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Want career success? Get a career path!

Career pathways are an essential component of all career technical education (CTE) programs, including agriculture education.  Career pathways allow students to focus their studies in high school on a specific career area that they want to pursue after high school. Agriculture education pathways are the largest career pathways at NHS.


Agriculture courses allow students to gain hands-on experience in their intended career path giving them valuable, marketable skills that will help them get a job, or move onto further education after high school.  While students are not required to choose a specific strain within the agriculture education pathway, courses are designed to build upon each other to offer students ample opportunities to gain more experience in the area that interests them most. At Nipomo High School, there are three strains that students are eligible to choose from: agricultural mechanics, animal science, and plant science. Students may also choose a selection of courses from all three strands to complete a well rounded program of study known as the Agriculture Generalist strand.


Below you will find a description of the four career pathways offered within the Agriculture Department, as well as course descriptions for areas within those strands. You will also find descriptions of our "foundation courses" that serve to provide a rigorous academic curriculum to all four pathways. 

Agriculture Career Pathways


The Animal Science strand is designed for students who have a passion for working with all types of animals from livestock to companion to exotic. This is the ideal course of study for students who hope to pursue a career in veterinary medicine or other life sciences including biology, kinesiology, human medicine, and more. Students completing the Animal Science strand will have knowledge and experience in animal handling, anatomy, physiology, animal nutrition and much more. Courses in the Animal Science strand include the following:


  • Biology & Sustainable Agriculture*

  • Animal Science

  • Veterinary Science

The Agriculture Mechanics strand is designed for students who enjoy working with their hands. This is the ideal course of study for those who are mechanically minded, and enjoy the challenge of making things work. Students completing the Ag Mechanics strand will have skills in woodworking, plumbing, electrical, welding, design and fabrication allowing them to move on to further education in various trades or to have valuable life skills as they pursue other career opportunities. Courses in the Ag Mechanics strand include the following:


  • Agriculture Mechanics I

  • Agriculture Mechanics II

  • Agriculture Maintenance




Horticulture and greenhouse production are some of the largest agriculture businesses in Nipomo and the surrounding area. This is the ideal course of study for students who enjoy being outside and learning hands-on while beautifying their surroundings. Students completing the Plant Science Strand will have a solid understanding of plant reproduction and propagation, plant nutrition, principles of color and design, landscape installation, irrigation, and much more. Courses in the Plant Science Strand include the following:


  • Biology & Sustainable Agriculture*

  • Ornamental Horticulture

  • Floral Design*




The Agriscience pathway is designed for students who are seeking to further their education after high school in the area of agriculture or science. In the pathway, students will complete three year of UC and CSU approved labratory science, preparing them for both college coursework and career. Students gain experience with vital concepts in biology, chemistry, and earth science within the context of sustainable agriculture.


  • Biology & Sustainable Agriculture*

  • Chemistry & Agriscience*

  • Advanced Interdisciplinary Science for Sustainable Agriculture*



Courses marked with asterisk (*) are UC approved. 

Capstone Courses

The purpose of the capstone courses is to allow students to apply the knowledge and skills they have acquired in their other agriculture courses to more complex tasks and problems. These courses are designed for students who have had a minimum of 1 year of prior agriculture education experience. 




Ag. Leadership is a course designed for college bound students with an interest in agriculture. Topics will include: advanced parliamentary procedure and debate; prepared speech presentation with written manuscript and documentation; extemporaneous speech outlining and presentation; discussion group dynamics and consensus seeking; marketing plan development; Ag. product sales strategies; presentation of organized oral reasons; resume and cover letter writing and job interviewing skills. Emphasis will be on keeping students at the cutting edge of technological advancements in agriculture, and promoting positive growth in each student. FFA and community activity assignments will be given to enhance citizenship and leadership skills. Additional emphasis will be placed on record keeping for a supervised agriculture experience project.

America’s agriculture industry is the mainstay of the United States economy. Understanding economics and regulations of this diverse industry is critical to its continued success and prosperity. Students will study the constitution, government, federalism, the 2014 U.S. Farm Bill, macroeconomics, economic systems, and agriculture marketing. This class will run its own business, manage other businesses and visit many others to gain first hand understanding of the industry. Computers will be used extensively to learn economics, analysis and interpolation.  U.C. Approved — "G" Elective

Courses marked with asterisk (*) are UC approved. 

Course Flowchart

This course flow chart provides a basic outline of the recommended courses for each strand by grade level. These courses are merely recommended as the most appropriate courses. In order to accurately assess the needs of individual students, please schedule an appointment with one of the agriculture advisors or your NHS counselor.


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