Distance Education Online Orientation

All new students in the Agronomy Agroecology Distance Education (DE) program should complete an Online Orientation by reading through the following information. If you have any questions about the material contained herein, please contact Cynthia Hight, Agronomy Graduate Program Assistant, or Dr.Lynn Sollenberger, Agronomy Graduate Coordinator. We are available to help if you would like advice about distance education courses, admission, transfer of credits, rules and regulations of the program, or if you have any other questions.

General Information

• Gatorlink Account: You must have a GatorLink account which can be obtained here. For assistance, contact the UF Computing Help Desk at (352)-392-HELP (4357). All UF-related emails will be sent to the email address you establish through GatorLink so it is imperative that you check your GatorLink email frequently.

• Gator1 Card: Every student is encouraged to obtain a Gator1 Card. Follow this link to learn more about how to obtain your Gator1 Card.

• Library Access: To obtain remote access to the UF libraries go here. Using your GatorLink username and password, you will be able to access library resources using the off campus access options listed below:

o The UF VPN (Recommended)
o The Library Proxy Server

• Computer Requirements: The following is the official UF policy on the student computer requirements.

Access to and on-going use of a computer will be required for all students to complete their degree programs successfully. The University of Florida expects each student new to the university, to acquire computer hardware and software appropriate to his or her degree program. Competency in the basic use of a computer is a requirement for graduation and will involve: class assignments; academic advising and registration; and official university correspondence via email. Students are expected to purchase or lease a computer that has a high-speed internet connection (DSL, cable or satellite modem or similar), graphical access to the World Wide Web, and productivity functions such as word processing and spreadsheet calculation, Power Point, and Adobe Acrobat or Reader (pdf). The computer should have a CD and DVD drive and enough hard drive space to store course materials.

• E-Technologies: All distance education courses are interactive. There are numerous media which provide you with effective communication tools to interact with your instructor and/or TAs which include email, phone, chat rooms, message boards, and others. Make sure that you have access to a reliable (and fast) Internet connection. Different courses use different types of course material. Power Point slides with notes, voice support, and/or animations are commonly used. Hyperlinks provide you with additional resources. Some courses use Flash animations and digital videos to provide you with all you need to understand complex course material. Supplementary reading material is provided in some courses in the form of pdf files. Recommendations for textbooks or other supporting material are given by your instructors to make learning more efficient.

• Campus Tour: Take a virtual tour:
(1) The University of Florida (UF)
(2) UF Distance Learning
(3) The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
(4) The Agronomy Department

Program Specific Information

UF Graduate Catalog: This catalog is the official document for all graduate programs at the University of Florida and information in the catalog supersedes any other source of information relating to graduate programs at UF. The catalog specifically states that “the student is responsible for becoming informed and observing all program regulations and procedures”.

SWS Major

Agronomy Major

Supervisory Committee comprises of three faculty members with at least one being from the Agronomy Department and one from the Soil and Water Science Department. Working with the Supervisory Committee, a plan of study for the major and concentration will be developed. Curriculum includes an agroecology thesis or project (non-thesis) which the student will present in a seminar.

Exit Interview Form can be downloaded here. Complete the form in preparation for your exit interview with Dr. Lynn Sollenberger, Agronomy Graduate Coordinator.  The permanent address information and job placement data helps us stay in contact with our graduates.

• Transfer of Credits: Students can transfer up to 9 credit hours (with a B grade or above) related to the Agroecology discipline from an outside institution. It is recommended that only graduate-level courses similar to UF courses included in the Agroecology concentration be transferred. Such requests for transfer of credit must be made during the student’s first term enrolled in the Graduate School. No course work that exceeds a 7-year time limit will be counted toward degree requirements. Acceptance of transfer credit requires approval of the Supervisory Committee, the College Dean and the Graduate School. When directed by the Chair of the Supervisory Committee (or Graduate Coordinator), Ms. Pons (sheliap@ufl.edu) will complete an on-line form requesting for transfer of credit.

• Plan of Study: A schedule of courses by semester will be developed in conjunction with your Supervisory Committee to fulfill the 30 hours of required coursework. Please refer to the suggested course schedule and list of courses within the concentration for more information.
. The Supervisory Committee is responsible for approving the Plan of Study.

• Critical Dates and Other Important Information: Academic calendars, schedules of courses, dates for registration and other important information can be found on the Registrar’s website. Do not miss important deadlines as it might delay your progress towards earning the degree.

• Registration for Courses: Online registration for courses is available through ISIS at www.isis.ufl.edu. Certain courses will require you to contact the department before you can register and Ms. Hight will be happy to assist you.

• Instructor Communication: Students are encouraged to contact the instructor via email after registering for a distance education course and maintain periodic communication throughout the course.

• Tuition and Fees: The current tuition and fees for students in the Agroecology concentration that are enrolled in the distance track is set at $565 per credit hour. These rates are subject to change. Out-of-state students pay the same amount for tuition as students in Florida as long as they are taking the courses by distance delivery. If an out-of-state student opts to take courses on campus (as a resident student), they will be subject to out-of-state tuition rates. For more on tuition and fees, click here.

Academic Honesty and Plagiarism

As a distance education student you agree to the same rules of academic honesty as on-campus students. As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statement:

“I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity”.

If you take an online exam, write a project or assignment report, or compute results from a statistical analysis, you should comply with the standards of academic honesty which are followed by all scientists and teachers around the globe. Do not plagiarize. Many instructors at the University of Florida use antiplagiarism software. Simply – do not plagiarize. It is not worth it.

For information about student conduct and conflict resolution, please click here.

Referencing Sources of Information

As a distance education student, you will write assignment reports, project reports, and/or a thesis. Providing correct citations and appropriately referencing the work of others is expected from you as it is for every student. If you copy material from a textbook, journal article, or the Internet without correctly referencing the original source, you are plagiarizing. Don’t do it! MAKE SURE YOU SUMMARIZE THE INFORMATION IN YOUR OWN WORDS AND THEN GIVE CREDIT TO THE AUTHOR WHO WROTE THE MATIERAL BY CITING THEM CORRECTLY.

Following are a few examples of how to correctly reference different types of material:

Referencing books
Sinclair, T. R. and A. Weiss. Principles of Ecology and Plant Production. 2010. CAB International, Cambridge, MA.

Referencing book chapters
Sollenberger, L.E., C.T. Agouridis, E.S. Vanzant, A.J. Franzluebbers, and L.B. Owens. 2012.
Prescribed grazing in pastureland. In C.J. Nelson (ed.) Conservation effects assessment programfor pasturelands. Allen Press, Lawrence, KS.

Referencing journal articles

Rowland, D.L., J.P. Beasley, Jr., and W.H. Faircloth. 2010. Genotypic differences in current peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) cultivars in phenology and stability of these traits under different irrigation scheduling methods. Peanut Sci.. 37:110-123.

Referencing proceeding papers

Choi J.-Y., Engel B.A., Theller L., and Harbor J. 2003. Internet based SDSS for watershed management using web-GIS capabilities. ASAE Annual International Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, July 27-30, 2003. Paper No. 03-3033.

Referencing Internet sources

Florida Geographic Data Library (FGDL). 2003. Available here. (verified: 8/8/2003)

Click here to continue and confirm.