Cal Poly Pomona

P&R Responses for recommendation 11

Recommendation 11
Department Agricultural Science Program
Consensus Opinion 1 out of 1 faculty/staff : Pro
Consensus Explanation Demand/Essentiality strengths note that this unique accredited program contributes significantly to the mission and initiatives of the University. Being the only program of its kind in the southern portion of California, the program provides the state and region with programming few CSU campuses can. The ability to excel in this area has been tempered by the programs devotion to significantly provide its resources to GE and Service. The program has been lauded for the Quality of transfer students and its focus on outcomes assessment. The Efficiency at which the program operates is noted as costing less than the norm. A missing highlight and Strength is how the program sacrificed excelling in its own right to support the overall success of University missions and initiatives during budget crunches of the late 1980s and earlier 1990s. Also not mentioned is how the program was lauded by state accreditation agencies and passed University program reviews.
The only concern for Demand/Essentiality was a decline in enrollment during the period reviewed. Currently, enrollment is increasing. Further analysis shows that current enrollment is above average for the period reported, has increased 40% since Fall of ’03 (the 10 year low), and would have higher enrollment if students were not redirected to other CSU Universities. Students living as close as Orange and Los Angles County were redirected to another CSU because they lived too far away (not because the major was impacted). The nearest Agricultural College offering the same program is either SLO or Fresno.
A concern for program Quality relates to the faculty being less diverse than the student population. There is only one faculty member that reflects one segment of the University’s diverse student body. The current faculty member has extensive background working with diverse populations. The program has a history of hiring lecturers reflecting a gendered balanced perspective.
Another concern raised in the area of Quality relates to a percentage of students with less than a 2.2. The subcommittee report fails to recognize that 60% of the students have a GPA above the University median of 2.6 and that the program has 25% of its students above a 3.5 GPA (fall ’07 data). Additionally, regardless of GPA, our graduates are highly sought after and respected in their ability to perform in the workplace.
The subcommittee failed to recognize a key piece of evidence by stating the program had not been effective in generating external funding. Currently, the program is successful in generating external funding through specialized contracts. This is about $18,000 per year and has been in existence over twenty-five years. Over $180,000 has been generated the last ten years and no other program of its size (or type) obtains this type of funding. Additionally, over $28,000 in external funds has been generated in 2007 in Agriculture Teacher Pipeline and Agriculture Research Initiative grants. These are also monies not considered by the subcommittee. Currently, the program is being considered as a lead collaborator in a $375,000 National FFA grant focused on improving urban agriculture education. External funding and opportunities will cease if the program is discontinued.
Letters addressing subcommittee concerns have been sent to the Steering committee by Chico, Fresno, SLO, and UCD (the only institutions in the state with similar programs). Additional letters have been sent from State Department of Education Officials. The letters clearly state the demand and need for this program. Collectively, California’s has not been able to keep up with the increasing demand. Jobs are going unfilled, planned new positions are not being opened, and some high school programs are having to close or reduce offerings available to students. The suggestion for additional external research and analysis will require additional time and resources.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department Animal & Veterinary Sciences
Consensus Opinion 6 out of 6 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Animal and Veterinary Sciences Department (AVS) unanimously opposes P&R recommendation # 11 suggesting the Agriculture Science (AG Science) program be discontinued / merged for the following reasons:

