The University of Mount Olive will bring college-level agriculture courses to students at South Johnston High School.
The university recently signed an agreement with the Johnston County Schools. Under the agreement, South Johnston juniors and seniors will be able to take college classes. The courses will be free to students in South Johnston’s Agricultural Academy if they maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or higher. The courses, some on the South Johnston campus and some online, can lead to an associate’s degree in agriculture.
After high school, students will need just one more semester of university courses to obtain that associate’s degree, said Dr. Sandy Maddox, director of the Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center at the University of Mount Olive. With that associate’s degree, students enrolling at Mount Olive will need just two more years of coursework to earn a bachelor’s degree in either agriculture education or agricultural production systems, Maddox said.
The partnership is set to begin at the start of the spring 2016 semester.
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“We are trying to meet the ever increasing need for an educated workforce in the fields of agriculture education and agribusiness,” Maddox said. “By creating innovative partnerships such as the Agricultural Academy ... we are positioning our students and our educational institutions to better meet this need.”
Ed Croom is superintendent of Johnston County Schools. “This is a great day for Johnston County and our students who have an interest in agricultural education,” he said. “My vision is to spread this program throughout Johnston County so that every student can take part in this program.”