A department update by Dr. Kris Boone
The Department of Communications and Agricultural Education is exceeding its goal on increased student numbers based on its K-State 2025 plan.
We’ve experienced a 13 percent increase in student numbers, thanks to recruitment by friends, alumni, students, our faculty and the College of Agriculture. In addition, we have focused recruitment on underrepresented students and have had some success in this, but it an area of need.
We are working to increase funding availability for undergraduates and graduate students and appreciate the help from a number of donors, particularly in the agricultural education area. In fact, we have had almost a 23 percent increase in our permanently endowed funds.Those funds are invested by the KSU Foundation, resulting in greater scholarship support for our students.
In addition, one of goals was to enhance our student internship experiences by including more reflection and critical thinking activities. Dr. Jason Ellis led this initiative, which is in place now. Further, we have launched developed curriculum options that improve access to participation in research activities for our undergraduates.
To improve global awareness, we have developed one short-term study aboard opportunity for the department collaboratively with Ohio State University. The study trip to Ireland is open to other students but focuses on agricultural communication. We are seeking opportunities for a similar study trip focusing on agricultural education, and a Washington, D.C., experience related to agricultural communication.
We continue to look at redesigns related to curriculum. We have looked at needs for a non-teaching option in agricultural education, but don’t feel we have enough faculty to meet that need. However, we are looking at designing a strong science focused option with agricultural education.
Currently we are also working through the university processes to launch two new and interdisciplinary programs. One is a secondary major for undergraduates in global food systems leadership. This program is in collaboration with the Staley School of Leadership Studies and the Department of Political Science. The second initiative is an interdisciplinary doctorate with the Department of Communication Studies and the Staley School. The doctorate combines studies in leadership and communication.
The plan can viewed here 2025 Mission.