Agribusiness programme opens the door to many career options

A new NCEA achievement standards programme in Agribusiness is aimed at students interested in emerging careers in science, technology and business.

The curriculum has been created by St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, in partnership with 10 other schools around the country, and is available for all New Zealand schools to use. St Paul’s Deputy Principal and Programme Director Peter Hampton says it is flexible and has applications beyond agriculture.

“The programme can be applied to any career pathway sector from fishing to tourism, to help students know all about the field they’re entering. So it can be used by central North Island schools in forestry areas, for example, or students in Nelson could take standards on fishing or aquaculture.

“The main focus is jobs and careers, and that’s the bottom line. There is a multitude of resources available freely for teachers, wherever their school is located. It’s not just academic content, it also includes stories, and pathways and careers information.”

Over 100 schools are now teaching Agribusiness or assessing some of the standards at NCEA Level 2 or 3 or both. The target is 200 by 2021.

The Agribusiness programme won the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Leading Change last year, and was recently a finalist for an international award that highlights exceptional initiatives by schools around the globe.

Tailored options

Individual elements of the programme can be used on their own, chosen from any of the seven new standards that have been added to the Business Studies domain.

For example, accounting students could be assessed using standard 91868 (Level 2) Demonstrate understanding of cash flow forecasting for, say, a crayfishing business. For science students, standard 91866 (Level 2) Conduct an inquiry into the use of organisms to meet future needs, could be an option.

Feilding High School has many agriculture-based subjects and is using standard 91865, requiring an understanding of future proofing, for its Level 2 curriculum. Teacher in charge Kate Redpath says it encourages students to think about future challenges so that New Zealand can stay ahead of the game.

As yet, there are no external NCEA examinations specifically for Agribusiness, and the standards need to be combined with standards from other domains such as Biology or Business Studies, to make up a full programme of, say, 18 credits.

Standards at Level 3 can be used with Business Studies standards to gain University Entrance.

Read the full article on the Education Gazette website

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