KCC and MSU expand agriculture program to include new Agricultural Science associate degree, Food Processing Certificate

Agricultural Operations student Ben Geibig.

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Kellogg Community College and Michigan State University have expanded the institutions’ Agricultural Operations Program to offer students a brand new KCC associate degree program and two certificates from MSU.

The institutions’ new Agricultural Science Program includes options for students to earn their Associate in Agricultural Science degree at KCC and either an Agricultural Operations Certificate or a Food Processing, Technology and Safety Certificate from MSU at the same time, with all coursework completed entirely at KCC.

(The Food Processing, Technology and Safety Program is pending final approval by the Higher Learning Commission.)

Agricultural Science Program Coordinator Kaite Fraser said Agricultural Science students are KCC and MSU students and have full access to support services at both institutions. Program studies encompass a variety of disciplines within the agricultural industry, including farm, water, weed and resource management; soil science and plant pathology; regulation, safety and compliance issues; and technology, including the use of drones for farm and facilities management.

Each program path also requires a 480-hour internship completed during the summer semester, where the students gain valuable hands-on experience in the field or in the agribusiness industry.

“The agricultural industry is incredibly broad,” Fraser said. “The expanded Agricultural Science program is designed to meet the needs of the industry and prospective students, filling necessary jobs in the agricultural field and preparing graduates for successful careers doing jobs they love.”

The application deadline for students who want to enroll in one of KCC’s Agricultural Science programs and begin their studies this fall is Friday, Aug. 9. Entrance to the program requires applying to KCC and the MSU Institute of Agricultural Technology, applications for which are available on KCC’s website at www.kellogg.edu/agriculture.

KCC launched its original Agricultural Operations Program in partnership with Michigan State University in the Fall 2017 semester, initially offering students the opportunity to earn an Associate in General Studies degree at KCC while simultaneously earning an Agricultural Operations Certificate through MSU. The first eight graduates of that program walked at MSU’s commencement ceremony this spring.

“KCC is so proud of our first agricultural program graduates, who were trailblazers in a new field of study at KCC,” Fraser said. “We’re looking forward to watching as they apply what they learned to become leaders in agriculture in our area and beyond.”

For more information about the KCC’s Agricultural Science Program, contact Program Coordinator Kaite Fraser at 269-565-2092 or kfraser@msu.edu.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at http://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.

Michigan researchers receive $5M grant to study impact of state’s third grade reading law

Published: July 12, 2019

When Michigan’s long-anticipated Read by Grade Three law goes fully into effect next school year, researchers will be watching closely to evaluate how it goes and recommend changes along the way.

Published: July 12, 2019

Contacts – Katharine StrunkJoshua CowenNicole GearyKim Ward

When Michigan’s long-anticipated Read by Grade Three law goes fully into effect next school year, researchers will be watching closely to evaluate how it goes and recommend changes along the way.

With a five-year, nearly $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the Michigan Education Research Institute (MERI) will study how the reform is being implemented and how it affects students—particularly third graders who will be held back based on reading proficiency.

MERI is a partnership between Michigan State University, University of Michigan, the Michigan Department of Education and the state’s Center for Educational Performance and Information.

“This law will impact students and educators in every single school and district across the state. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to study how it is being implemented and the ways in which it is affecting educators and learners in Michigan,” said Katharine Strunk, a principal investigator on the project, Clifford E. Erickson Professor of Education Policy and faculty co-director of MSU’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC).

“We are particularly excited because this grant not only enables us to continue to provide research to help inform education policy and practice, but also because it highlights the important role that the MERI partnership can play in helping to improve education outcomes in Michigan.”

The Read by Grade 3 (RBG3) law was passed in 2016 to address troubling early literacy patterns for children, including disproportionately low proficiency rates for economically disadvantaged students and students of color.

The controversial requirement to retain and provide extra support for students who are more than a grade level behind based on reading scores has received the greatest attention. Third graders during the 2019-20 year will be the first affected.

However, the legislation also put into place mandates to improve literacy instruction and achievement for all students in kindergarten through third grade. This includes literacy coaches hired by intermediate school districts; training for teachers; and other learning resources such as free online modules about Michigan’s Literacy Essentials.

By partnering closely with educators throughout the state and state policymakers, researchers will be able to study all aspects of implementation and make recommendations for improvement based on initial results and annual data.

“This valuable research will help evaluate the influence this law was intended to have, both in providing reading supports to our students, and the impact these supports and retention have on student reading achievement,” said Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles. “For Michigan to become a Top 10 education state, we need to improve student achievement and literacy skills. Giving our educators the right tools to reach that goal is essential.”

Michigan is one of 16 states to pass legislation that retains students who fail to read at grade level, but no other state has embarked on research as comprehensive, or collaborative, as what the MERI team plans.

The team will study how the law affects students retained after third grade, as well as students who move to fourth grade but are identified to receive additional support, assessing how their reading scores change and whether they change schools.

How schools and districts across the state implement provisions of the law, including the ability to request waivers, will also be closely monitored.

Along with surveys of teachers and administrators, the team plans to conduct classroom observations to better understand changes in literacy practices used by K-3 teachers. The researchers expect their analysis to draw from new sources of data, including the collection of regular literacy assessments that are required within schools starting in kindergarten but never before shared at the state level.

“This project will not only allow policymakers to understand the statewide impact of the new legislation on key student outcomes, but also provide practitioners with information that can help them adjust student supports and classroom practices,” said Brian Jacob, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy at the University of Michigan Ford School of Public Policy and a co-principal investigator for the project.

MSU researchers Joshua Cowen, professor of education and faculty co-director of EPIC, and Tanya Wright, associate professor of language and literacy, are also serving as co-principal investigators on the project. Also collaborating from MSU are Eric Scorsone, associate professor and director of the MSU Extension Center for Local Government Finance and Policy, and Madeline Mavrogordato, associate professor of K-12 educational administration.

Additional co-principal investigators include Susan Dynarski, professor of public policy, education and economics at UM, Venessa Keesler, deputy superintendent of the Michigan Department of Education, and Thomas Howell, executive director of the Michigan Center for Educational Performance and Information.

The project is 99% funded by IES with a grant of $4,999,656.


Source: Michigan researchers receive $5M grant to study impact of state’s third grade reading law

Jewish Community hosts Solidarity Action against ICE in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

This morning, about 50 people gathered at Calder Plaza for an action organized by members of the local Jewish community, an action that was done in solidarity with the immigrant community that has been living in fear because of ICE violence.

Like the actions that have taken place in New Jersey, Boston and all across the country, this action was a Never Again Is Now action.

The group walked from Calder Plaza to the ICE office located at 517 Ottawa NW in Grand Rapids, just north of the 196 overpass. This is one of many offices that ICE has in Kent County and the one that the action took place today is a local where ICE sometimes brings detainees when they are being transported to and from detention facilities.

The members of the local Jewish community who organized the action, were handing out information, part of which had the…

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