SCC receives nearly $500,000 grant for advanced agriculture technology program

South Central College is awarded a new grant to help expand its agriculture program.
Updated: Jun. 18, 2020 at 2:42 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - South Central College is awarded a new grant to help expand its agriculture program.

The funds totaling nearly $500,000 comes from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and will be used to implement an advanced agriculture technology certificate program, consisting of 16 credits.

“Our mechatronics program has been very successful and of course our ag program that’s successful as well, and it’s going to combine those two disciplines and answer a call that’s out there for this ever changing world of technology that’s growing in all different areas,” said Doug Laven, mechatronics instructor at SCC.

Plans are set to get students involved at early ages.

“Partnering with our K-12 schools will allow the curriculum to be integrated into the high school level, that’s going to help strengthen that pipeline of students entering this education and career path,” said Laven.

SCC is prepared for distance learning in the program through trainers designed with funds from a previous grant.

“Many of our courses we have these trainers that student can take home, I can interact with them from my office, it really kind of proved itself and we’ll have similar trainers for these ag kids,” said Laven.

Students can begin enrolling in AAT courses for this fall semester. The college plans to have the full AAT certificate program available for the 2021 spring semester starting in January.

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