Dr. Christopher Stripling, UT’s ALEC Department Head, congratulates Samuel Monarch on his assistantship.

TIFTON, Ga. — Agricultural Education and Agricultural Communication bachelor’s degree graduates of Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College can get a head start on their master’s degree through a new agreement between ABAC and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UT).

“This agreement makes it possible for ABAC Agricultural Education and Communication majors to receive six hours of graduate credit through the completion of selected courses while attending ABAC and a proficiency exam upon initial admission to UT,” Dr. Andrew Thoron, associate professor and department head for Agricultural Education and Communication at ABAC, said.  

Thoron said the Stallion-Volunteer Accelerated Agreement between the two institutions represents a collaboration between UT’s Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications (ALEC) and ABAC’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC).

“This agreement is modeled after the Stallion-Racer Accelerated Agreement between ABAC’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the Hudson School of Agriculture at Murray State University,” Thoron said.  “The key difference is that the Stallion-Volunteer agreement is focused between departments and limited to those majors.” 

Dr. Christopher Stripling, UT’s ALEC department head, was a key figure in the construction of the agreement.

“We would like to go one step further and provide an assistantship for an ABAC graduate,” Stripling, an ABAC alumnus, said.

Stripling said Samuel Monarch, an ABAC Agricultural Communication graduate from Orlando, Fla., will take advantage of the first assistantship beginning Jan. 17.  Monarch graduated from ABAC in December.

“I believe this is a win-win for the AEC and ALEC faculty to have research collaborators and a win for our students as mentorship with our faculty will extend beyond their time as undergraduates,” Thoron said. “Universities are taking notice of ABAC students because of our presence at national events and because our students are getting hands-on mentored research experience at ABAC as undergraduates.”

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