Questions, Comments, or Corrections? Let us know!

Supervised Agricultural Experience

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (agricultural education) has incorporated authentic work-based or experiential learning into their programs since the early 1900s.

Supervised Agricultural Experience or SAE provides students individualized opportunities to learn and develop real-world skills outside of the classroom beyond the school day.

The National Council for Agricultural Education, beginning in 2011, began work on determining what the driving forces were behind high quality experiential, work based and project based learning in agricultural education.  A national committee met and held discussions with the intent of renewing the profession’s commitment to SAE as an essential component of student learning.

In 2015, the committee submitted to the Council for approval a document that set forth philosophies and guiding principles intended to address barriers to providing SAE for all students and to provide a path to 100% SAE engagement with students.  That document, “National Council for Agricultural Education Philosophy and Guiding Principles for Execution of the Supervised Agricultural Experience Component of the Total School Based Agricultural Education Program (Approved by the NCAE Board of Directors March 31, 2015) is accessible at

The following are highlights of the work that was adopted:

There should be an expansive set of SAE types for students to choose from such as:

  • Foundational SAE
    • Career exploration & planning
    • Personal financial planning and management
    • Workplace Safety
    • Employability skills for college and career readiness
    • Agricultural Literacy
  • Immersion SAE
    • Entrepreneurship/Ownership
    • Placement/Internships
    • Research (Experimental, Analytical, Invention)
    • School Business Enterprises
    • Service Learning

On the Council’s website, excellent resources are provided to assist instructors with the implementation of SAE for ALL.


SAE Teaching Resources –

This link provides an array of Learning Guides for both the teacher and students.  These include:

SAE for All Guides

Independent Learning Guides

These individual learning guides walk the student through the types of SAE.  They include activities, authentic experiences and documentation guidelines.

Foundational SAE (designed for a semester of student work at each of the three levels)

Immersion SAE (Walk the student through understanding and initial work required to initiate and grow each type of immersion SAE.

Immersion SAE Teacher Guide –

Updated January 10, 2019 11:03am