Using a multiphase research approach, the Agribusiness Department at Cal Poly San Obispo designed a new curriculum to serve agribusiness in a global environment. First the authors conducted secondary research to examine industry needs, existing programs, and agribusiness education theories. Then primary research was conducted to identify the types of skills and courses needed by employees of California agribusinesses. The skills found most desirable are already addressed in the core curriculum of the agribusiness majors; therefore, research focused on developing the international concentration. In a joint discussion group, agribusiness executives and agribusiness faculty separately ranked courses to be included in an international agribusiness curriculum. The executives and faculty generally concurred as to the important topics to be included. Likewise, they generally agreed on the lowest-ranking ten topic areas. Neither group saw country-specific topics or narrowly focused courses such as law or taxation, as sufficiently important to require inclusion. The program design for the International Agribusiness concentration includes the 13 topics top-ranked by faculty and 11 of the 14 topics top-ranked by industry in its six required courses. The new concentration incorporates existing courses university-wide, and new and existing courses from within the Agribusiness Department.



curriculum development, marketplace

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