COLLEGE STATION Students can now earn a master of agriculture from Texas A&M University through an interdisciplinary program that uses the Internet as the primary source of educational materials and communication with faculty.
“More people demand anytime, anywhere programs, so we are shifting to the Internet,” explained Kim Dooley, assistant professor of agricultural education at Texas A&M.
Dooley is one of the nine faculty members involved with the distance education program. She said distance education is beneficial to students who work in other cities and cannot attend classes or meetings in College Station.
The goal of this non-thesis program is to prepare individuals for leadership roles in agriculture and life science. Students choose an area of study and receive computer-mediated instruction as they complete the 36 hours of required work in their courses. Programs are available in the areas of agricultural education, natural resources and plant sciences.
The program emphasizes problem-solving skills and practical applications of academic work through internships and experiences organized by a master’s committee.
A master of agriculture can be earned through the distance education program without a significant change in cost. Some fees are waived, such as the Recreation Center fee, then replaced with a distance education fee.
Graduate students and student workers help make the information accessible on the Internet and through video conferencing.
“It takes a lot of time and skill to convert the information to the Internet,” Dooley said.
As the demand for convenient course materials increases, more and more information and communication is provided on the Internet, allowing students to do much of the required work from their own homes.