Need for Systemic Change in Undergraduate Education

in HortScience
Authors:
Suman Singha1Academic Programs, CANR/RHSA, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4090

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Harry O. Kunkel2Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77845-2471.

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Changes in the environment, in technology, and in societal needs will result in a change in the expectations from our graduates. Meeting these expectations will require a systemic change in undergraduate education in horticulture. While we do an excellent job in training students, we are not as effective in educating them. Our students must develop critical thinking skills and become adept at solving problems utilizing a multidisciplinary integrated approach rather than in a reductive manner. Achieving these skills is essential if our graduates are to be successful in the rapidly changing job market. Implementing curricular change requires faculty ownership as well as administrative support and an appropriate rewards and recognition system. These and other principles from the USDA-funded project on Theoretical Bases for Systemic Change in Higher Education in Agriculture will be discussed.

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