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Career and Technical Education (CTE) | Agricultural Science

Best High School Agriculture Curriculum: iCEV vs. CASE

December 21st, 2022 | 10 min. read

Mike Cescon

Mike Cescon

With past experience in teaching, a couple of degrees in writing, and an upbringing immersed in medical jargon, Mike is positioned well to hear out the most common questions teachers ask about the iCEV curriculum. His goal is to write content that quickly and effectively answers these questions so you can back to what matters - teaching your students.

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If you’re looking for high school agriculture curriculum, you probably feel unsure about which option would serve you best. After all, there are several choices out there, and each has its benefits and drawbacks. 

As an agricultural curriculum developer, teachers often ask us how iCEV compares specifically to Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). While both iCEV and CASE provide solid, comprehensive teaching materials, one might work better for you, depending on your class. 

So what are the pros and cons to both of these curriculum options? What topics do each cover, and which would be the better fit for you? 

In this article, you’ll discover answers to some of the most common questions teachers ask when comparing iCEV to CASE, including: 

  1. What agricultural science topics does each cover?
  2. What is the instructional format of each?
  3. Who is the intended audience of each?

By the end of this article, you should have a better grasp on both of these resources, so you can choose the right one for your course. 

1. What Agricultural Science Topics Does Each Cover?

When deciding on a curriculum option for your high school agriculture program, one of the most important factors to consider is what topics it covers. 

In this section, you’ll learn what topics you can cover with both iCEV and CASE.

Agricultural Science Topics You Can Teach with iCEV

iCEV offers pre-packaged, standards-aligned courses covering a broad spectrum of agricultural education. This curriculum is divided into courses to help you teach 24 different major agriculture subject areas, including: 

  • Agricultural Equipment Design & Fabrication
  • Animal Science
  • Agricultural Exploration (Middle School)
  • Agricultural Mechanics & Metal Technologies
  • Agricultural Power Systems
  • Agricultural Structures Systems
  • Energy & Natural Resources Technology
  • Equine Science
  • Floral Design
  • Food Processing
  • Food Science & Technology
  • Food Technology and Safety
  • Forestry & Woodland Ecosystems
  • Horticultural Science
  • Introduction to Agribusiness
  • Introduction to Agriscience
  • Landscape Design, Construction & Maintenance
  • Plant & Soil Science
  • Professional Communications
  • Professional Standards in Agribusiness
  • Public Speaking
  • Small Animal Care & Management
  • Veterinary Medical Applications
  • Wildlife, Fisheries & Ecology Management

In general, iCEV covers specific agriculture topics that high school instructors can use either as a core or supplemental curriculum in their classes.

Additionally, iCEV offers specific materials to help prepare students for FFA career and leadership development events. These materials will help you prep your CDE team for success at conferences and conventions.

Agricultural Science Topics You Can Teach with CASE

CASE offers materials and training exclusively for agricultural education, so they can better nurture the next generation of professionals. They offer 12 courses in their high school agriculture curriculum:

  • Intro to Ag, Food, & Natural Resources
  • Ag Business Foundations
  • Animal Science 
  • Plant Science
  • Natural Resources & Ecology
  • Ag Power & Technology
  • Environmental Science Issues
  • Mechanical Systems in Ag Series
  • Food Science & Safety
  • Animal & Plant Biotechnology
  • Technical Applications in Ag
  • Ag Research & Development Capstone

These courses are skills-focused and specialized, so your students will likely only complete a few of them, depending upon the agricultural career field they wish to enter. Generally, however, most students complete the Intro to Ag, Food, & Natural resources course, as well as the Ag Research & Development Capstone.

2. What Is the Instructional Format of Each?

Another factor to consider when choosing a curriculum option is its instructional format. After all, some curriculum options may be designed with specific teaching styles in mind, and you’ll want to choose the option that supports how you run your class.

In this section, you’ll learn about the instructional formats of iCEV and CASE.

Instructional Format of iCEV

iCEV provides a strong but flexible structure for each of its courses, consisting of lesson plans, class projects, activity sheets, vocabulary handouts, and digital multimedia lessons. 

Each part of the curriculum is supposed to be used in a particular way:

  • The lesson plan is provided for the instructor as a step-by-step guide on what they should do each day in class.
  • The activity sheets and class projects help students think through the material by completing assignments. 
  • The vocab handouts help with retention of the primary subject matter. 
  • The digital lessons are divided into video-based lessons and presentation-based lessons, and are intended to be shown at the front of the class for students to watch and take notes on.
    • The video-based lessons include slideshows, interviews with subject matter experts, example scenarios, and skill demonstrations.
    • The presentation-based lessons include PowerPoint slides and other such blocks of information students can reference for information.

