A new associate in applied science (A.A.S.) degree in agriculture, with emphasis areas of agribusiness, animal science and plant science, has been approved by Metropolitan Community College’s Board of Trustees. The new degree option is expected to be available to students starting in 2020-21.
The agriculture degree program was developed by MCC veterinary technology faculty in consultation with high school FFA programs, university agriculture programs, Kansas City agribusiness leaders and regional agriculture business representatives.
There is a current and growing need for agriculture industry employees in the Kansas City region, but there are currently no agriculture degree programs offered regionally, including in Metropolitan Community College’s service area.
The A.A.S. in agriculture will serve students pursuing a degree and employment in the agriculture industry, and it will create a transfer pathway for students who wish to move on to university agriculture programs to earn advanced degrees.
“MCC can now provide the Kansas City agriculture industry with an educated workforce, and MCC can be the pathway from quality high school FFA chapters to top-notch university agriculture programs,” said Chris Morrow, MCC veterinary technology director.
“Students interested in agriculture can now utilize Missouri A+ scholarship funding and affordable MCC tuition to earn an associate degree in agriculture before they enter the workforce or transfer on to pursue their bachelor’s degree,” Morrow added.
A feasibility study conducted by MCC estimated that the number of agriculture jobs in the Kansas City region will grow by about 8 percent over a five-year period, from 2,923 in 2018 to 3,144 in 2023. This projected growth in the Kansas City region is double that expected at the national level.
MCC will begin offering the new A.A.S. in agriculture in the 2020-21 academic year, pending approval by the Missouri Department of Higher Education and the Higher Learning Commission, MCC’s primary accrediting body.
The Board of Trustees approved the new program at its Nov. 21 meeting.