Page 5 - The ALEC Gazette-2018
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 Letter from the Deparment Head
 Tennessee 5
  Welcome to the latest issue of The ALEC Gazette! During this last year, faculty and staff in the 4-H/Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications Department were very busy working on revisions and enhance- ments to the undergraduate and graduate programs. Based on the findings from our 2016 mid-cycle program review, we decided to eliminate the agricultural science undergraduate concentration. The review committee suggested that this concentration did not adequately prepare students for a specific profession and believed our efforts should focus on strengthening the overall course offerings in the other concentrations.
Thus, 2017 was a year of intense course reviews. The biggest changes came in our agricultural communications program. Dr. Arthur Leal committed to a rigorous set of courses that incorporate contemporary technology to provide students with hands-on, real-world experiences. The students have been ecstatic with the new courses and assignments and as a result, our enrollment has begun to rise. Without a doubt, our ag. comm. program is challenging students and preparing them to be successful after graduation.
Efforts were also undertaken to revise the online graduate program and strengthen our coursework, student engagement and cost structure. Our courses now have more interactive assignments and features, more focus on real-world problems, and more emphasis on skills for current practitioners. Recent actions by the Board of Trustees has allowed for a reduction in tuition for online programs for out-of-state students, thus making us more competitive in our pricing.
Our merger between 4-H Youth Development and ALEC has been a great partnership. We have incorporated the research related to teaching and learning, leadership development, and communications into the training of 4-H teen leaders and utilized the programs of 4-H as a way to help our ALEC students get hands-on programming experience.
All in all, it was a great year for 4-H/ALEC. I hope you enjoy the stories created and designed by our students in this issue of The ALEC Gazette!
Dr. Richard W. Clark
Assistant Dean and Department head

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