Factors affecting enrollment trends in secondary agricultural programs as perceived by Oregon and California secondary agricultural instructors and their respective principals Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/m900nx58h

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  • Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the major contributive factors affecting enrollment trends in secondary level agricultural programs in Oregon and California, as perceived by Oregon and California agricultural instructors and their respective principals. Methods and Procedures: A review of the literature revealed three areas that were viewed to contribute to enrollment fluctuations in secondary agricultural programs: 1. agricultural economic cycles; 2. an increasing number of academic requirements for graduation from secondary schools; and 3. overall quality of agricultural programs. The instrumentation was a mailed questionnaire, developed using a panel of experts, which addressed demographic data and program quality factors. Subjects were randomly selected and the questionnaire was mailed to teachers and principals from 50 schools in Oregon and 100 schools in California in Fall 1989. In Fall 1994, the study was replicated and included those schools where both teacher and principal responded to the 1989 survey. Pearson Correlations, Wilcoxon Matched Pairs Signed-Ranks Test, Mann-Whitney U Test, One Way Analysis of Variance, Fishers z-Transformation statistical tests were used to analyze the data for interpretation. Findings and Conclusions: There was a high degree of agreement in 1989 and 1994 between teachers and principals from both Oregon and California concerning those factors which consistently ranked highly as positive factors affecting an increase in agricultural enrollment. These were: 1) Competent and qualified agricultural instructor; 2) Positive image of the FFA; 3) Quality agricultural curriculum and course offerings; and 4) A class schedule that limited conflicts. The 1994 data revealed an additional factor, parents positive image of agriculture as a good career, as contributing to enrollment increases. During times of declining agricultural enrollment, enrollment increases were slow to respond to program improvement efforts. Inversely, during times of increasing school enrollment, agricultural enrollment more readily respond to program improvement. In general, California teachers and principals tended to agree more on factors that contribute to quality programs than did Oregon teachers and principals. Oregon and California teachers agreed on the factors that affect increases and decreases in agricultural enrollment, and while not as consistent, Oregon and California principals agreed also.
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