Cline, L. L., & Weeks, P. P. (2020). A Critical study of women graduate student experiences in agricultural and extension education. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(4), 46-60.

The American Association for Agricultural Education (AAAE) aims to build a more inclusive and
collaborative organizational culture. In 2017, women faculty and graduate students comprised 37.8%
of the total AAAE membership. The need to recruit and retain diverse faculty and students in
agricultural and extension education (AEE) remains if the AAAE organization is to achieve its goal.
Women faculty experiences in AEE were studied previously, yet less attention was given to women
graduate students. The purpose of this critical inquiry study was to develop a profile of women graduate
students in postsecondary AEE by describing the mentoring experiences and organizational climate for
women graduate students in the profession. Four emergent themes described women graduate students’
experiences in AEE: (a) reflections on graduate school, (b) realities of graduate school, (c) future in
academia, and (d) the pursuit of mentorship. Participant reflection on the graduate school experience
was conflicting. The realities of graduate school in AEE described a man’s world, the Good Ol’ Boys
Club, microaggressions toward women, and the questioning of women’s competency. Participants
seemed confident, unsure, or concerned about a career in postsecondary AEE. Faculty and fellow
graduate students are considered encouraging mentors, but a void of women leaders to serve as role
models in AEE was identified. AAAE should promote a more positive, inclusive, and intentionally
mentored graduate school experience to retain more women in postsecondary AEE. More critical
research related to graduate student experiences is encouraged to improve the inclusivity of the AEE

Download this file (61.4.5.pdf)61.4.5.pdf[ ]396 kB
Go to top