If your school currently does not offer agriculture or horticulture courses but would like to add these course offerings for students, there are many resources to assist in the development of an approvable agricultural/horticultural program sequence.
Fully funded programs consist of at least one credit at the Freshman/Sophomore level and at least one course at the Junior/Senior level within the same Career Pathway
FCAE Program Advisors
are available to provide assistance in developing a full sequence of courses at your school. sample course outlines
and lesson plans
are already developed that will streamline the approval process for your school. Working with your Program Advisor during the approval process at your local school will make the course approval process at the state and regional levels much easier. Once your school approves a local course description and course outline, your Education for Employment System Director
will approve the courses at the regional level and submit them for approval to the Illinois State Board of Education. New courses should be to the EFE System Director by April of the school year preceding the initial offering of courses.
Is there funding assistance available for agricultural programs?
In addition to the Career and Technical Education Improvement Grant and Perkins Grant funding, the Illinois State Board of Education provides yearly Incentive Funding Grants to local schools with agriculture/horticulture programs. Upon completion of an initial grant application, a one time start-up grant of $10,000 is awarded to any school implementing an agricultural/horticulture program for their school that has been approved through their respective EFE Regional CTE System. Assistance in completing the initial application is available from the FCAE Program Advisor
assigned to the region. Following the first year, schools may complete the application for the Incentive Funding Grant on an annual basis. The average allocation per school is approximately $1800 and is determined by the score received from the grant application. Each school that completes the grant application receives funding with the allocation amount based upon the activities of the program. Several reports
generated from data collected through the Incentive Funding Grant Application as well as view a sample grant application
What assistance is available for implementing and maintaining a high school agricultural education program?
As a result of funding made available through the Agricultural Education Line Item in the Illinois State Board of Education budget, FCAE Program Advisors
are available to assist in every phase of developing and maintaining an agriculture program at the high school level.
What courses and topics should we teach in the agricultural courses we select?
There are 5 Career Pathways
to choose from including: Agricultural Science, Agriculture Business and Management, Agricultural Mechanics and Technology, Horticulture, and Natural Resources. To be eligible for an approvable program in Agricultural Education, schools must offer at least one credit per year at the Freshman/Sophomore level and one course at the Junior/Senior level within the same career pathway.
Student interests and community needs are important factors to consider when selecting Career Pathways
and course offerings for an agricultural/horticultural program. A student survey and input from business and industry in your local community are important factors to consider when building a quality agricultural/horticultural program.
have been created to assist in curriculum planning. Over 1200 lesson plans
have been developed which are aligned to the Illinois State Learning Standards and made available free of charge to Illinois high schools with agriculture programs.
How do I find a qualified teacher to teach our agriculture courses?
along with the four universities in Illinois with Agricultural Education teacher preparation programs - University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University, and Western Illinois University - are the best sources for identifying quality candidates to teach in your high school agriculture/horticulture program. Each spring, available candidates are identified and listed on our Teaching Candidates
page. Agricultural teaching vacancies are listed on our Teaching Vacancies
Are there curriculum resources available for teaching agriculture?
Are there state agricultural education learning standards?
Currently, there are not agricultural education learning standards, however, the lesson plans developed through the FCAE Project are aligned to the Illinois State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.
Can Students receive academic credit for agricultural courses?
Additionally, students enrolled in the Biological Science Applications in Agriculture (BSAA) and/or Physical Science Applications in Agriculture (PSAA) courses may fulfill university laboratory science admissions requirements.
What types of professional development activities are available for agriculture teachers?
Professional development opportunities are available to agriculture teachers at several conferences throughout the year. Through partnerships between FCAE, the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT)
, and agricultural businesses, experts from all aspects of the agriculture industry provide educational workshops for teachers. Agriculture teachers remain up-to-date on the latest agricultural industry techniques as well as new curriculum resources that are available for classroom use. In-service activities are selected by the IAVAT Professional Development Committee with input provided from all Illinois agriculture teachers.