Section 75.310  Program Goals and Minimum Standards


This Section presents the goals for teacher preparation programs in agricultural education and the accompanying minimum standards of each that are associated with high-quality preparation programs.


a)         Goal 1:  A continuing program of recruitment is undertaken to ensure that a sufficient number of competent agricultural education teachers are prepared to meet the demand for new teachers in Illinois.


Minimum Standards:


1)         A program is offered in which students may transfer credit earned in agricultural education coursework from other postsecondary institutions.


2)         Each student who progresses to student teaching must have a 3.5 grade point average on a 5.0 scale or a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.


3)         A minimum of one faculty member of the program is responsible for recruitment of students, including women and minorities, for the agricultural education teacher preparation program, as outlined in a written recruitment plan developed in conjunction with the program advisory committee.


b)         Goal 2:  Practicing professionals and outstanding undergraduate students in agriculture are identified, selected and supported to develop their leadership potential through master's and, when appropriate, doctoral study in numerous areas of need in agriculture.


Minimum Standards:  Graduate-level credit is awarded to students seeking advanced degrees in agricultural education through courses and/or workshops taught by agricultural education faculty.


c)         Goal 3:  The agricultural education faculty have regular contact with students majoring in agricultural education to ensure that they are progressing in their degree program and toward obtaining teacher licensure; faculty answer questions and solve problems of currently enrolled students and provide counsel to prospective students for a degree program in agricultural education.


Minimum Standards:  All students enrolled in agricultural education are advised by agricultural education faculty.


d)         Goal 4:  Students preparing to teach agriculture are knowledgeable about a variety of teaching methods prior to beginning the student teaching experience.  Teacher quality is demonstrated by technical and professional competence.  Teacher preparation graduates must possess a well-developed repertoire of teaching skills.


                        Minimum Standards: 


1)         A methods course in teaching agriculture is required prior to beginning the student teaching experience.


2)         A minimum of 12 weeks is spent student teaching under the guidance of a cooperating teacher who meets the requirements set forth in Section 75.210(d) of this Part and 23 Ill. Adm. Code 25.620 (Student Teaching).


3)         Adult education principles are taught as a part of a required agricultural education course.


e)         Goal 5:  Students preparing to teach agriculture are technically competent in their specialty teaching area.


                        Minimum Standards:


1)         All agricultural education graduates must complete at least 40 hours of agricultural courses.


2)         Chemistry and biology courses are required for agricultural education students.


f)         Goal 6:  The agricultural education staff provides a clearinghouse and counseling service for graduating seniors and other newly qualified agricultural education teachers to ensure that the highest proportion of newly trained teachers are placed in agricultural teaching positions.


Minimum Standards:  One agricultural education faculty member is responsible for coordinating activities for placing agricultural education teachers into jobs; these activities include maintaining an up-to-date list of agricultural education teacher positions in Illinois in cooperation with other teacher preparation institutions offering agricultural education.


g)         Goal 7:  Professional development activities are available for all agricultural education students and faculty as an integral part of their academic program.


Minimum Standards:


1)         An agricultural education student organization is integrated into the instructional program and is available to all students majoring in agricultural education.


2)         Faculty are involved in scholarly and professional activities and/or participate in organizations related to teacher training leadership, technical training and/or dissemination of research results.


h)         Goal 8:  Agricultural education students understand the importance of and are able to assist high school students in developing and carrying out supervised agricultural experience programs (including maintaining records).


                        Minimum Standards:


1)         All student teachers receive instruction about the requirements for obtaining the employment certification that a student may need to perform specific workplace learning activities.


2)         All agricultural education students receive instruction in planning, developing, implementing and evaluating supervised agricultural experiences, which include record-keeping methods, in a required agricultural education course.


i)          Goal 9:  Agricultural education students are knowledgeable about the National FFA Organization and its use as an integral part of a complete agricultural education program, as well as the role of the FFA advisor. 


Minimum Standards:


1)         Agricultural education students participate in at least two FFA events prior to the completion of their student teaching.


2)         All students develop a program of activities for an FFA chapter prior to the completion of their student teaching.


3)         All students assist in completing FFA degree and award applications prior to the completion of student teaching.


4)         Agricultural education faculty attend the State and national FFA conventions.


j)          Goal 10:  Students in agricultural education programs understand the role of and gain experience in leading an agricultural advisory committee.


Minimum Standards:


1)         Methods and strategies for organizing and using advisory committees is part of the instruction offered in a course required for agricultural education.


2)         All student teachers observe and participate in at least one agricultural advisory committee during their student teaching.


(Source:  Amended at 37 Ill. Reg. 15932, effective September 27, 2013)