Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) is an initiative of the National Council for Agricultural Education and managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). CASE develops agricultural education curriculum and provides teachers with professional development to help improve instructional practices and promote student success.
CASE’s network of 3,000 certified teachers reaches over 87,000 students annually with inquiry-based, student-focused activities, projects, and problems. CASE is committed to empowering teachers to implement STEM-infused curricula in agricultural education pathways.
CASE currently offers eleven full-length courses and two semester courses. The comprehensive curriculum explores a range of agricultural, ecological, and mechanical concepts. Activities to develop and improve students’ employability skills through practical applications are woven throughout the courses. Students also have opportunities to explore career and postsecondary opportunities along the way.
Collaboration with NOCTI
In 2021, NOCTI began serving as the delivery partner for CASE-developed end-of-course (EoC) assessments for nine courses within each program of study. EoC assessments align with CASE concepts and the National Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resource (AFNR) Common Career Technical Core Standards. EoC assessments serve as a measurement of student success and meet Perkins V requirements.
“NOCTI was an obvious choice during our search for an assessment partner,” said Sara Cobb, Education Services Director at CASE. “They have years of experience in CTE and are already incorporated into school districts nationwide. NOCTI has helped us streamline the assessment process for teachers and students and they also provide third-party validation.”
Data & Reporting
One of the challenges CASE faced before collaborating with NOCTI was data collection and analysis. With NOCTI’s online testing platform, assessment reports and data are available almost immediately. Teachers and administrators routinely requested data at the state or district level that CASE didn’t have the resources to provide. CASE can now provide teachers and administrators with more meaningful data to drive program improvement, professional development, and increase student success. NOCTI also has data analysis specialists on staff available to answer questions and provide expertise.
NOCTI lends CASE additional tech support. “One of the best things about working with NOCTI is the people,” said Cobb. “They’re very approachable and always available to help when technical problems come up. NOCTI is also progressive. They’re pushing the boundaries of what digital exams look like and working toward providing students with the most meaningful and relevant courses to prepare them for the next step in life—whether that’s entering the workforce or postsecondary education. CASE is a relatively small organization and it’s nice to know we have NOCTI’s experience to draw on.”
CASE Assessments Provide Data-Driven Insights
Any CASE-certified teacher can implement CASE courses and EoC assessments in their classroom. With NOCTI’s online test delivery system, teachers receive assessment feedback almost immediately without waiting for the state or CASE to compile and send it. Teachers receive direct feedback on student performance through the data included on the score reports which supports insights for implementing data-driven decisions.
EoC assessments serve as a valid and reliable measurement of student success that is comparable across the country. These assessments are also available as a pre-test option as students begin the course. Teachers who administer a pre-test may use it as a baseline to identify current knowledge and determine what is needed to guide instruction. After a student completes the course, an EoC assessment gauges learning outcomes and quantifies a student’s progress. This detailed data can then be used to tailor and improve instruction.
Validating Agricultural Programs
Agricultural CTE programs are often optional, although it varies from state to state. CASE teachers have used assessment data to demonstrate student progress and validate what is taught in their agricultural programs. And because CASE EoC assessments align across other academic standards, teachers can demonstrate how the curriculum supports core standards like math and English.
Teachers have also shared that embedding the CASE curriculum has connected them to their local communities and grown their student base. National organizations provided valuable expertise while developing many CASE courses. For example, the Agricultural Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) group helped develop the Agricultural Power and Technology Program. Teachers are connecting with local AEM chapters and incorporating local experts into the classroom to offer knowledge that supplements course material. This has increased student engagement and better prepares students to continue with postsecondary education or to enter the workforce.
Continued Commitment to CTE
CASE is committed to its mission to “impact student career readiness by empowering teachers with improved instructional practices and relevant curricula sustained by professional development.” CASE courses are available for anyone who wishes to integrate them into a CTE program. Teachers must be certified to administer CASE assessments, but there are no restrictions on who can become certified. Visit Case4Learning.org for more details on becoming certified and register for a 2022 Institute.
With more than 55 years of experience in CTE, NOCTI delivers solutions for increasing students’ technical competence and certifying new and incumbent workers in the private sector. Because the demand for skilled workers continues to grow, NOCTI is continuously expanding its services to partner with organizations like CASE to support teachers, administrators, and other CTE professionals.