Ag News

Georgia agricultural education expands into elementary schools

The Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) is developing elementary Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) courses that will allow students to explore agricultural career interests and opportunities in the early grades.

The courses will provide early exposure to careers and will be developmentally appropriate for elementary students. The program will build on the success of Georgia's existing career clusters and pathways. The new program will complement the existing agricultural education courses in the early grades and expand opportunities and reinforce foundational skills outside the core content areas.

The program has been offered through a pilot program in 20 schools across the state since the 2019/2020 school year. The Georgia General Assembly authorized the expansion with legislation during its 2022 session.

GaDOE will work with business and industry, educators, and CTAE subject matter experts to develop the courses. Local school districts will be able to pilot the majority of the elementary CTAE courses as early as fall 2023.

“Our mission in Georgia is to prepare students for life," State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “These elementary Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education courses will build into our middle- and high-school CTAE opportunities and give students the chance to learn about the many options they have for a successful future."

The courses will ultimately be available in all of Georgia's existing career clusters. They can serve as both a springboard to assist with elementary STEM/STEAM instruction and certification, and as preparation for middle- and high-school CTAE programs.

Georgia is leading the nation in providing Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education courses in the early grades. The new courses will allow students to explore future opportunities throughout their K-12 education – keeping a clear focus on every student's passion and potential.