Program Advisor, Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE)
Luke Allen, originally from Homer, Illinois, earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Education in 2003. He now serves as an Agriculture Program Advisor for the Facilitating Coordination in Agricultural Education (FCAE). In accordance with the FCAE Mission Statement for “improving and expanding agricultural education pre-kindergarten through adult”, Allen serves as a resource to county Ag Literacy, high school, community college, and university agriculture programs; FFA Alumni chapters; and schools interested in starting or improving agriculture programs. He also helps to create general public awareness about the positive educational benefits of an agriculture education curriculum.
Allen feels the most enjoyable aspect of his job is the “opportunity to interact with all of the outstanding teachers in Northeast Illinois to help them accomplish their goals of program improvement.” He also enjoys teaching elementary teachers about the various ways agriculture concepts can be incorporated into lessons about English, math, social studies, and science to make their curriculum more relevant and build critical thinking skills in their students. In Allen’s opinion, one of the most valuable characteristics that allow him to excel in the profession is his ability to listen to the needs of administrators and teachers, then develop a solution to address their challenge.
During his time at the University of Illinois in the Agricultural Education Program, Allen says the rigor of the courses in the College of ACES gave him the necessary content knowledge to help future learners. While pursuing his degree, he also enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with several ACES students and faculty.
He feels one of the most important reasons the University of Illinois is set apart from other academic institutions is the opportunity to network with students and faculty from all over the world, and become part of one of the greatest Alumni organizations that provide professional and career support. Additionally, Allen says, “Students who graduate from the U of I ACES leave with an appreciation of the global impact of American Agriculture and are well situated for a career in the largest industry in our country. College of ACES students understand the theory behind the learning objectives and become students of the world. It is impossible to leave the University of Illinois without becoming friends with someone from another country.”