Appendix F: Distance Education Program Being Planned

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SUBMIT DATE:05/8/2009 
Constituent Institution:NC A&T University 
CIP Discipline Specialty Title:Agricultural Economics 
CIP Discipline Specialty Number:01.0103 
Exact Title of the Proposed Program:Master of Science in Agricultural Economics 
Exact Degree Abbreviation:MS 
Date of Initiation:08/1/2010 
Will this sequence of courses be completely individual access (e.g., Internet, videocassette)? YES 
If "yes," what will be the mode of delivery?internet 
If "no," list proposed sites. 
If short-based, length of time to complete the prog (e.g., 1 year, 18 mos.): 

SACS/COC substantive change questions (1=Procedure One; 2=Procedure Two)

Site-based (where the instructor is present):

Is the institution initiating instruction where the student may earn more than 25% and less than 50% of credits toward a degree at a site 30 miles or more from the campus? (2) NO 
Is the institution initiating an (additional) off-campus site at which students may earn at least 50% of an educational program? (1) NO 
Is the institution adding significantly different degree programs at a currently approved site? (2) NO 
Distance learning (where instructor and student are geographically separated):
Is the institution offering its first credit courses via technology-based instruction by which students can obtain at least 25% of credits toward a degree program? (2) YES 
Is the institution expanding a previously reported program from less than 50% of credits to 50% or more of a degree program? (2) NO 
Is the institution adding a significantly different program from previously reported programs offered via technology-based instruction? (2) NO 
Does this action constitute a substantive change? If so, by what date should SACS be notified?  
1. Briefly describe the proposed program and intended audience.
The proposed online graduate program in agricultural economics is a cutting edge delivery mode designed to provide advanced stakeholders within North Carolina and the global agricultural/agribusiness industry with a mechanism by which they may obtain training in economic theory, applied economics, and quantitative methods in order to enhance their career and academic aspirations. The intended audience includes agribusiness professionals and stakeholders within corporate, non profit, and governmental settings. While the program will be attractive to in-state students, there is considerable potential for national and global interest in the program. 
2. Describe the proposed instructional delivery systems (e.g., on-site instruction by faculty, interactive video, Internet, etc.).
The primary instructional delivery system will be through the Blackboard Course Management System, an Internet based program. Within each course students will be exposed to a variety of media including audio and video clips, in addition to animated presentations which are designed to cater to the different learning styles of various student clientele  
3. Describe need for the program (referencing results of surveys or special studies).
According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, North Carolina's agricultural industry, including food, fiber and forestry, contributes $71 billion annually to the State's economy, and accounts for 19% of the State's income, and employs over 16% of the work force. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 48,000 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.8 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber.
North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state, ranks first in Christmas tree cash receipts, and ranks second in the production of hogs, turkeys, and trout. The state ranks eighth nationally in farm profits with a net farm income of over $2.8 billion. Net income per farm in the state is over $58,000.

In addition to the aforementioned economic impact of agriculture the UNC Tomorrow Report, commissioned by Erskine Bowles, UNC System President, cited in finding 4.2 that the UNC system should increase access to higher education for all North Carolinians, particularly underserved regions, underrepresented populations, and non-traditional students. According to the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center eighty-five of North Carolina’s one hundred counties are considered rural, a population which is heavily agriculturally dependent and traditionally underserved

A recent informal survey conducted by The Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education at NC A&T State University found that over eighty percent of agribusiness professionals in North Carolina would pursue advanced training in agricultural economics if easily accessible and affordable. Additionally, constant inquiries are received regarding the availability of online pedagogy in agricultural economics. A program such as the proposed one in this document would serve a major need within North Carolina and globally.
4. Projected total annual enrollment:
Year 1:15 
Year 2:25 
Year 3:30 
Year 4:35 
Year 5:40 
his intent to plan a new distance education degree program (or program site) has been reviewed and approved by the appropriate campus committees and authorities.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Contact Name:Kenneth H. Murray 
Contact Title:Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs