Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the IPS degree, graduates will:

Plant Systems

Evaluate how cultivar differences, management practices, environmental changes, and emerging technology affect the plant system to influence productivity, environmental impact, and end-use quality.

  • Use expert plant science vocabulary appropriately to describe the structure and functions of plant components and explain how major genetic and environmental factors influence plant growth and development.
  • Evaluate the various contributions of plant-based systems from local to global systems, including the impact on human health, economics, and the environment.
  • Analyze the breadth and depth of various roles plant science professionals play in contemporary plant systems, society, government, education, and industry.

Scientific Reasoning

Integrate traditional and emerging scientific disciplines, knowledge resources, and technologies via the scientific method to understand the plant system.

  • Integrate basic science skills (biology, chemistry, math, etc.) and scientific disciplines (physiology, genetics, pathology, entomology, weed science, soil science, etc.) to describe how experiments are designed, conducted, and interpreted to test hypotheses about plant responses.
  • Develop testable hypotheses and design targeted experiments.
  • Obtain and analyze data, demonstrate competence in statistics, and assign a degree of confidence to conclusions.

Critical Thinking

Address real-world plant science challenges that integrate contextual factors and stakeholder perspectives.

  • Identify compelling research problems, critically evaluate current knowledge, and explain contextual factors that influence assumptions or perspectives.
  • Evaluate the suitability and limitations of methods and technologies for obtaining evidence.
  • Interpret evidence in the context of current knowledge, evaluate alternative interpretations, draw conclusions, and make recommendations relevant to real-world practice.
  • Compare and contrast multiple stakeholder perspectives on methods and outcomes of horticultural and agronomic practices.

Science and Professional Communication

Demonstrate interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate and communicate scientific knowledge to diverse target audiences.

  • Deliver effective oral and written communications across genres and media to various plant science stakeholders.
  • Demonstrate and refine interpersonal communication skills in collaborative teams and projects.
  • Critique the effectiveness of presentation options for communicating plant science research outcomes.

Depth (Major-Level Outcome)  

Demonstrate major-specific mastery of a topic with specialized knowledge and skills in at least one area of inquiry within the IPS degree.

Agricultural Biotechnology

  • Evaluate and apply effective technologies in genetics and molecular biology for crop improvement.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and application of “big data” collection, management, and analysis.

Field Crop Management

  • Assess the impact and effectiveness of management on field crop production.
  • Implement efficient, economic, and sustainable management practices for field crop production.

Fruit and Vegetable Management

  • Apply efficient and sustainable management practices for fruit and vegetable crops.

Landscape, Nursery, Greenhouse Management

  • Design and manage horticultural production strategies for landscapes, nurseries, and greenhouses.

Turfgrass Management

  • Being developed by the curriculum committee