THE INFLUENCE OF SECONDARY AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION STUDENT SUPERVISED AGRICULTURAL EXPERIENCE PARTICIPATION ON CAREER DECISION SELF-EFFICACY

Open Access
Author:
Romberger, Darla Joanne
Graduate Program:
Agricultural and Extension Education
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
November 08, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Daniel Douglas Foster, Thesis Advisor
  • John Ewing, Committee Member
  • Mark D Threeton, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Supervised Agricultural Experience
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Career Decision Self-Efficacy
  • Agricultural Education
  • School-Based Agricultural Education
  • Work-Based Learning
Abstract:
As experiential learning can play an important role in an individual’s career decision self-efficacy, this descriptive study sought to describe and compare secondary agricultural education students and secondary non-agricultural education students’ perceptions of career decisions with the intent of improving access to experiential learning opportunities at the secondary level. Using a descriptive research design, the study utilized the Career Decision Self-Efficacy Scale (CDSES) to measure the five subscales of career decision-making: self-appraisal, occupational information, goal selection, planning, and problem-solving. Data was collected from three sample populations. The first sample was drawn from a population of secondary agricultural education students enrolled in one of eight programs in Central Pennsylvania. The second sample was drawn from a population of secondary students not enrolled in agricultural education from one suburban high school in Central Pennsylvania. The third sample was drawn from agricultural educators in one of eight programs in Central Pennsylvania. Agricultural Education students reported higher means in all five subscales of the CDSES compared to the non-Agricultural Education students. Both the Agricultural Education and non-Agricultural Education populations reported the highest means in Self-Appraisal (M=3.83, M=3.69) and Problem-Solving (M=3.78, M=3.72), respectively. Data for overall SAE participation was consistent with prior research. Agricultural Education students with greater participation in SAE activities reported higher means in all areas of the CDSES. Recommendations from study results include a greater inclusion and implementation of Foundational SAEs into Agricultural Education programs, expand experiential learning opportunities for non-CTE students, and further research into quantifying the impact of experiential learning participation on future employment of high school graduates.