Lethbridge College is launching a Bachelor of Agriculture Science degree program, starting in September 2021, which will offer opportunities for career development, a path to further education, and hands-on research opportunities, while focusing on the science of agriculture.
The new, flexible program ladders out of the current Agriculture Sciences diploma program. The program is the only of its kind in southern Alberta and is comparable to the Bachelor of Science degree programs offered at the University of Alberta and University of Saskatchewan, says the college.
The new program is recognized by the Alberta Institute of Agrologists, meaning students will be able to apply to the Professional Agrologist designation following graduation. The program also prepares students to pursue further MSc and PhD training.
Dr. Paula Burns, Lethbridge College president and CEO, says when developing new programs, the needs of industry are at the forefront, and the Bachelor of Agriculture Science program will support the entire agriculture sector.
“By focusing on the science of agriculture, this program supports sustainable, innovative, and responsible agriculture and appeals to students from a wide variety of backgrounds who want to make a difference in feeding the world,” Burns says.
Students in the two-year diploma program have a common first-year curriculum, before choosing to major in Agriculture Business, Agronomy, or Animal Science in the second year. Students may then choose to earn an additional diploma with just one extra year of study, or they may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Agriculture Science degree with two more years of study.
In addition to theory and classroom-based learning opportunities, Agriculture Science students in both the diploma and degree programs have many applied learning opportunities as well, including working with the college-managed Alberta Irrigation Technology Centre and research collaborations with Farming Smarter.