The program requires each candidate to develop knowledge of and experience in employer/employee interactions and agricultural occupations by completing occupational experience in one or more of the following domains: animal science, plant/soil science, ornamental horticulture, agriculture business management, environmental science and natural resource management and/or agricultural systems technology.
Required Elements for Standard 11 – Occupational Experience:
11(a) The program requires each candidate to complete occupational experience as defined in the Specific Preconditions for the Agriculture Specialist Instruction Credential.
11(b) One or more of the occupational experiences provide an opportunity for the candidate to develop an understanding of and experience in employer/employee interactions.
11(c) One or more of the occupational experiences provide an opportunity for the candidate to gain knowledge, skills and concepts concerning employment in agricultural occupations that can be integrated into the agricultural classroom.
Candidates for the Agricultural Specialist Credential at California State University, Fresno are required to document 3,000 clock hours or two years of appropriate occupational experience in agriculture. Candidates are notified of this requirement during the department’s student orientation sessions before they are allowed to enroll in any University courses and again at their first advising session with their assigned advisor.
Candidates lacking in agricultural experience have opportunities to work on the University agricultural laboratory in various areas to gain experience in specific agricultural areas. Candidates also have the option of working part-time in an off campus agricultural job or participating in an agricultural internship to gain the required occupational experience.
“Actual” experience provides candidates with life experiences that they can “bring into the classroom” and teach their students. Also, occupational experience helps to establish credibility for the teachers in both the classroom and within the industry and community. The State Supervisor for Agricultural Education or his designated representative conducts a personal interview with each candidate and must approve the occupational experience. Candidates complete a T-14 Form listing their occupational experience and then meet with a representative of the California Department of Education who verifies the occupational experience and signs the form if the candidate meets the occupational experience requirement. Completed T-14 forms with all signatures must be on file in the coordinator’s office before candidates begin their final student teaching experience. The T-14 form for documenting work experience is located in the Appendix.