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The School of Professional Studies introduces Sustainable Food Systems Programs

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The School of Professional Studies is excited to announce a new program in Sustainable Food Systems. This program is unique because students can take the course as either a degree-seeking student or through our professional development program.

This course is open to anyone; however, scholarships for veterans and military family members are available for both the credit and non-credit program.

What is Sustainable Food Systems?

First, it’s important to break down what a food system. A food system aims to create a direct link between farmers and the consumer. This system is comprised of many components including production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste disposal.

A sustainable food system is a food system that delivers food to a consumer through a process that does not compromise the economic, social and environmental factors for future generations. This means that it is a food system that is profitable, beneficial to society, and has a positive or neutral impact on the natural environment.

A Program for Non-Degree-Seeking Students

Students who wish to earn a certificate in Sustainable Food Systems from the Center for Continuing and Professional Education must complete three courses over a 14-week time frame.

One course is a 14-week field internship in either sustainable farming or food processing. The other two courses are only 6-week courses and will take place in the second part of the 14-week program.

Digital Marketing

This course will teach students how to use digital marketing strategies and data that are specific to the sustainable food systems industry.

Business Planning for Sustainable Food Systems Ventures

This course is designed to help students develop a business plan to start or expand a small business in sustainable food systems or a related field.

At the end of this 14-week program, students will receive a certificate in sustainable food systems.

A Program for Degree-Seeking Students

Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Professional Studies program can take courses in the Sustainable Food Systems program. Students who wish to complete the full schedule of coursework will take 18 credit hours.

The first semester will be the same courses as the non-degree-seeking students. However, students enrolled for college credit will have additional assessments.

In addition to the field internship, digital marketing, and business planning, students will take three courses via the AG IDEA Consortium.

The three additional courses are Global Horticulture and Food Systems, Agricultural Law or Environmental Law, and Agricultural Policy.

What is the AG IDEA Consortium?

The Agricultural Education Division of AG*IDEA is a consortium of universities sharing graduate courses in agriculture education, extension education, agricultural communications, and agricultural leadership. The College of Charleston joined the consortium to provide its students with access to the top professors in the field.

The program, which is administered by the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (Great Plains IDEA), is located in Kansas State University. The Agricultural Education Division is made up of representatives from the participating universities.


Interested in learning more about the Sustainable Food Systems programs? Contact Mat Garrison if you are interested in learning more about the program for academic credit and contact Bronwyn Barron for information about the noncredit certificate.