1. AG Science plays a crucial role in training future AG Science teachers in California. In fact, Cal Poly Pomona’s AG Science program trains over 55% of Southern California’s High School agriculture teachers. No other educational program in this region can replace our community need for future AG teachers. AG Science is only one of four programs in California which produces AG teachers. Hence, this program not only serves the needs of the region, but also the needs of the state, as well, for teachers trained in providing agricultural literacy in K-12.
2. The enrollment data concerning AG Science is over two years old and does not reflect more recent increases in enrollments and modernization of the curriculum. Today’s AG Science program is not the same program that was evaluated 2 years ago by the P&R committee. In addition, 2007 represents the start of a new collaborative effort between AG Science, Mt. SAC and local high school districts to identify and recruit new students to the major so they can quickly flow through an Agriculture Teacher Preparation Pipeline to fill the demand for new AG teachers. The program’s enrollments are not declining, but in fact are increasing in response to community needs.
3. The cost of this program is considerably less than other programs on campus.
Unlike any other major at Cal Poly, this program receives specialized contract funds (separate from the University General Fund) to support these unique AG Ed programs. Since it is a very cost efficient program for the valuable services it provides, a more plausible recommendation would be to enhance funding in order to achieve desired outcomes.
4. This program serves the needs of other agricultural majors in the College of Agriculture. If it were to be discontinued or moved out of the College of AG, it would lose its identity and ability to effectively serve the needs of those students who may be considering a future career in the teaching of agriculture.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department Apparel Merchandising & Management
Consensus Opinion 7 out of 14 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation
The AMM faculty oppose recommendation 11.

There is a critical need for Ag Science teachers to support what is the state’s most important economic sector. It is the only such program serving this region of California. We also believe that some basic agricultural literacy education should form a part of every CPP students program of study. Unlike any other major, this programs receives specialized contract funds separate from the University General Fund.

The program director has instituted initiatives that are revitalizing the program as a result of which enrollment has increased significantly since the committee collected data in 2005.:

We believe that it would make more sense to enhance funding to this vital program.
Minority Opinion 0 out of 14 faculty/staff : Pro
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department Children's Center
Consensus Opinion 4 out of 4 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation We feel that the merging or discontinuing of the Agricultural Science program will limit both the university's ability to vie competitively for outside funding, as well as deprive students of the opportunity to perform research. An additional concern is that quality will be lost to the program.
Minority Opinion 0 out of 4 faculty/staff : Pro
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department College of Agriculture
Consensus Opinion 1 out of 1 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation RECOMMENDATION 11--Agricultural Science--Discontinue or merge with other science-based single subject programs.

CONSENSUS OPINION--Con--I am against the implementation of Recommendation 11. My comments are below in response to individual statements found in the Academic Programs/Phase II Recommendations report.

The program is unique in the region or state--We are one of five four-year agriculture education programs in the state and the only one in southern California. We service approximately 60 high schools, 20 community colleges, and 200 teachers. There is a big demand for high school agriculture teachers and job prospects are excellent for our students.

The program declined in enrollment between 2000 and 2005--Enrollment has not declined, but has remained constant over the last nine years.

The quality of incoming First Time Freshmen is low compared to other programs on campus--Freshmen entering the program meet standard CSU admission criteria. This puts them at above average for all high school students. Until the State of California changes the Master Plan of Higher Education, or the CSU changes admission criteria, this should not be an issue. I feel that many people on campus have forgotten what the mission of the CSU is, to provide access to higher education for the top third of high school graduates. This includes a full spectrum of students, from high achieving to average achieving.

The program has not been effective in generating external funding--The program receives outside funding from the State of California. This program does not service a private, for profit industry. It services public, not-for-profit school districts and high school teachers, neither being a source of high discretionary funding.

The Committee recognizes the program’s significant shortage of full-time faculty and small student population.--The program does not rely on just one faculty member to teach the entire program. This program relies on all departments and faculty within the college to teach the subject matter. This is part of the requirements to gain a Single Subject and Agricultural Specialist Credential from State of California.

It is difficult for a single faculty member to teach, recruit and advise even a relatively small number of students.--The student-to-faculty ratio in this department is one of its strong suits, providing students with very personal one-to-one attention. We have a college recruiter dedicated to the College of Agriculture to help with recruiting.

