Volume 45 - Number 4 - 2004 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2004.04012
Attracting and retaining quality students in agricultural education programs remains one of the most difficult problems faced by the profession. Much of the research that has been conducted addressing this problem has focused on the identification of obstacles to successful recruitment. This study focused on identifying solutions to those problems. Focus groups were organized in four states that had previously experienced enrollment declines, but have since rebounded. Eighteen issues were identified and solutions suggested to address each of those issues. Leading the list of issues were teacher quality and commitment, program quality, focus on production agriculture, perceived career opportunities, salary considerations, image of agriculture and the program, and availability of agriculture programs to students. Solutions focused on the preparation and hiring of quality teachers, adapting the curriculum to more accurately identify agriculture with science and technology, recruiting high quality students, providing meaningful activities and instruction, and promoting the agriculture program.