Graduates Ready to Take On Workforce

Many colleges saw a lull in enrollment through the pandemic years, and the UW-Platteville School of Agriculture was no exception. However, the school has had increased enrollment the past few years and  is on track to continue that trend. Chuck Steiner, Interim Dean of BILSA at UW-Platteville, sheds light on how their students are being prepared to graduate and enter the workforce.

“We’re trying to coordinate and bring different groups to campus to help make them aware of our programs, especially here in the School of Agriculture,” says Steiner. “We’re also working with our business and industry partners to try to ensure that we’re making connections with them and trying to understand what career opportunities exist and how they can partner with the university to ensure students have a better appreciation or awareness of that relationship between their academic career, and the placement and career opportunities that exist.”

Platteville School of Agriculture enrollment and new freshmen numbers have been up, with the largest majors, in numbers, being the animal science and agribusiness programs. However they do have a lot of interest in their other majors within soil and crop science, agriculture education, reclamation, environmental horticulture and dairy sciences.

When it comes to helping their graduates stand out among other graduates throughout the state, Steiner says they have a very robust internship program that allows students to work with the companies that are hiring and continuously helping to connect students with possible job opportunities that fit their interests.

Steiner adds, “Last year in the School of Agriculture, our placement rate was 93 percent. We deem placement as they’re either employed, going on to continued education or they’re engaged in some type of either military service volunteer work. About eighty or ninety percent of those students remain in the tri-state area.”

He says they are in the process of collecting data on this year’s graduates but says the numbers are looking promising and he is confident their placement rate will remain just as high as last year.

“With the continued changes in technology and growing number of retirements, the opportunities for positions to be filled also grows. It’s an exciting time in agriculture and we will continue to look at our curriculum and programs and figure out how we can align those to best provide our students with those opportunities for years to come.”