Factors Influencing Enrollment in Colleges of Agriculture: Perspectives of Students in 1862 Land Grant Institutions
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[Abstract The purpose of this study was to describe and identify factors that influence enrollment in colleges of agriculture at 1862 land grant institutions. The population of the study included students who were currently enrolled as students in the southern Cooperative Extension System region. A five-part instrument was developed to collect the data. The survey collected data regarding demographics and influencers on one's decisions to enroll in a college of agriculture or choose a career related to agriculture. Usable responses yielded a return rate of 76.2% respondents. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data. Seventy-two percent of the respondents were females and 83.6% self-identified as white. A majority of total respondents grew up in suburban areas. Both males and females indicated that personal influences such as a parent, close relative or friends had a low influence on their decision to enroll in a college of agriculture. School related influences such as a high school counselor or an agriculture science teacher also had no or very low influence on their decision to enroll in a college of agriculture. Respondents who indicated having a family member involved in an agriculture career or lifestyle were most likely to be influenced by those closest to them when choosing to enroll in a college of agriculture. Given the findings from this study, it is recommended that administrators in colleges of agriculture focus on educating prospective students, parents and high school personnel about the vast career opportunities available in agriculture and related fields. Future research should focus on identifying best practices and appropriate strategies for the recruitment and retention of students in colleges of agriculture in an effort to increase enrollment and eliminate perceived barriers to enrollment in a college of agriculture.]
author list (cited authors)
Smith-Hollins, C., Elbert, C. D., Baggett, C., & Wallace, S.