Students are digging right in to their post-secondary education in sustainable agriculture while still in high school, thanks to a new partnership between Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and the Delta School District.
The university and the school district are offering students enrolled in the new DSD Farm Roots Mini School the opportunity to earn dual credit toward high school graduation in science, social studies, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, planning and independent directed studies, as well as first-year university credit in KPU’s Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems program.
The first cohort of close to 30 students began their studies earlier this month. The grades 10 through 12 students hail from throughout the district, but come together every second day at the Farm Roots Mini School in Tsawwassen.
“We are very excited about our partnership with KPU,” said district Supt. Doug Sheppard. “This is an engaging learning opportunity for students and a chance for them to ladder into their post-secondary education in a relevant and dynamic way.”
”This is much more than a dual credit program,” said Dr. Salvador Ferreras, KPU’s provost and VP academic. “It’s about bringing students to a new level of understanding about the importance of sustainable agriculture in securing a sustainable future for all.”
The Farm Roots program is a passion project for the Delta School District and is the result of an educational inquiry into what Delta students are looking for in their learning. The Farm Roots program is driven by concerns around genetically modified foods, food distribution and environmental sustainability, all of which are increasingly at the forefront of general consciousness.
“These are the issues we face today,” said Sheppard. “And these are the leaders of tomorrow who will be tasked with managing them.”
Already a strong partnership with local farmers has been established.
“Collaborations with the local farming community, as well as with community groups is central to the model,” says Brooke Moore, district principal of inquiry and innovation. “The partnership with KPU will help us take the program to the next level.”
Students who graduate with Farm Roots experience will have a unique skillset to apply to a variety of growing career paths, as well as the competencies in demand from today’s employers. These include leadership, collaboration, creativity, problem-solving and communication.
While earning dual credits toward high school graduation and graduation from KPU, students will design, plan and build a learning farm on eight acres. Students will learn about food systems and resource management with a focus on innovative sustainability and agricultural sciences.
To learn more about Delta District Farm Roots Mini School: deltalearns.ca/farmroots
To learn more about KPU’s Sustainable Agriculture Faculty: www.kpu.ca/agriculture
Farm Roots Mini School is located at Boundary Beach School in South Delta, British Columbia: 6570 1A Ave, Delta, BC.