Volume 50 - Number 1 - 2009 | DOI: 10.5032/jae.2009.01045

 

Abstract:

Ethnic minority students traditionally pursue degrees and careers in the food and agricultural sciences at rates lower than their non-minority counterparts. To help improve upon this situation, the Food and Agricultural Sciences Institute (FASI) was created to expose academically talented high school students to opportunities within the food and agricultural sciences. FASI provided a week of laboratory experiments, classroom discussions, hands-on activities and demonstrations, and tours of departments in a college of agricultural sciences. Building upon prior research that had assessed the immediate and short term benefits of FASI, this study examined long-term contributions to the attitudes, educational, and career choices of the 1994-2001 FASI participants. Participants from these years were studied because they would have now graduated from high school given that they were high school sophomores and juniors when they participated in FASI. Fifty-seven individuals responded to a survey instrument. The major finding was that the respondents had positive attitudes toward the food and agricultural sciences, but few had pursued degrees or careers in the food and agricultural sciences. Personal factors, parents, and family members most influenced their educational and career choices.

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