Michigan State University’s Institute of Agricultural Technology (IAT) in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has partnered with SMC in a unique way to help students earn an MSU certificate while also working towards an associate degree. Students take at least 21 credits from SMC which are recognized by MSU toward completion of a certificate, thus significantly lowering the overall program cost to students.
Students in these practical, hands-on programs take classes taught by MSU faculty using campus resources including MSU labs, greenhouses and farms. A requirement of all programs is an industry related professional internship. This gives students an opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and to make employer connections.
At the CANR, students are learning to use principles of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business and creative design in tackling some of the world’s big problems related to food, energy and the environment.
To learn more about the Michigan State University/Southwestern Michigan College partnership or for more information about any of the certificates, visit the IAT website.
Michigan high school students who have completed the state-approved Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education Program in their schools and have received the State FFA degree may receive six MSU college credits toward the completion of a MSU certificate. More information can be found on MSU's website.
The Agricultural Operations program allows students to customize their educational program to fit their own personal career goals. This program has two main areas of study—agronomy and agribusiness. The combination of technical and agribusiness skills prepares graduates for a variety of related career fields.
Students will take courses in plant pathology, soil and crop science, entomology, irrigation and water resource protection. The may also take courses in crop scouting, agriculture regulations and compliance and using GPS and GIS technology in the field.
Employment in agriculture is expected to grow 14-20% in the next five years. Southwest Michigan’s diversity lends itself especially well to employment and career growth for students who have training and educational preparation.
Graduates work as field crop scouts, consultants and technicians.
A number of scholarships are available for returning agricultural operations students through MSU's Department of Plant, Science and Microbial Sciences. Browse possible scholarships online.
Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management
The Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management certificate prepares students to work in orchard and vegetable production settings along with other allied horticultural positions in consulting and sales. Students study soil science, irrigation, pruning methods, entomology and plant pathology along with regulations compliance and safety. Elective courses in tree fruits, small fruits and vegetable production along with greenhouse or organic farm management complete the certificate program.
Job opportunities in the area include working in orchards, greenhouses and vegetable farms as supervisors and assistant growers or as scouts or sales representatives for agricultural supply and management companies.
A number of MSU and external scholarships are available for returning students. Browse possible scholarships online.
Students can combine their MSU certificate with SMC courses to earn an SMC associate degree in Agricultural Technology that transfers completely to Michigan State University as well as to other Michigan universities. Plus, SMC Ag Technology students who complete the MSU certificate receive preferential admittance to Michigan State University.
Students must apply to SMC and MSU's Institute of Agricultural Technology. Click here for application instructions for MSU's IAT.
The MSU/SMC partnership makes earning a MSU certificate more affordable, as students are able to take SMC courses—and pay SMC's low tuition rate—for a portion of the program. On top of this, scholarships and financial aid are also available.
- SMC awards ten $2,500 scholarships each year to students who have been involved in FFA or an agricultural program through the Edward A. Guse Agricultural Scholarship.
- The Kuehnle Scholarship is awarded to two students each year. Students must major in Agricultural Operations or Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management and must live in Allegan, Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Van Buren or Kalamazoo counties or have a previous work record on an agricultural farm.
- The George Wuszke Memorial Agricultural Scholarship awards $1,000 to two qualified students in an MSU IAT program at SMC. Click the link to view additional scholarship criteria.
- MSU scholarships are also available. Click the certificate you are interested in above for links to scholarships for each program.