Date of Award:

12-2018

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Applied Sciences, Technology, and Education

Advisor/Chair:

Tyson Sorensen

Co-Advisor/Chair:

Rebecca Lawver

Third Advisor:

Denise Stewardson

Abstract

There has been little research conducted related to how school-based agricultural (SBAE) teachers perceive the utilization of volunteers in the classroom. The United States is facing a shortage of SBAE teachers, and with turnover rates that are not sustainable, solutions for support and reduction of the SBAE teachers’ workload must be sought with diligence. There is potential for volunteers to reduce some of the responsibilities that the SBAE teacher is faced with. The purposes of this study are to determine the demographic characteristics of the volunteers being utilized and of the SBAE teachers, determine the perceived benefits, barriers and beliefs SBAE teachers hold towards volunteer utilization, and determine if there is a relationship between these perceptions teachers hold and their choices in the utilization of volunteers. The research questions guiding this study were: 1. What are the demographic characteristics of SBAE teachers and programs in the United States? 2. What is the current utilization of volunteers in SBAE programs in the United States? 3. What are the perceptions and beliefs of SBAE teachers regarding volunteer utilization within SBAE programs in the United States? 4. What are the intentions of volunteer utilization among SBAE teachers in the United States? 5. What is the relationship between volunteer utilization and selected teacher/program characteristics and perceptions of SBAE teachers?

The total population of this study was all of the SBAE teachers in the United States. A simple random sample of this population was be taken (n=500), provided by the National FFA Association based on the 2017-2018 membership (N = 11,000). This descriptive study utilized survey research to accomplish the purpose, assessing the current utilization of volunteers, and the perceptions that SBAE teacher hold. Study participants were identified as SBAE teachers who held a part or full-time assignment to teach agriculture. Descriptive statistics were utilized to determine the demographic information of the volunteers utilized, the SBAE teachers, and program characteristics. These statistics were reported with frequencies, percentages, means, and standard deviations. Regression analysis was conducted to determine if any relationships existed between the program and teacher characteristics, and between the program and volunteer utilization.

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