UA Student First to Earn Dual Degrees Through Poultry Science Partnership

The collaboration helps meet a need for more professionals with degrees in the poultry industry.

UA student Mia Martin and advisor Patrice Sims
Mia Martin (left), the first dual-degree graduate of the U of A and the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff through the poultry science 3-plus-1 program, and her adviser Patrice Sims, project program specialist in Bumpers College's Department of Poultry Science. Photo courtesy: University of Arkansas

With her graduation this week, Mia Martin becomes the first student to earn degrees from both the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and the U of A in Fayetteville as part of a four-year dual-degree program with an emphasis in poultry science.

The four-year program allows a student to take three years of coursework at UAPB and a final year at the U of A to earn a “3-plus-1” dual degree, according to a press release.

Martin is earning a bachelor’s degree in poultry science from the U of A and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UAPB, both of which were attained in four years.

U of A’s Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, and its Department of Poultry Science, created a 3-plus-1 certification program with UAPB in 2013. In 2018, the two institutions upgraded the collaborative effort to a dual-degree program.

“We are very excited to see Mia earn her B.S. in poultry science through our 3-plus-1 transfer degree program with UAPB,” said David Caldwell, head of U of A’s Department of Poultry Science and director of the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science. “We have had students complete this program in the past, but the program was a certificate-granting program at that time. We are eager to work closely with our colleagues at UAPB to grow enrollment in this 3-plus-1 program to help meet the employment needs of our industry stakeholders.”

Martin, who is from Detroit, Mich., completed three years at UAPB in the School of Agriculture, Fisheries and Human Sciences, and one year at the U of A to earn bachelor’s degrees from both universities.

“I chose to add poultry science to my undergrad path because it was different,” Martin said. “I knew it would add value to my career. The goal after graduation is to enroll into graduate school and earn a master’s in animal science.” 

While at the U of A, Martin completed a minimum of 30 hours in poultry science, was a member of the Poultry Science Club and completed an internship with physiologist Walter Bottje, a researcher and scientist with the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of the U of A System Division of Agriculture.

The collaboration between the two institutions, for the original certification program and upgraded dual-degree program, is to help meet a need for more degreed professionals in the poultry industry and to attract students into the college from other areas.

“It gives me immense pleasure to see Mia as our first student to graduate from the 3-plus-1 transfer degree program from both UAPB and UAF,” said Tracy Dunbar, head of UAPB’s Department of Agriculture. “At UAPB, she was able to balance her involvement in the marching band as well as remain focused and determined in the classroom. I have come to know her as a strong, independent and hardworking student who is always prepared to learn.”

In 2016, Paula Johnson was the first student presented with a Certificate of Poultry Science. A native of Pine Bluff, she earned her bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UAPB at the same time.

Bumpers College and the Department of Poultry Science established a similar 3-plus-1 dual-degree program with Arkansas State in 2017.

The Department of Poultry Science also has a memorandum of understanding for faculty and student exchange in place with Universiti Putra Malaysia in Selangor Darul Ehsan, established in 2018; with South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou, signed in 2015; and with Agro-Industry, a subdivision of Panyapiwat Institute of Management in Nonthaburi, Thailand, created in 2014.