Want Them to Follow, Show Them the Map; The SLAP Returns

As the field of agriculture and human sciences continues to grow, so does the need for experienced professionals with skills that could enhance the industry and its relationship with the consumer. According to Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), leadership development is one of the objectives necessary for undergraduate agriculture programs in land-grant colleges throughout the United States. To address leadership development for the undergraduates, the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) has officially kicked off recruitment for the 3rd cohort of the Student Leadership Apprentice Program (SLAP) this fall.

The mission of SLAP is to impart the knowledge of seasoned leaders and experts to undergraduate college students while preparing them to become game changers and agriculture leaders of tomorrow. SLAP is built upon the foundation of the ‘One College Concept’ that unifies teaching, research, and outreach. Students volunteering to be an Apprentice participate in professional development, including workshops led by CAHS Administrative Leadership team, a seminar, focus groups, leadership assessments, and finally a capstone project to show off the Apprentices’ presentation skills in a “TED Talk style” format.

Currently, PVAMU is one of only two 1890 land-grants to implement a project of this scope. “It is our intention to package this curriculum and train other 1890 land-grant institutions on its implementation,” remarked LaRachelle Smith, Advisor and Director of Marketing, Communication and Information Technology for the CAHS. “Eventually, we would like the SLAP program to be used across all academic disciplines.”

Previous participants share that the program helped them to better understand the agriculture industry and developed skills that have made them more competitive and able to handle challenging situations in the workplace.

For more information, visit the Student Leadership Apprentice Program website.
Hear what the NIFA Director shared with the CAHS Executive Mentors at the recent orientation by viewing the video here.

James Palmer


James Palmer, Ph.D.
Interim Dean and Director of Land-Grant Programs
(936) 261-2214