IDENTIFICATION OF FACTORS INFLUENCING UNDERREPRESENTED STUDENTS CHOOSING FOOD SCIENCE RELATED DEGREES IN COLLEGE

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2018-05

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Abstract

The focus of the study was to investigate influential factors impacting students when deciding on a major/career path. Four different target audiences were assessed including: high school counselors/teachers, high school participants of an agriculture outreach program, participants in Leaders in Food Technology summer program, and the Fall 2017 Angelo State University student body. Results from focus groups that were given a pre and post-survey indicate administering information on agriculture based careers increases confidence and likelihood to pursue a career in agriculture (P ≤ 0.05). Additionally, the outreach program improved students’ ability to correctly identify career options within the agriculture field (P ≤ 0.05). Results from this study help identify influential factors in order to address them to improve recruitment and retention of underrepresented students in the agriculture field. Results from ASU campus survey highlight the need for recruiters to provide information on career opportunities as part of their recruitment efforts.

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Keywords

Influential factors, major, confidence, careers in agriculture, identifying careers, recruitment, underrepresented students

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