Volume 52(2) - 2011 - DOI: 10.5032/jae.2011.02095


Career and technical education courses, such as agricultural education, exist, in part, to assist students in acquiring the competencies needed to achieve employability. However, whether the current secondary agricultural education curriculum meets the needs of industry leaders who employ high school graduates of agricultural education programs is unclear. Therefore, this Delphi study sought to identify the technical competencies deemed necessary for entry–level employment of high school graduates in the animal industries on their successful completion of coursework in the animal systems career pathway. Forty–two experts, representing the animal industries in Oklahoma, participated in the study. In all, 133 statements were yielded, revealing 48 different competencies, of which 27 (56%) reached consensus of agreement per Round 2. Specifically, panelists "strongly agreed" that graduates should be able to "use basic math," "practice farm safety," and "understand animal needs." Ultimately, all 48 competencies met the "real limits" of "agreement" (M = 2.50 – 3.49). So, these skills should be included in the curriculum designed for the animal systems pathway, and cross–walked with the current Oklahoma secondary animal systems career pathway to ensure that students enrolled in animal science are provided opportunities to learn the skills employers seek in entry–level workers.
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