Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) Philosophy and Guiding Principles

Beginning in 2011, the National Council for Agricultural Education held a national summit and began work on determining what the driving forces were behind high quality experiential, work based and project based learning in agricultural education. This was a need brought on by what appeared to be a lower number of students being exposed to the SAE component of agricultural education through the local classroom. Over the course of four years a national committee met and held discussions with the intent of renewing the profession’s commitment to SAE as an essential component of student learning that should be used with every student in school based agricultural education. The committee recognized that in the context of today’s agricultural education programs many teachers and students were facing significant barriers to making the commitment to this level of experiential learning a reality.

Some of those barriers include:

  • Limited teacher time based on enrollment numbers to commit adequate time to supervision
  • Less students coming from agricultural production backgrounds and less employment availability in the agriculture sector for youth
  • Lack of resources to help students create ideas and SAE programs
  • Perceived administrative barriers to what types of programs students could engage with at a local level
  • Lack of understanding in how SAE could contribute to evidence of student achievement beyond awards programs

Therefore, in 2015 the committee submitted to the Council for approval a document that would set forth philosophies and guiding principles intended to address such barriers and provide a path to 100% SAE engagement with students in the modern classroom. The following are some highlights of the work that was adopted:

  • There should be an expansive set of SAE types for students to choose from such as:
    • Foundational SAE
      • Career exploration & planning
      • Personal financial planning and management
      • Workplace Safety
      • Employability skills for college and career readiness
      • Agricultural Literacy
    • Immersion SAE
      • Entrepreneurship/Ownership
      • Placement/Internships
      • Research (Experimental, Analytical, Invention)
      • School Business Enterprises
      • Service Learning

To assist instructors with implementation of SAE for ALL the Council undertook development of multiple resources for use in the classroom.  A student and teacher guide to SAE for ALL along with individual learning guides associated with each component of the program are available at the link below.  In addition to PDF files of these resources the Council has also provided an online platform for delivery of the same content to students.  The Individual Learning Guide (online) link below will open the online course for student and teacher use. 

SAE for All – A Guide for Teachers and Students
SAE Philosopy Guiding Principles
SAE Teaching Resources
Learning Guides Online Course
Industry Specific SAE Career Kits