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Agriculture Faculty Awarded USDA Grant

September 30, 2015

Dr. Kirk Braden, Dr. Loree Branham and Joel (Dusty) Sugg of the Angelo State University agriculture faculty have been awarded a three-year, $41,649 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to implement dual-credit course offerings in the ASU Agriculture Department.

Their project is titled “Enhancing College Readiness and Career Awareness through Enriched Multidisciplinary Agriculture Dual-Credit Courses.” It is designed to both expand and enhance  ASU’s dual-credit agriculture courses, and the grant will fund additional teacher training and support, access to web-based educational resources and an on-campus field day for the high school students in the program. 

The ASU trio will initially work with school districts in Brackettville, Brady and Wall to implement three dual-credit courses: Food Science, Principles of Animal Science, and Live Animal and Carcass Evaluation. High school students in those districts will be able to take the courses for both high school and ASU credit. 

Dr. Loree BranhamDr. Loree Branham“We recognize that hands-on learning is an important part of many of our classes, and that poses a challenge when you are working with dual credit programs,” Branham said. “We are excited about the opportunity to integrate an intensive hands-on campus component with the courses we are developing. There will be on-campus experiences for both the dual-credit instructors we are working with and the students taking the dual-credit courses. Between the instructor training and student experiential learning opportunities, we aim to provide a quality dual-credit experience through these agriculture courses that has previously been unavailable.” 

ASU recently implemented its new dual credit program that allows local and area high school students in 15 West Texas school districts to take courses on their home campuses to earn both high school and ASU credit. Students who earn at least six credits through the program with at least a 3.0 grade point average and submit ACT or SAT scores will be automatically admitted to ASU after graduating high school. 

Dusty SuggDusty SuggThe dual credit program was a major factor in ASU posting a record enrollment of 8,521 students for the current fall semester with 1,863 students enrolled in dual-credit courses, compared to just 79 in the old dual credit program last fall. 

Braden and Branham are associate professors of animal science in the ASU Agriculture Department. Sugg is an instructor and the department’s academic outreach coordinator. 

For more information, contact Braden at 325-486-6746, Branham at 325-486-6749 or Sugg at 325-486-6745.