Volume 36 - Number 1 - 1995 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.1995.01038
The authors investigated attitudes toward agriculture of minority and non-minority students to identify reasons for enrolling and perceived enrollment barriers. A stratified random sample of all students enrolled in two introductory agriscience courses in 60 agriscience programs was selected and surveyed using a five-part questionnaire.
The major findings and conclusions were that: 1) the majority of students and teachers were white males; 2) minority students, especially minority females, were underrepresented; 3) minority students tended to be from non-farm, non-rural areas; and, 4) minority students had more negative perceptions regarding agriculture and agricultural education, and were more likely to perceive their reasons for enrolling as being beyond their control, perceived more barriers to enrolling, and were less likely to see opportunities for themselves in agricultural careers or to perceive agriculture as diverse.
The following recommendations were offered: 1) the agricultural education profession should focus awareness and informational activities on the elementary grades and should conduct recruitment activities no later than the middle school grades; 2) efforts should be conducted to recruit more minorities into agriscience teaching; and, 3) activities should be conducted to reduce the perceived barriers for minority students.