The Committee supports the need for qualified secondary teachers in this area, however the Committee feels that external data needs to be presented that clearly shows the impact of other similar programs in the state and the overall demand for this area of study.--There is a big demand for high school agriculture teachers in southern California, despite popular belief. Discontinuing this program would impact southern California residents that want to study agriculture education but cannot afford to relocate to another part of the state, in effect discriminating against our lower income residents.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department Department of Human Nutrition and Food Sci
Consensus Opinion 13 out of 13 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Human Nutrition and Food Science Department (HNFS) unanimously opposes the recommendation to discontinue/merge the AG Science program for the following reasons:

First, Ag literacy is a critical component of being a responsible citizen at a time in US history where issues such as air quality, water security and food production could undermine the security of the nation as well as the California economy. Ag literate citizens are needed to make better choices and to support effective public policies. Cal Poly Pomona has recognized as much by creating AG 101 (Agriculture in the Modern World) a General Education course in area D2. Cal Poly Pomona brags about diversity and concern for the environment yet P&R targets the sole opportunity for Cal Poly students to learn of the importance of agriculture and its potential to profoundly better the environment.

Second, the Ag science program has provided a constant supply of Ag high school teachers for California despite significant problems with admission polices that have effectively driven away students seeking an environmental conscious education linked to modern agriculture. A university is responsible to maintain disciplines for education purposes to better meet the continual change in education priorities. Ag science has the opportunity to be the bedrock of education expertise that will be increasingly important to meet the growing environmental challenges. P&R has recommendations will likely diminish the ability of Cal Poly Pomona and the state of California to contribute and respond to emerging environmental problems by discontinuing Ag Science with no justification other than a limited enrollment. Cal Poly Pomona Ag Science is only one of 4 statewide programs. An alternative recommendation with vision would be enhanced An alternative recommendation with vision would be enhanced funding (pending the Ag Science justification) so as to increase the Ag literacy of all Cal Poly Pomona students as well as all people in the Southern California region.

Third, HNFS feels that the recommendation to discontinue the Ag Science program is solely based on small enrollment. Yet, this program attracts external state funds, and provides consistent liaisons with communities throughout Southern California. HNFS believes that Agricultural Science program is effectively meeting most if not all of the six essential goals of Cal Poly Pomona-which are not accurately reflected by P&R criteria and weighting.
Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendation 11
Department Plant Sciences
Consensus Opinion 19 out of 19 faculty/staff : Con
Consensus Explanation The Plant Science Department opposes recommendation #11 to discontinue the Agricultural Science Program or merge the program with other science-based single subject programs.

The College of Agriculture’s commitment and relationship to Future Farmers of America (FFA) high school programs in our region is long standing. Without the efforts of the Agricultural Science Department, we lose our tie to over 12,000 FFA members, 200 high school agriculture teachers and 60 high school agricultural programs in the southern part of the State. This loss includes links to community agricultural programs in the region as well.

Over 70% of the current students enrolled in the Plant Science Program, came to us as a graduate of a high school or college agricultural program. This is where student interest is cultivated and nurtured with instructors encouraging their students to pursue Bachelors degrees. In fact, our graduates frequently return to the classroom to teach.

Discontinuing this program reduces external funding to the University. This program is also funded by the California Department of Education. Merging this with any program in the College of Education would create a loss of focus and accreditation.

This program provides an essential outreach and service function to our local community. Every year the College of Agriculture hosts two agricultural educational field days for over 1,200 high school students. Without the Ag Ed
Programs’ involvement, this would not happen.

It is important to note and understand that this is the only Bachelor’s program in California south of CSU Fresno or Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Many students in our region cannot physically re-locate to these other colleges to attend courses. It would leave all schools in the southern region without a 4-year College of Agriculture Program presence.

The Phase 2 recommendations suggest that demand is being met at these other 2 institutions within the State. The Plant Science Department is keenly aware that this is not the case. In recent years all of California’s institutions have not been able to supply the demand for agricultural teachers. The State currently has 50 openings and last year 3 programs had to be shut down due to lack of graduates. Knowing how much the agricultural industry contributes to this State’s economy, this is a poor time to consider discontinuance or merger of any agricultural program especially this one.

Minority Opinion NA out of NA faculty/staff : NA
Minority Explanation

Recommendations not submitted through the forms are available in this folder. They mainly consist of Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat documents. If none were submitted for this recommendation, the folder will be empty.