Texas Tech's undergrad agricultural communications top-ranked, study says
The agricultural communications undergraduate program offered by Texas Tech University's Department of Agricultural Education and Communications is ranked as the best in the nation, according to a new University of Arkansas study. Following the top-ranked Red Raiders were the University of Florida, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M and Kansas State.
"I was excited to see the No. 1 national ranking for our department," said Steve Fraze, Tech's department chair of agricultural education and communications. "We have a very talented and dedicated faculty combined with an outstanding set of students. Being ranked No. 1 nationally recognizes this fact and helps in the recruitment of students, not only undergraduate but graduate students as well. It also makes Texas Tech a desirable destination for future faculty."
Forty programs across the country were identified in the study, titled, "Characteristics of U.S. Agricultural Communications Undergraduate Program." Led by Jefferson Miller, a professor in the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, the research focused on creating an accounting of existing programs, a description of those programs, identifying program demographics and identifying top programs.
Agricultural communications programs have been experiencing something of a growth spurt in the past two decades with a net increase of 11 new programs. But as a group, they're diverse in structure and age. Some programs began in the early 1900s, while the newest program began in 2009. The average student enrollment per institution was 66 students.
Tech's agricultural communications program was established an option in the 1970s with Lewis Eggenberger taking the lead as coordinator. A Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Communications was approved in 1992. Today, the program has 166 undergraduate students.
"Our agricultural communications program is exceptional because we are always looking at how we can improve each class topic, every course, the curriculum and extracurricular opportunities," said Courtney Meyers, an associate professor who joined the department in 2008. "We also strive to provide valuable service and insightful research. We're fortunate to have very talented students and alumni who are excellent ambassadors for our program."
Agricultural communications at Tech allows students to specialize in both mass communications and agriculture. The communications component offers courses in journalism, public relations, graphic design, photography, and online media.
Written by Norman Martin
CONTACT: Steven Fraze, Chair, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0815NM14 / Editor's Note: To see the full University of Arkansas study, "Characteristics of U.S. Agricultural Communications Undergraduate Program," click https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7SEi5mPmHpVMi1pTTlJNGtEbDQ/view?pli=1
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