Agricultural Education

Diversity Scholarship


Applications will be accepted three times per year - February 1, July 1 and November 1.
Note - applications may be submitted prior to formal acceptance into an agricultural education-teacher licensure program

The purpose of the MAELC Diversity Scholarship is to provide financial support for both undergraduate and graduate students from underrepresented groups in the agriculture teacher field. A severe shortage of high school agriculture teachers exists in Minnesota and nationally. As a result, there is a tremendous need for more students to become licensed to teach agricultural education. In addition, the trend of a more diverse student population attending Minnesota’s schools reinforces the need to recruit and support prospective agricultural education teachers with diverse ethnic, racial, economic and educational backgrounds and experiences. MAELC is committed to diversifying the agriculture teacher workforce.

Undergraduate Students - Applicant must be entering their first year or currently enrolled in an Agricultural Education-Teacher Licensure program at Southwest Minnesota State University, the University of Minnesota–Crookston, or the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. This includes incoming freshmen, transfer students (transferring colleges/universities or majors), and current students.

Graduate Students - Applicant must be entering their first year or be currently enrolled in the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Master of Science Initial or Additional Licensure program in Agricultural Education.

Students from a traditionally underrepresented group in the agriculture teaching field are encouraged to apply. Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident who is firmly committed to teaching in Minnesota.

Selection: The MAELC scholarship committee will review applications and select individuals for interviews. After interviews are completed, the committee will name scholarship recipients. Selection criteria include academic merit, passion, and commitment to become an agricultural education teacher as well as financial need. Scholarship funds will be transferred directly into student accounts of successful applicants and may affect students’ financial aid package.

Funding: Scholarships awarded up to $5,000/recipient. Students are eligible to receive this scholarship more than once. Priority will be given to those who have not previously received this funding.

Materials: The application will require answering essay questions, and providing an unofficial transcript and resume.

Tips When Applying:

  • Applications are reviewed for both content AND quality
  • Focus responses on your current intentions related to becoming an agriculture teacher. Be sure to add information about your plans to use your agricultural education degree after graduation
  • Remember that those reviewing the application do not know you –think about what you want the committee to know as to why you are deserving of this scholarship

Application - Please be prepared to answer the following questions (up to 300-word limit per question):

  1. What inspired you to choose the agricultural education teaching profession as your career path?
  2. How are you paying for your education? (work, loans, scholarships/fellowships, family, etc.) Are there any special circumstances or issues you would like the committee to know?
  3. What are your career plans after graduating with an Agricultural Education degree? Specify how your collegiate studies relate to that plan.
  4. How would you leverage your diverse identity to benefit the learning experiences of students in your future classroom?

Please note: it is highly encouraged applicants type all answers in a word-processor document, then copy and paste into the application.

A printable PDF of this information is available to download - Agricultural Education Diversity Scholarship.

Questions can be directed to Kari Schwab, MAELC Program Coordinator, at or at (612) 624-6256.

Diversity Scholarship Winners

Award Year Name City School Award Amount
2023-2024 Kirsten Koerth Minneapolis, MN University of Minnesota-Twin Cities $5,000
2023-2024 Allison Offerdahl Park Rapids, MN University of Minnesota-Crookston $5,000
2022-2023 Gina Huhnerkoch Redwood Falls, MN Southwest Minnesota State University $5,000
2022-2023 Elaina Knott Thief River Falls, MN University of Minnesota - Crookston $5,000
2022-2023 Hilariia Ponce Mankato, MN University of Minnesota - Twin Cities $5,000
2022-2023 Cassandra Valdez Atwater, CA University of Minnesota - Twin Cities $5,000
2022-2023 Emilee Xayanourom Mountain Lake, MN University of Minnesota - Twin Cities $5,000
2021-2022 Hilariia Ponce Mankato, MN University of Minnesota - Twin Cities $5,000
2019-2020 Joshua Muñoz St. Paul, MN University of Minnesota - Twin Cities $5,000