Apr 13, 2021  
2020-2021 Catalog 
2020-2021 Catalog

Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security, AAS-T

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Program Description

The Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security Associate of Applied Science-Transfer (AAS-T) Degree provides a theoretical foundation in urban and small farm agriculture through the study of environmental sustainability principles, ecology in agricultural systems, and plant and soil sciences. There are also specialized foci in sustainable agriculture production and entrepreneurship and food security analyses. Students explore career options and apply knowledge, skills, and techniques through internship and practicum experience.

An Associate in Applied Science Transfer (AAS-T) Degree is awarded upon completion of the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security curriculum and related General Education coursework. This degree requires a minimum of 90 credits and a 2.0 grade point average (GPA) overall and in the technical courses. Entry into a baccalaureate program at a four-year college or university will generally require a higher GPA for admission. Students who intend to transfer should communicate with a four-year college or university advisor to review specific admission requirements. This degree is intended to transfer into the following programs: Washington State University, Bachelor of Science in Agricultural & Food Systems, Organic & Sustainable Agriculture major (in western Washington at the WSU-Everett campus and in eastern Washington at the WSU-Pullman campus).

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Security program will be able to:

  • Describe the ecological principles that support agroecosystems at different geographic and economic scales, including the significance of plant diversity and soil properties and processes to terrestrial ecosystems and human societies.
  • Select and grow bioregionally appropriate vegetable, bush, and tree crops according to their site-specific growth and cultural requirements within polycultural intercropping, succession planting, crop rotation, and season extension systems.
  • Apply agroecological and permaculture design practices to sustainable agriculture systems and food security challenges to then develop and implement whole farm management and business plans from greenhouse seeds to local direct market sales.
  • Discuss how the emergence, growth, and practice of urban and small farm agriculture affect the sustainability of local and global food systems, and how those systems, in turn, relate to associated fields in natural resource management and environmental science and conservation.
  • Demonstrate a synthesis of existing and new knowledge and skills and the ability to work as part of a team and independently within a sustainable agriculture internship, practicum, or research work environment.

As well as:

  • Discuss the interrelationship between people and their food supply with broad coverage of food products, food technology methods, and food safety issues; evaluate the effect of agricultural practices on the environment, human health and the economy.
  • Explain and demonstrate the biological, chemical and physical conditions necessary for organic plant growth and reproduction, and discuss/demonstrate how these conditions are maintained to enhance food production.
  • Identify and implement environmentally and economically sustainable methods for pest, weed and disease management for common Western Washington crops.
  • Communicate fundamental information about the practices and benefits of sustainable, organic agricultural principles and practices for food production as well as stewardship and community building.
  • Practice assessing the feasibility of developing a small acreage farming enterprise, including how to: evaluate personal and family/collaborative goals, evaluate land and personal resources, develop a plan, and research marketing, regulations, and community resources.
  • Develop a foundation to continue studies in agriculture, entrepreneurial gardening/farming, or other related fields.
  • Create a crop plan that is appropriate for the northwest region.


Important Notes

  • This degree is intended to transfer to a 4-year institution.
  • Coursework is highly interactive and includes field-based learning and an internship.
  • This information does not substitute for meeting with a faculty adviser.
  • Students must achieve a cumulative 2.0 GPA to attain an AAS degree. 
  • Certificate and AAS degree programs emphasize preparation in specific job skills required for entry-level employment.
  • Not all courses are offered every quarter or at night.

Specific Requirements

Total Program Credits: 97 credits

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