News Release Distributed 07/24/14
BATON ROUGE, La. – Two high school agricultural science teachers spent a week at LSU preparing to teach a college-level course. Kelly Becnel and Danielle Newsom will teach Renewable Natural Resources 1001, which is the first course to be offered as part of the LSU College of Agriculture’s dual enrollment program.
Students who take the course will get both high school credit and college credit.
Becnel will teach the course at Walker High School in Livingston Parish, and Newsom, who teaches at Abbeville High School in Vermilion Parish, will teach the course at the LSU AgCenter Vermilion Parish extension office to students from several high schools in the parish.
Becnel and Newsom worked with William Kelso and Reagan Errera from the college’s School of Renewable Natural Resources. Kelso and Errera both teach Renewable Natural Resources 1001 at LSU. Kelso will be the professor of record for the college side of the class, but Becnel and Newsom will give all the instruction in the classroom.
“This class is about the appreciation of how the natural world works,” Kelso said, adding that it’s important to have the students thinking about environmental issues before they enter college.
Newsom said the week-long training was intense but was full of information that will be interesting and relevant to her students.
“I hope they get information they can use not just to promote them to college but to experience what the world is like beyond high school,” Newsom said.
Becnel said she is participating in the program because it will give her students a head start on higher education before they even walk onto campus.
“This information provides us with something we can run with and adapt to our students’ needs but also keep it rigorous enough to prepare them for college,” Becnel said.
Leslie Blanchard, assistant dean in the LSU College of Agriculture, is overseeing the dual enrollment program.
“I feel confident that these teachers have the foundation they need,” Blanchard said. “They mastered the material and are ready to deliver this course with the integrity that we expect.”
Blanchard said this program will expand the reach of the College of Agriculture and will serve as a valuable recruiting tool.
The class will run for one semester. Blanchard said the College of Agriculture is planning to offer another dual enrollment course, Agriculture 1005 – Science and Society, at these schools in spring 2015.