NEW JERSEY HOSTING TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM

New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher today visited Stone Bridge Middle School in Allentown where 18 agriculture teachers from five states including 11 from New Jersey are attending a 50-hour training course preparing them to teach a new rigorous, academic course on agricultural research in the fall.

The Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) Institute is being hosted by Rutgers University, Upper Freehold Regional District and the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Education from July 26 – 31.  The participants will become certified to field test the “Agricultural Research and Development” course and will be provided the curriculum and practical experience to teach the course upon completion of the five-day session.  The teachers will then report back to CASE on the course; any necessary adjustments will be made and then the course will be offered to all agriculture teachers.

“New Jersey is a leader in agricultural education and we are working to make the challenging CASE courses available to as many students as possible,” said Secretary Fisher.  “We not only seen the benefits of CASE in the classroom, but understand that the skills CASE teaches are in demand in the job market.  This new class is another tool our teachers will be able to use to maximize student success.”

Photo of  the 18 CASE teachers with Secretary Fisher
Secretary Fisher, NJDA’s Nancy Trivette and David McNair from NJ Dept. of Education with the 18 teachers from the CASE Institute

Agricultural Research and Development is the capstone course designed to culminate students’ experiences in agriculture, based on the pathway of study they pursued. Woven throughout the course are projects and problems based in practical applications and designed to develop and improve employability skills of students. Students will further enhance critical thinking and teamwork skills as they expand on content knowledge from previous CASE courses.

The New Jersey agricultural education teachers who will field test Agricultural Research and Development in the coming school year are:  Nichole Carroll of Cumberland Regional High School, Dan Delcher of Essex County Vocational School, Keely Ditizio of Salem County Vocational Technical School, Denise Emmons of Allentown High School, Erik Fargo of Somerset County Vocational and Technical High School, Clare Kennedy of Bergen County Technical Schools, Lisa Ann Moschera-Chemigovets of Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools, Laura Pinhas of Sussex County Technical School, Kim Ann Szulecki of Ocean County Vocational Technical School, and Jennifeur Wilson of North Warren Regional High School.

The course is being taught by Liz Tinaglia of Minnesota and Aaron Geiman of Maryland.  The CASE staff person is Melanie Bloom of Iowa.

CASE is an instructional system that provides intense teacher professional development and curriculum that is changing the culture of agriculture programs, in our state and country.  The CASE Program includes courses and lessons that build on each previous course/lesson coupled with inquiry-based lesson delivery style, leading students to a higher understanding of big-picture science, technology, engineering and math concepts in agriculture. 

CASE is supported in New Jersey by the State Department of Agriculture, Office of Agricultural Education and State Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education. There are 22 New Jersey school districts offering one or more CASE courses: Introduction to Agriculture Food and Natural Resources; Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant; Principles of Agricultural Science – Animal; Animal and Plant Biotechnology; Food Science and Safety; Natural Resources and Ecology; Agriculture, Power and Technology; and Agriculture Research and Development.  College credits for CASE courses are being earned from Rutgers University, Delaware Valley College, SUNY Cobleskill and several county colleges. 

For more information about New Jersey’s agricultural education program in the Department of Agriculture, visit www.jerseyageducation.nj.gov/.

For more information about the CASE program, visitwww.jerseyageducation.nj.gov/agriculture/ag_ed/classroom/case.html and www.case4learning.org