Journal of Research in Technical Careers


agricultural students, recruitment, retention model, workforce development


Agricultural Education | Agriculture


This national study examined effective student recruitment and retention practices used by colleges of agriculture in the United States among 1862 land-grant, 1890 land-grant, and non-land-grant institutions. Respondents reported that faculty at colleges of agriculture were primarily white. Through the analysis of sub-group percentages, the researchers found that the ethnic makeup of faculty was not reflective of the general population. The researchers found that administrators from 1862 land-grant institutions reported statistically significant differences (p < .05) regarding the use of specific strategies to target underrepresented populations in student recruitment as compared to other institutional types. Further, 1862 land-grant institutions reported statistically significant differences in student retention strategies (p < .05) as compared to other institutional types regarding the delivery of programs that aimed to retain first-year students. Based on key findings from this investigation, the authors developed the agricultural student retention model (ASRM) to help guide colleges of agriculture in improving their holistic retention program as they navigate inclusive and diverse institutional contexts. Additionally, key recruitment strategies were identified as well, that could facilitate holistic student recruitment efforts. Perhaps more significant progress can be made toward creating a sustainable agricultural workforce that is more reflective of U.S. population demographics using this model.