Mouser, D. M., Sheng, Z., & Thoron, A. C. (2019). Are Agriculture Students More Career Ready? A Comparative Analysis of Illinois Juniors. Journal of Agricultural Education, 60(2), 15-27. doi: 10.5032/jae.2019.02015

In a state facing broad budget shortfalls, agricultural education programs have to show their value in relation to other key subject areas, such as math and reading. The best agricultural education programs follow a three-component model of instruction, including classroom experience, leadership development through FFA involvement, and an experience-based activity through a Supervised Agricultural Experience program (SAE). Each year state FFA associations recognize top chapters with gold or silver emblem designations. In this quantitative study, we compare eleventh grade Illinois agriculture students from Gold and Silver Emblem FFA chapters to all other Illinois eleventh-grade students on ACT WorkKeys assessments designed to measure levels of
career readiness. In addition, we also provide a comparison of Illinois agriculture students from Gold and Silver Emblem FFA chapters to all juniors tested from the same schools. The assessment results indicated that the selected group of agriculture students are more career ready than their peers, particularly in the area of math.

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