Learning Outcomes: Agricultural Communications, BS

Learning outcomes for the degree of Bachelor of Science Major in Agricultural Communications


The faculty identified three major categories of student learning outcomes that entail awareness, understanding, and application of the following: (A) food and environmental systems, (B) the role, nature, and context of agricultural journalism and communications, and (C) practices and skills in agricultural journalism and communications. 

A1: Awareness, understanding, and application of knowledge about food and environmental systems (achieved through courses required in the mandatory Food and Environmental Systems minor) 

  1. Contemporary issues in the human, food, and natural resource systems  
  2. Introduction to the fundamentals of modern crop, livestock and other agricultural production systems, including future challenges and opportunities for addressing world food needs 
  3. Critical systems thinking and collaborative analysis across multiple disciplines involved in the food, feed, fiber, renewable energy, and rural complex 
  4. Evolution of the food system and overview of food in relation to nutrition, health, safety, processing, regulations, and other dimensions 
  5. Introduction to the environmental sciences and current environmental issues in relation to population growth, world food supplies, agriculture, water use, conservation, climate change, and other aspects 
  6. Relationships between humans and the natural systems that contain our air, water, energy, and biotic and food sources.  

B1: Awareness, understanding, and application of knowledge about the role, nature, and context of agricultural journalism and communications (achieved through Agricultural Communications courses) 

  1. Scope, scale, mission/role, and impacts of communications within agriculture, including the rural-urban dimensions of it, locally to internationally 
  2. History and development of agricultural information systems and services in the U.S. and beyond 
  3. Current agricultural communications systems and services in the U.S., including those involving new and emerging media 
  4. Availability and sources of agricultural communications research, including current types of research issues being addressed in various sectors of this field 
  5. Concept of information flow and knowledge management for decision making that involves agriculture, broadly defined 
  6. Audiences/publics for agricultural journalism and communications within the food complex and beyond 
  7. Theories and conceptual foundations for agricultural journalism and communications 
  8. Trends, forces for change, and opportunities in agricultural journalism and communications, including fronts for innovation 
  9. Contemporary issues in agricultural journalism and communications in the U.S. and beyond 
  10. International and intercultural dimensions of communications in agricultural/rural development and sustainability, including elements of intercultural sensitivity 
  11. Legal and ethical issues in agricultural journalism and communications 
  12. Role of the agricultural communicator, including emphasis on the concepts of joint problem solving and the honest broker perspective. Also, current and emerging fields of professional activity in agricultural communications, broadly defined. 

B2: Awareness, understanding, and application of knowledge about the role, nature, and context of agricultural journalism and communications (achieved through College of Media courses) 

  1. Conceptual frameworks for creating multimedia journalism content 
  2. Theories of freedom of expression, the legal doctrines of greatest concern to mass communicators, and contemporary issues related to free speech and press, including libel, copyright, and news gathering in the digital age  
  3. Introduction to the profession of advertising 
  4. How advertising and journalism relate to society in cultural, social, ethical, and regulatory contexts 
  5. Theories of persuasion, advertising, and marketing  

C1: Awareness, understanding, and application of practices and skills in agricultural journalism and communications (achieved through Agricultural Communications courses)  

  1. Writing and editing in varied settings and for varied purposes, including science writing related to the dimensions of agriculture 
  2. Coverage and reporting of news, features, and research related to agriculture in print, broadcast, and online media, including risk and crisis communications 
  3. Communication materials related to agriculture—planning and management, editing, design, layout, production, distribution, and evaluation in print and electronic formats 
  4. Media analysis and selection in settings related to agriculture, encompassing all means by which humans interact and including all channels and media, earliest to newest 
  5. Communications planning and management in non-commercial settings (such as Extension and social marketing) related to agriculture 
  6. Marketing communications related to agriculture— settings, roles, principles, and skills in advertising, promotion, public relations, and sales 
  7. Visual communications (photography, graphic design, videography) related to agriculture —skills in planning, selection, composition, digital editing, and design 
  8. Production and presentation of programming in agriculture-related radio and television broadcasting, and other audio/video channels 
  9. Use of current information and communications technologies (ICT) and software being employed in relation to the varied dimensions of agriculture 

C2: Awareness, understanding, and application of practices and skills in agricultural journalism and communications (achieved through College of Media courses) 

  1. Introductory journalism reporting and writing across print, broadcast, and digital platforms 
  2. Fundamentals of digital photography, video, audio, and multimedia production as applied in journalism.  
  3. Introductory practices in advertising and integrated promotion—account planning, creatives, audience analysis, consumer behavior, sales promotion, media research, and interactive advertising 
  4. Research methods in advertising, including qualitative and quantitative techniques commonly used in the advertising industry 
  5. Insights about consumer knowledge, interests, attitudes, and decision making 
  6. Developing and applying brand strategies using theories of advertising and marketing, as well as techniques for persuasive presentation