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CCTC Accreditation 2022

Agriculture Specialist Credential

Contact Person
Rosco Vaughn

Acting Dean
Sergio La Porta

Associate Dean
Song Lee

For technical issues
Contact Laura Rabago at

1. Program Summary

Program Design:

With authorization by the University President, the Kremen School of Education and Human Development (KSOEHD) Dean serves as the Director of Teacher Education for the University. The dean is authorized to speak on matters of teacher credentialing and certification, to work with colleges, schools, and departments at California State University, Fresno and to serve as liaison with agencies and organizations at the local, state, and national levels with interests in the training of professionals for public education.

Dr. Imelda Basurto coordinates the Single Subject Credential Program. She reports directly to the KSOEHD Dean regarding academic and curricular issues and to Dr. Kathleen Godfrey, Interim Associate Dean, regarding the administrative operations of the program.

Candidates for the Agriculture Specialist Credential must complete all of the professional education courses required for the Single Subject Credential and the agricultural education courses required for the Specialist Credential. Because of these additional requirements, the Agricultural Specialist Credential is referred to as an “advanced credential”.

Overview of Structure

Dr. Rosco Vaughn coordinates the Agricultural Education Degree Program and the Agriculture Specialist Credential Program. He is a faculty member of the Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education Department, located within the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology (JCAST). Dean Dennis Nef is the chief administrative officer of JCAST and department heads and individual program coordinators, including the Agriculture Specialist Credential Program Coordinator, are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Dean.

Dr. Vaughn works closely with the KSOEHD credential coordinators and administrators in coordinating the Agriculture Specialist Credential program with the KSOEHD. He meets with the Single Subject Coordinator of KSOEHD on a frequent basis. Coordination of the Agriculture Specialist Program is enhanced by the university policy of concentrating all credential admissions and processing functions in one office located in the KSOEHD.

The program coordinator advises undergraduate and graduate Agricultural Education majors, teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Agricultural Education, places and supervises student teachers, serves as liaison with the California Department of Education Agricultural Education Unit, and is responsible for all phases of the Agricultural Education curriculum and program.

The coordinator also meets with the Agricultural Education Advisory Committee on matters related to the credential program. This committee establishes the vision for the program and provides an assessment function. The advisory committee consists of high school and community college teachers of agriculture and representatives from agribusiness and farming. The committee provides one of many kinds of contacts between the program and the community served by the program.

The program coordinator meets regularly with other universities offering Single Subject – Agriculture Specialist Credentials. Representatives of these universities and the California Agricultural Education State Staff meet about four times each year to discuss and coordinate statewide issues and activities. The program coordinator attends these meetings. Other Agricultural Education faculty members have committee responsibilities and attend all or part of these meetings. This collaboration results in coordinated statewide programs for agriculture student teachers, cooperating teachers, and new professionals.

Due to increasing enrollment in the program, four part-time faculty have been employed to teach courses and to supervise student teachers. One faculty member retired and is now working part- time supervising initial student teachers and teaching the seminar for initial student teachers. A new tenure track faculty member was also added in August of 2019. The FAST program was recently updated and university coaches are being recalibrated for scoring the assessments.

Course of Study (Curriculum and Field Experience):

The Agriculture Specialist Credential Program at Fresno State is a five-year program. Students must first obtain the Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Agricultural Education. To complete the degree, students must complete 39 semester units of agriculture core subject matter. In addition, they must also complete a specialization area comprised of 15 semester units from one of the following areas:

Agricultural Business Mechanized Agriculture Animal Sciences

Plant Science

The requirements for obtaining the undergraduate degree are listed on the Agricultural Education Bachelor’s Degree Advising Sheet.

Subject matter competence and knowledge are documented through completion of the undergraduate preparation program and verification of 3,000 clock hours of occupational experience. Candidates complete a form, (T-14), listing their education and leadership records along with their occupational experience. They also complete a personal interview with a member of the California Department of Education Agricultural Education Staff and provide this individual with a copy of their completed form. The form and interview must be completed prior to enrolling in the final field experience course.

Students desiring to enter the Agriculture Specialist Credential Program, with a degree in an agricultural major other than Agricultural Education, are usually lacking some of the courses required in the credential program. These students have two options to meet the requirements. They may choose to complete the required courses, or they may choose to take the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET). A passing score on the Agriculture CSET will satisfy the subject matter course requirements. Undergraduate students from other majors are advised to complete a major in Agricultural Education. Concurrent with establishment of subject matter competency, these students are also advised to enroll in AGED 050, Orientation to Agricultural Education.

