Evaluating the benefits and challenges of SAE in the Virginia High School Agriculture Curriculum

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Virginia Tech

This study explores the benefits and challenges of supervised agricultural experiences (SAE) within secondary agricultural education programs. The purpose of this evaluation is to gain insight from secondary agriculture teachers regarding their practices of incorporating SAE into their curriculum. A qualitative research design was used to collect data in the form of telephone interviews. Eleven agriculture teachers completed a telephone interview regarding the SAE practices in their program. There were participants from each of the six regions in the state. The results indicate that SAE has made a comeback in the recent years and is becoming an integral part of more and more programs. Teachers are implementing SAE as part of the three- circle model of an agriculture program into their curriculum. Students gained hands on experience through their SAE projects while learning life and career skillsets throughout their project. A few of the biggest barriers secondary agriculture teachers face with implementation of SAE are lack of description on the separate categories of projects, and a lack of resources to help educators be successful with teaching SAE. In summary, SAE is a critical component of the three- circle model of agriculture program curriculum and is the most difficult portion to implement.