National Agricultural Education Research Conference
San Luis Obispo, CA
USDA, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
The increasingly important issues and top U.S. priorities of food security, sustainable energy, and environmental quality demand highly qualified graduates with expertise in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR). Despite demand, a recent study found 32% of U.S. employers report difficulties filling job vacancies due to a lack of skills and training among potential employees (ManPower, 2015). Between 2015 and 2020, an average of 57,900 annual job openings are expected in careers related to AFNR areas. With an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates annually with expertise in these areas, a large gap exists between the number of expected job openings and the number of well-qualified graduates to fill those positions (Goeker, Smith, Fernandez, Ali, & Theller, 2015). Due to this shortage, employers will have to look elsewhere to fill the other 39% of job openings. Teachers play a role in students’ career decisions, but other educational professionals—guidance counselors, career technology education directors, work-based learning coordinators, and school and district administrators—also influence students’ career decisions. However, these educational professionals, including administrators, often lack the knowledge or have negative perceptions about agriculture and agricultural careers an (Boone & Boone, 2007; Thompson & Russell, 1993). The purpose of this research was to identify the professional development needs of secondary school educational professionals in areas related to AFNR careers.
Perkins, D., Hall, K., Sorensen, T., J., Dallin, J., & Francis, D. (2017). Identifying professional development needs of secondary education professionals. Research Poster presented at the National Agricultural Education Research Conference, San Luis Obispo, CA. (p. 273-276)