Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA)

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA)

Preparing Underrepresented Students for Careers in Agriculture through Curriculum Development, Program Enhancement and Innovative Experiential Learning

Project Overview/Summary

This is a USDA-NIFA funded program that brings together two Universities (Stanislaus State and CSU Fresno) and a Junior College (Modesto Junior College). This joint project will strengthen the agriculture program at California State University Stanislaus through curriculum development and address the shortage of underrepresented students in the food and agricultural industry.  The project focus is on employing innovative research experiential learning programs to develop critical thinking, scientific enquiry and transitional skills in students from the three partnering institutions. 

Overall, the project will impact a minimum of 1000 participants (students and teachers) from California Central Valley who will participate in several events offered. The project will also provide opportunities for individuals and families to increase their knowledge, using the educational materials and information developed from the project.

Project Objectives

1) Develop the agricultural program at Stanislaus State by integrating scientific and research experiences into the curriculum
2) Develop at least 3 new courses in critical areas of agriculture based on cutting edge instructional delivery technologies
3) Establish a 2+2+2 pipeline between high schools, community colleges and Stanislaus State, to better prepare underrepresented minorities for careers in agricultural sciences
4) Prepare at least 144 underrepresented students in California Central Valley for productive careers in the food and agricultural industry, using innovative research and field based experiential learning programs

a) First, this project offers an intensive annual 2-week Leadership Experiences in Agricultural Development & Sciences (LEADS) program, with interactive, integrated, field and laboratory activities for students (Read article featuring 2018 LEADS camp)
b) Second, this project offers a Student Targeted Agricultural Research (STAR) program that will engage sophomores and juniors from community colleges and undergraduates from Stanislaus State and CSUF, in faculty mentored research projects

5) Train 30 school teachers and 15 CSU faculty who will integrate improved agricultural science pedagogy into their classrooms and guide students into productive careers in food and agricultural sciences

Click the following link for the current workshop for school teachers: Ag Soil Chemistry Workshop II.
6) Increase diversity of career professionals in food and agricultural sciences

Project Benefits

  1. Achievement of Major institutional enhancement with the availability of the valuable educational resources and partnerships with the institutions, government agencies and the industry.
  2. The project will enable Stanislaus State to have larger core agriculture classes that are taught with a revised curriculum and state-of-the-art course content.

How to Apply

The LEADS program will host 40 selected applicants over the summer. Twenty high school students in the first week and twenty community college students the following week.  Selection is based on a first come, first serve basis.

More information on 2018 LEADS Program Application 


Take Interest in Agriculture survey.


STAR Program

The STAR program is a twelve-week per year paid internship designed to provide eight food science and agriculture students with research experience under the guidance of faculty from Stanislaus State, and CSUF.

For information regarding how to apply to the STAR program, contact the Agriculture office.

For any questions regarding the Leadership Experiences in Agricultural Development and Sciences (LEADS) program, please contact:

LEADS Program Coordinator
California State University Stanislaus
One University Circle Bizzini Hall C108
Turlock, California 95382
Phone: (209) 664-6648
Fax: (209) 664 - 6649

Dr. Oluwarotimi Odeh
Program Director
California State University Stanislaus
One University Circle Bizzini Hall C108
Turlock, California 95382
Phone: (209) 667 – 3961
Fax: (209) 664 - 6649

Project Director: Oluwarotimi Odeh
Co-PD: Peggy Hauselt
Co-PD: Augustine Avwunudiogba
Co-PD: Rebekah Shrader

Project Partner Institutions

  • Stanislaus State – Lead Institution
    • Agriculture Program
  • CSU Fresno – Partner
  • Department of Food Science and Nutrition
  • College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences
  • Modesto Junior College – Partner

Non-Land Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Award #2015-70001-23440