At the university level, agricultural education is accountable for specific teaching, research, and service activities within the land-grant educational infrastructure. The principle mission of agricultural education is to prepare and maintain professionals who can build on the knowledge-base of learning and teaching, improve the basis of curriculum development, demonstrate effective delivery methodologies, assess program relevance and effectiveness, and project future educational needs of people who are involved in or affected by the broad agricultural industry.
While teacher education is a function of several universities and college in South Carolina, Clemson is the only university in the state with curricula in agricultural sciences and agricultural education at either the undergraduate or graduate level. To fulfill its historical, expanded, and evolving mission, the Department of Agricultural Education in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University serves three broad functions: (1) instruction, (2) research, and (3) professional leadership and development. These three broad functions are generally accepted as the appropriate role for a modern land-grant university to play in the twenty-first century.