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Master’s Degree Program in Extension Education Announced

By Graham Binder

The College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which administers the University of Maryland Extension (UME) program, is launching a Master of Extension Education program, with classes and curriculum geared toward university extension career seekers and existing extension professionals.

Extension education across Maryland is part of UMD’s mission as a land-grant institution, and it reached more than 420,000 Marylanders in 2019. UME faculty use their skills to address societal challenges by researching solutions and developing action plans for individuals and communities. Graduates from this new program will become experts in Maryland agricultural literacy, with options for dynamic careers in secondary and post-secondary education, non-profits, government, and enterprise leadership.

The master’s program starting in Spring 2022 will encompass four core classes, two of which will be taught each semester. Rounding out the degree will be pre-existing classes taught in various departments at UMD or through the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Prospective degree seekers can now enroll in the class “Critically Examine Maryland Agriculture, Agricultural Industry and Agricultural Literacy” and transfer the course into the formal program when applications officially open for the spring semester.

Melissa Leiden Welsh, assistant clinical professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture and director of the Agricultural and Extension Education program, said the new master’s degree leads to a wide range of career choices. “My intention is to not silo this to agriculture, as the program is intended to stretch into 4-H, youth development, the business and marketing side of agriculture, and more,” Welsh said.

Students may enroll in AGST640 today by accessing the registration link in Testudo. More information on program registration will be forthcoming later this semester.

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