Page 20 - The ALEC Gazette-2018
P. 20

   Using What You Learn
By: Kallie Hopper
The University of Tennessee offers several majors for students McGinnis implements the 4-H Chick Chain project, which allows
to pursue. The agricultural leadership, education and communications department is located on the agricultural campus. ALEC is a diverse major that offers students the opportunity to pursue careers in agricultural education, Extension, communication and leadership.
Matt McGinnis received his bachelor’s in agricultural education in the ALEC department. Matt now works for UT as a 4-H Extension agent in Grainger County and has been able to apply his education daily in his role working with youth.
“The curriculum taught by the ALEC department prepared me to teach youth in a variety of educational settings,” said McGinnis. “The ability to plan lessons and then implement them is essential to being a successful 4-H agent.”
McGinnis has used his ALEC education to work with 4-H youth
on public speaking, demonstration, and fiscal responsibility
skills through in-club lessons he designs. McGinnis’ approach incorporates fun for the youth during learning experiences, such as 4-H camp and judging contests.
For judging contests and in-school lessons, McGinnis constructs lessons around specific needs of the youth and community.
students to learn responsibility while caring for their own baby chicks.
“McGinnis is able to use 4-H programs to offer real life, eye- opening programs students can use later in their lives,” said Kristy Waller, health coordinator for Grainger County school systems.
Matt McGinnis learned other necessary skills for his personal development as well, skills he uses daily. Building connections with youth is essential for agents to successfully lead 4-H programs.
“My time in the ALEC department also taught me how to speak publicly,” McGinnis said. “ I was not always the best at public speaking, and now I can use my own experiences to relate with youth in my program.”
ALEC graduates gain valuable skill sets in their program, but the real learning comes when they start applying their coursework
to real-world situations. For Extension agents, those real-world situations come in the form of daily interactions with farmers and the public. p
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