New Associateship Program Launches for Future Extension Educators

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new graduate associateship program aims to recruit, educate and support future Extension educators to work in the fields of agriculture and natural resources.

Ohio State University Extension will offer up to three Extension Director's research associateships for the Master in Plant Health Management (MPHM) at Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences for autumn 2014.

The MPHM graduate program, jointly administered by the departments of plant pathology and entomology, includes coursework and hands-on training in both technical and professional aspects of plant health management. MPHM is Ohio State's first graduate program to achieve national Professional Science Master's affiliation, with a curriculum that blends science and professional development.

Anne Dorrance, professor of plant pathology and co-chair of MPHM, said that today’s highly scientific and specialized agriculture requires Extension educators to have broader, more in-depth knowledge across the many disciplines that Ohio State has to offer. The MPHM curriculum is designed to provide this knowledge base with courses in plant health and related sciences, plus Extension education and leadership training.

“This program is one of the first interdisciplinary degree programs that allows students to gain this knowledge as well as the professional skills to be successful in these very rewarding careers,” said Dorrance.

A distinguishing aspect of the program is direct involvement with Extension teams and mentors. The students will spend their first academic year on the Columbus campus. In the second year, students will be placed in county Extension offices to work in selected areas of Extension programming.

“The Masters in Plant Health Management Program is an excellent opportunity for future Extension educators who want to specialize in agriculture and natural resources,” said Keith L. Smith, associate vice president for Agricultural Administration and director of Ohio State University Extension. “It will especially prepare them with the competencies they need in agronomic crops.”

Applicants should apply to the MPHM graduate program by March 15. The associateships will be awarded on a competitive basis for full-time graduate study starting autumn semester 2014. Associateships include a stipend to cover living expenses, and a tuition and fee authorization covering all applicable fees. Desired qualifications and full application instructions are described online:


CFAES News Team
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Anne Dorrance