College - Author 1
College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Department - Author 1
Agricultural Education and Communication Department
Degree Name - Author 1
BS in Agricultural Science
Wamba (2012) said, “...literacy education plays an important role in moving people out of poverty toward greater self-sufficiency post-graduation” (p. 109). Nearly 47% of first-time California community college students are enrolled in remedial English coursework (Student Success, 2015). Further, California high school dropout rates are at 11% due to “school-related reasons…implying a lack of engagement and lack of perceived relevance” in curriculum (Gottfried & Plasman, 2017, p. 30). Literacy in our high school classrooms must be addressed.
Career and Technical Education (CTE) coursework has been linked to lower dropout rates; particularly in grades 11 and 12 (Gottfried & Plasman, 2017). University of California Curriculum Integration (UCCI) was developed to help teachers facilitate creating courses which were both CTE and academically aligned for college preparation (UCCI, 2014). The Business of Sustainable Agriculture course was developed as a UCCI curriculum project to help high school seniors gain skills in writing and entrepreneurship in agriculture while meeting University of California area “b” (English) entrance requirement for 12th graders. According to the UCCI portal, only one California school is currently offering the course.
The adoption of innovative, curriculum ensures high school students are prepared for life post-graduation. This research aligns with Priority 4 of the AAAE National Research Agenda - Meaningful, Engaged Learning in All Environments (Roberts, Harder, & Brashears, 2016), by examining how agricultural education programs evolve to meet student needs. Investigating barriers preventing adoption of beneficial curriculum capable of increasing literacy, preventing dropout, and producing a viable workforce will strengthen CTE programs in agriculture.