Undergraduate students complete an early field experience course (AGED 050) and 12 additional semester units of Agricultural Education course work to provide them with a professional education knowledge base for teaching agricultural education. The sequence of agricultural education courses is:




AG ED 050

Orientation to Agricultural Education


AG ED 135

Introduction to Agricultural Education


AG ED 150

Resources, Materials & Equipment


AG ED 187

Organization, Administration & Supervision


AG ED 189

Education in Agricultural Mechanics


Total Units                                                                                               15

After exhibiting subject matter competence, candidates are eligible for admission to the Single Subject in Agriculture and the Agriculture Specialist Credential Programs. To teach high school agricultural education in California, candidates must obtain both credentials.

The post-baccalaureate (fifth-year) program for Agricultural Education Teacher Preparation is structured so candidates, with a combination of undergraduate and graduate professional education course work, will concurrently fulfill the requirements for the Single Subject, Agriculture and Agriculture Specialist Credentials by taking a sequence of 39 semester units of post-baccalaureate courses.

At the post-baccalaureate level, candidates are enrolled in foundations, content instruction, psychology, English learners, and methods and materials courses. In addition, candidates are enrolled in a field experience course (EHD 155A) during the first semester of their post- baccalaureate program. Second semester candidates are enrolled in an additional field experience course (EHD 155B) and spend one high school semester student teaching at an approved site.

During this semester candidates are also enrolled in two graduate courses that require them to research and/or apply specific knowledge and skills to problems and issues arising during their final field experience. The sequence of post-baccalaureate courses is:

Course and Units:

Total Units: 39

The teaching methods course (CI 161) is taught by an agricultural education faculty member and is part of both the single subject and agriculture specialist credential programs. The same is true of the field experience classes and the AGRI 280 Seminar in Agricultural Education. AGRI 281 Problems in Agricultural Education is part of the agriculture specialist credential program.

Candidates complete three field placements, the first is the Ag Ed 50 placement for undergraduate students to observe for a minimum of 45 hours and complete assignments to orient them to the teaching profession. After entering the credential program students are placed at an initial student teaching site for half a day and enrolled in a one-unit seminar that meets one day a week. Candidates during their final semester are placed at a different school site for full- time student teaching. Agriculture Specialist candidates are also enrolled in a three-unit seminar during this semester to share successes and problems and to develop strategies to improve their teaching. Cooperating master teachers complete three agriculture specialist evaluation forms and two single subject evaluation forms during this semester. They also verify the competencies that candidates meet during initial and final student teaching.

Assessment of Candidates:

All Fresno State Agriculture Specialist candidates are concurrently enrolled in the Single Subject Program and are assessed utilizing the Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers (FAST) to determine that candidates meet Teacher Performance Expectations. All members of the Agricultural Education faculty have completed a formal training program for scoring each of the FAST assessment components and do the scoring of the Agriculture Specialist candidates.

In addition to the FAST assessments, candidates complete a T-14 form documenting a minimum of 3,000 clock hours of occupational experience in agriculture. After completing the form, they are required to meet with a representative of the California Department of Education Agricultural Education Unit who verifies each candidate’s occupational experience and signs the form.

Copies of each candidates signed form are maintained in the program coordinators files. Every three to five years graduates and employers are surveyed to determine the satisfaction of both graduates and employers. Data from the surveys are compiled and shared with the program advisory committee. Candidates are also required to complete a final project during the semester they complete final student teaching. The project must be approved by the master teacher at the cooperating school and the university supervisor. A scoring rubric is used to assess candidate performance. Data is compiled at the end of each semester to determine candidate performance on the project. Candidates are also required to compile a professional portfolio during their final semester in the credential program. Portfolios are scored utilizing a scoring rubric and data is compiled at the end of each semester documenting candidate performance. Another assessment during final student teaching requires each candidate to complete a checklist of items documenting they have met the exit competencies of a successful agriculture teacher. This instrument was developed by a panel of experts including cooperating master teachers and at the end of each semester the number of items completed by each candidate is compiled by category. Assessment data collected is shared with the program advisory committee and is taken into consideration when making changes in the Agriculture Specialist Credential Program.

Candidates are informed of assessments beginning with the introductory Agricultural Education courses and at the beginning of all courses as they progress through the program. Faculty advisors work with individual candidates to ensure they have ample opportunity to meet the program competencies.

Program Pathway


Delivery Model


Main Campus


Traditional Student Teaching

2. Organizational Structure

3. Faculty Qualifications

Faculty Distribution Table – Agricultural Specialist Credential Program

Faculty Type

Number of Faculty

Full-Time Tenured/Tenure-Track


Part-Time Emeriti


Part-Time Lecturer


Faculty Courses
Jesse Bower, M.S.
Part-Time Lecturer
Sharon Freeman, Ed.D.
Full-Time Tenure-Track Assistant Professor
Susan Henderson Perry, M.S.
Part-Time Lecturer
Kassie Mendes, MS
Part-Time Lecturer
Arthur Parham, Ph.D.
Part-Time Emeriti Professor
Steven Rocca, Ph.D.
Full-Time Tenured Professor
Rosco Vaughn, Ed.D.
Full-Time Tenured Professor
Kevin Woodard, M.S.
Part-Time Lecturer
Shay Williams Hopper
Part-Time Lecturer

The Agricultural Education Program does not have adjunct faculty members. See this link is to the University policy for employing adjunct faculty (APM 310). Qualification requirements are included in the policy.

 No agricultural education vacancies.

4. Course Sequence

Information is always available to prospective and current credential candidates online on the department and university websites. The following links provide candidates with catalog and advising information pertaining to our subject matter program and the Agricultural Specialist coursework and credential:

5. Course Matrix

Not Applicable 

6. Fieldwork and Clinical Practice

Fieldwork and Clinical Practice

Course Title

Number of Hours

AG ED 50, Orientation to Agricultural Education

45 hours

EHD 155A, Initial Student Teaching

250 hours

EHD 155B, Final Student Teaching

560+ hours

Total Field Experience

855 hours

California Agricultural Education has a unique process for selecting cooperating schools and placing student teachers in those schools. The California Department of Education staff develops and updates annually a list of approved cooperating schools for placing agriculture student teachers. There is an established list of criteria for schools to be placed on the approved cooperating schools list. The five universities that place agriculture student teachers collaborate on selecting sites for each institution then they contact the schools allocated to them. Due to the small number of agriculture teachers at the schools, student teachers are often placed at a considerable distance from the home campus. For example, Fresno State often places student teachers at schools as far away as Bakersfield and Lodi and sometimes at a greater distance. In addition to following the above procedures the Fresno State Agricultural Education Program also follows the Fresno State procedures for student teacher placement. A copy of the Fresno State MOU is included in the Appendix of this document.

California Agricultural Education conducts an annual conference to train master/mentor teachers. Fresno State faculty help conduct participate in this conference. A copy of the 2020 Supervising Teacher Institute Agenda is included in the Appendix of this document.

Fresno State part time faculty that supervise student teachers attend the student teacher seminar sessions and are calibrated for scoring the site visitation and teaching sample projects along with fulltime faculty.

Program candidates are placed in schools in the surrounding region. Every effort is made by program faculty to ensure that candidates are in the best possible placement to support their development. As demonstrated by the data represented below, our region is home to some of the most diverse student populations in the state, meaning candidates in all programs have opportunities to develop as practitioners while working with students from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as students with disabilities.

EHD 155B Candidate Placements for Fall 2020. Candidates are placed in cooperating schools that are approved by the Agricultural Education state staff. All candidates are placed in two different schools during their student teaching experience. Candidates are matched up with a master teacher that has expertise in the candidate’s specialization area for their fulltime final placement.

Clinical Practice Handbook/Manual

Three manuals or handbooks are provided. They are:

  1. Fresno Assessment of Student Teachers (FAST) Manual
  2. Single Subject Credential Program Handbook
  3. Agriculture Specialist Student Teaching Manual

Syllabi for clinical experience courses are:

7. Credential Recommendation

Candidates must complete the EHD 155B Clearance Form before they can enroll in final student teaching. This form must be signed by the Credential Admissions Analyst and the candidate’s subject matter advisor.

Candidates are required to receive passing scores on the Site Visitation Project and the Teaching Sample Project in addition to receiving positive evaluations on the other evaluation forms to receive a final grade for student teaching. Candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the credential program coursework. Candidates submit an application to the Credential Analyst after their grades are posted. The Credential Analyst evaluates the completed application to ensure they meet all requirements for the Single Subject in Agriculture and the Agriculture Specialist Teaching Credentials.

Each successful candidate is provided with the Individual Development Plan (IDP Form). They complete the form and submit it to their university coach. The university coach may approve the form or make revision recommendations that must be added before signing the form. Candidates are advised to include TPE’s that will enable them to accomplish the professional learning goals they set as one of the last steps in the FAST Teaching Sample Project. 

Candidates are required to successfully pass all coursework before they are recommended for their credentials. An advising sheet lists the approved courses.