The Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas and Arkansas State University have signed a memorandum of understanding to form a partnership to help fill an industry need for more graduates in poultry science.
The dual transfer bachelor’s degree 3-plus-1 course curriculum is for animal science majors in A-State’s College of Agriculture and Technology and Bumpers College’s Department of Poultry Science. A-State students will take poultry science classes as seniors in Fayetteville, earning bachelor’s degrees in animal science from A-State and in poultry science from the U of A. A course guide contains course curriculum requirements for all four years with the first three years at A-State and a minimum of 30 hours in poultry science in the final year at the U of A.
Ozark Mountain Poultry and Peco Foods have established scholarships to support the 3-plus-1 program. The Ozark Mountain Poultry Transfer Scholarship and the Peco Foods Transfer Scholarship provide financial support for Arkansas State University students seeking animal science and U of A poultry science dual transfer degrees. Recipients will be selected by the U of A and chosen from a field of rising A-State seniors enrolled in a minimum of 15 hours at the U of A.
The memorandum of understanding was finalized on Feb. 15. Both universities will review the agreement every three years and make necessary revisions. The agreement was signed by U of A Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jim Coleman, Robertson and Kidd.
"With only six remaining universities offering bachelor’s degrees in poultry science in the U.S., we must do everything possible to recruit students into our program so the Arkansas poultry industry has a pipeline of future leaders,” said Mike Kidd, head of Bumpers College’s Department of Poultry Science and director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. “This agreement is a testament to the joint collaborative efforts that created a program to support our largest agricultural commodity—the Arkansas poultry industry and its family farmers.”
Students must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 or a 3.0 over their last 30 hours at A-State. The curriculum includes an eight-semester degree proposal at Arkansas State and a two-semester senior year proposal for the U of A.
Bumpers College provides academic advising, scholarship opportunities and faculty mentoring, advises students about internship opportunities in the poultry industry, and sends representatives to visit A-State each fall and spring semester to help recruit students into the program.
“The poultry industry is very important to the agricultural community in Arkansas and beyond, and this program meets an industry need,” said Bumpers College Interim Dean Lona Robertson. “We are pleased to work with ASU and its students. When they complete the 3-plus-1 POSC program, they will be prepared to assume important positions in this industry.”
In 2013, Bumpers College and the Department of Poultry Science signed a similar 3-plus-1 memorandum of understanding with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Students earn bachelor’s degrees in agriculture from UAPB’s School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences while earning a Poultry Science Undergraduate Certificate of Excellence from the U of A.