Project Goal

The goal of this regional 'STEP UP to USDA Career Success' program is to provide an avenue to prepare an underserved student population in South Texas for careers in the Agricultural, Biological, or Environmental Sciences through advance education, training, and research.

Objective 1:  To form a collaborative effort to provide undergraduate education and hands-on training to underrepresented South Texas students.

Faculty from Del Mar College, South Texas College, Texas State Technical College Harlingen, University of Texas-Pan American, and Texas A&M University-Kingsville will collaborate to provide mentorship to undergraduate students about careers and research.  The faculty will engage participating students in research activities in their respective laboratories and assist in coordinating student internships with USDA.

Objective 2:  To provide undergraduate students with intensive short-courses based in soils, biotechnology, livestock and meat grading, and environmental sciences that prepare them for soils, biological, animal agriculture, and natural resource science-related internships and careers.

The short-course will prepare student participants for summer internship experiences within USDA.  Short-course sessions will include: 

  1. Environmental soil science
  2. Integrated pest management
  3. Plant science
  4. Grading and reporting of market livestock and agribusiness principles
  5. Meat grading
  6. Research opportunities in livestock nutrition, reproduction, and genetics
  7. Tools and techniques of range and wildlife management
  8. Financial aid opportunities
  9. USDA Agency informative session on qualifying requirements

Objective 3:  To provide summer undergraduate internship experiences with agricultural- and natural resources-related USDA agencies as fast track preparation for USDA career success.

The undergraduate students will be provided the opportunity to partake in a wide range of USDA internships.  The internships with the USDA agencies will allow students to explore various career opportunities available to them in agricultural- and natural resources-related sciences.  Through the internships the students will be provided experiential learning and "hands-on" training.

This page was last updated on: January 4, 2016