Altogether, iCEV courses are designed to provide a well-structured, teacher-led way for you to deliver course material across your Agricultural Science program.

In addition, if industry certifications are important to your classroom, iCEV offers several industry certification exams within the curriculum itself. This makes it a seamless process for students to earn valuable certifications and improve their career prospects.

Instructional Format of CASE

CASE courses are generally based around granting students hands-on experience in their chosen fields via projects, activities, and team-based assignments. This is particularly the case for some of the more advanced, specialized courses within the curriculum. 

Some of the materials and instructional methods included in the various CASE courses are: 

  • Foundational instruction to introduce students to the basics of the agricultural field and prepare them for more specialized courses down the road. 
  • Research projects where students follow FFA guidelines to investigate a problem of their choice and conclude their findings with a research paper and poster. 
  • Machine training where students learn how to operate, repair, and even design new tools and equipment for agricultural use. 
  • Laboratory work to give students experience applying biotechnology principles and have them keep a research notebook. 
  • Ecosystem study where students choose a specific ecosystem and apply the principles they learn from their course to study it. 
  • Career exploration opportunities so students develop an understanding of job prospects and hone their employability skills. 

Generally, CASE courses are meant to be taught throughout a student’s high school career, the more advanced courses building upon principles learned in the introductory courses. This can make implementing CASE quite a commitment, as it will overhaul and replace most of your school’s existing agriculture curriculum. 

Overall, however, CASE provides a well-organized, activity-focused curriculum that will train your students in the practical skills they need to become employed in agriculture.

3. Who Is the Intended Audience of Each?

When deciding on a curriculum for your course, it’s important to keep in mind the audience and teaching style that each option is optimized for. After all, you want material appropriate for your chosen grade level, but advanced enough to challenge your students, as well. 

In this section, you’ll discover the intended audiences of both iCEV and CASE.

Intended Audience of iCEV

iCEV provides agriculture curriculum for all high school grade levels. 

For many of these courses, you can see the intended grade levels by clicking on the course on iCEV’s Agricultural Science curriculum page. Some example grade levels include:

  • Energy & Natural Resource Technology: Grades 10-12
  • Equine Science: Grades 9-12
  • Forestry & Woodland Ecosystems: Grades 10-12
  • Agricultural Power Systems: Grades 10-12

If a range of grade levels isn’t listed for a course you’re interested in, then you can reach out to the iCEV team for more info on whether the course would be appropriate for your class. 

For teachers seeking structure and flexibility in the classroom, the iCEV curriculum might be beneficial, giving them a chance to practice leading classroom discussion, while providing material to fall back on if they need to. 

If you’re looking for a comprehensive high school agriculture curriculum to teach several years’ worth of classes and help students become certified, then iCEV may be the right choice for you. 

Intended Audience of CASE

CASE provides course material for every high school grade level, though similar to iCEV, many of their courses are more advanced and thereby reserved for upper-level students who have taken prerequisite courses. 

CASE is a good fit for instructors looking for an in-depth high school agriculture curriculum to give students hands-on experience. In addition, with the insight it offers into employment opportunities, CASE ensures students will graduate ready for the job market. 

However, this curriculum may not be a good fit for teachers who want more flexible materials, or ones that they can deploy quickly in class. Implementing CASE is a lengthy process, as CASE requires that teachers attend multiple-day training events to ensure they use the curriculum correctly. 

All in all, if you’re a newer teacher looking for a highly-structured agriculture curriculum that you will be trained to use, then CASE might be the better choice for you.

Which High School Agriculture Curriculum Is Right for You?

In this article, you’ve discovered some key differences between the iCEV and CASE agricultural curriculums. 

CASE is a strong choice for newer teachers who want a more structured curriculum for students. With the required training that every CASE teacher undergoes, you’ll enter class confident in your ability to teach your kids what they need. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more easily-implemented, flexible experience, then the iCEV curriculum might be the better option for you. iCEV requires little training to use, and with the wide variety of materials it offers, you’ll be able to adapt it to suit your teaching style. 

Think iCEV is the right choice for your agriculture course? Then click below for a free trial to gain access to hundreds of hours of engaging, easy-to-use materials: 

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