Have you been looking for a way to reignite your passion for teaching agriculture? Do you feel you have exhausted all professional development opportunities within your district and state? Are you ready to take your agriculture program to the next level? Perhaps it's time to consider attending a CASE Institute.
Nine hundred and sixteen agriculture teachers in 38 states have discovered the positive impact CASE Institutes can have on their agriculture programs. CASE offers intense professional development opportunities designed to enhance educators' skills. Each institute consists of a two-week program that delivers 65 to 90 hours of teacher professional development.
For Lonnie Koepke, agriculture teacher in Broken Bow, Neb., CASE training has allowed him to expand his knowledge of agriculture far beyond the walls of his classroom. Koepke offers CASE through distance education to five other schools in Nebraska. His CASE course offerings include Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Principles of Agricultural Science -- Animal, and Principles of Agricultural Science -- Plant.
"Through distance education I am able to offer CASE to students who either do not have an agriculture program at their school or their schedule will not allow them to take an agriculture class," said Koepke.
By using a video camera, microphone and television, Koepke's distance education students are able to participate in the CASE course as if they are in the classroom with Koepke. He also uses a document camera and microscope with an attached camera to let distance students see the same things as the students who are on-site with him.
"CASE has allowed distance learning to be exciting for students because it is hands-on learning, not just a PowerPoint," said Koepke.
Koepke begins each CASE course by sending his distance education students the supplies necessary to complete their labs, minus standard lab equipment (i.e. beakers, microscopes, graduated cylinders). Each week, he sends his students a reminder list with the equipment needed for each week's labs. The distance education students are also provided a proctor or paraeducator for on-site assistance during class.
During his CASE courses, Koepke's distance education students are required to turn in their assignments using the provided document camera so Koepke can evaluate their work and give them immediate feedback. Normally, the distance education class begins a few minutes earlier than Koepke's on-site class, which allows him to give the distance education students an overview of the class and laboratory expectations and to answer any questions that those students may have before the on-site class begins.
Through the use of technology and thanks to the rigor of CASE, Koepke has taken his agricultural education program beyond the walls of his regular classroom. He is able to impact the lives of students across Nebraska who otherwise would not have the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills available through CASE.
Where will CASE take you?
Check out some more comments from agriculture teachers about their experiences with CASE:
'I would recommend CASE to any agriculture instructor. It was well worth the money and my time. My students will be more prepared for college because of this class and the feedback I have received from parents on this course has been very positive."
Cristen Black, Agriculture Teacher
Rawlins County Jr/Sr High School, Kansas
"I am more organized; my classroom is more effectively structured; students have less "down-time;" classroom engagement has improved...among other things."
Jeremy Greene, Agriculture Teacher
Jefferson High School, West Virginia
"My students love the CASE model. They are challenged by the course material and thrive in the activities and projects. My planning time has been greatly reduced, so I can focus on mastering content with my students, and outside of school I can focus on my family."
Sherisa Nailor, Agriculture Teacher
Big Spring High School, Pennsylvania
For more information about CASE Institutes, click here.
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