Western Illinois University’s School of Agriculture is offering dual enrollment to high school juniors and seniors. Joy Boruff, president and CEO of the Moline Foundation, says they’re donating the money to make it happen as a community investment.
There’s no provision that you have to major in agriculture,” Boruff says. “We just want to plant the seed of knowledge and have people recognize that agriculture is the number-one career field in Iowa and the number-one career field in Illinois.” Boruff says the region’s employers need help finding employees with the right education and skills.
“We would be remiss if we aren’t giving our local students that opportunity to explore this exciting future,” Boruff says. Andy Baker, director of the university’s School of Agriculture, says they’ve hired Professor Al Zwiling to teach four different courses over two years on the Quad Cities campus. The classes will specifically target the high schoolers.
“If they take this course their senior year, they can become a freshman here at the Quad Cities campus and stay at home or reside at home and still be able to take the next year’s rotation,” Baker says. “After their freshman year, they would probably need to matriculate down to the Macomb campus to explore their full major in agriculture.”
Western Illinois plans to start the agriculture dual enrollment program by offering horticulture next fall and animal science in the spring.
(Thanks to Michelle O’Neill, WVIK, Rock Island)