Summer Enrichment Programs: Providing Agricultural Literacy and Career Exploration to Gifted and Talented Students
As agriculture continues to evolve and become more complex, the demand for qualified college graduates to fill agricultural careers exceeds supply. This study focused on a summer enrichment program that strives to expose gifted and talented students to the diverse nature of agricultural careers through the integration of agriculture and science. The purpose of this study was to examine the program's effect on its alumni. Specific objectives were to develop demographic information, to ascertain the perceptions of the influence of the program on knowledge and perceptions of agriculture, to ascertain the influence of the program on career choices, and to identify career choices. The average alumnus is a white female who resides in an urban area with a population greater than 20,000. She is not an FFA or 4-H member. The program has a considerable influence on alumni knowledge and perceptions of the agricultural industry, specifically for those who do not have a traditional agricultural education background. The program did not have an overwhelming influence over alumni career choices, and the alumni identified numerous career choices, with medicine/physician being chosen by the greatest number of participants.