St. Charles Community College is committed to creating programs in agriculture to address the shortage of technicians in the local workforce and prepare students to be successful at the university level.

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