A Case Study of the Early Stages of Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti: Identifying Competencies for International Agricultural Development Graduate Students
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Some non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are viewed as beneficial to agricultural and extension education in ways that government organizations are not (Mwangi, Agugnga, & Garforth, 2003). The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University is partnering with NGOs in Haiti (Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti) to improve agricultural and rural development. Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti, which utilizes graduate researchers, sent the first pair of students in the spring semester of 2014. This thesis comprises two individual studies in article format. The objectives for the first study were to 1) determine the desired competencies of graduate students who participate in international agricultural development programs based on expert program coordinators of Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti and 2) describe a competency framework for graduate students in international agricultural development from the collected data. To accomplish these objectives this study used qualitative methods including semi-structured interviews with Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti program coordinators. The study resulted in a descriptive and succinct list of competencies for graduate students in international agricultural development. These competencies were a) Contextual Knowledge and Understanding, b) Social Sciences, c) Technical/Agricultural Sciences, d) Character, e) Realism, f) Resource Management, g) Critical Thinking, h) Communication, i) Leadership, and j) Research Methods and Tools. From this list a framework was developed that depicted the interconnectivity among competencies and with the individual. Using qualitative case study research methods with an embedded design, the second sought to accomplish the following objectives: 1) describe the steps taken by Texas A&M University and a partnering NGO in Haiti in preparing AgriLife Haiti to incorporate graduate student researchers, 2) describe the steps taken by Texas A&M University in preparing graduate students to take part in AgriLife Haiti, and 3) identify challenges faced by Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti. This study gathered data via observations, communication records, and semi-structured interviews in order to meet the objectives. Three key components emerged in the study. They were 1) program preparation by the partnering entities of the program, 2) student preparation by Texas A&M University, and 3) challenges faced in the program.
Cherry, Audie Lynn (2015). A Case Study of the Early Stages of Texas A&M AgriLife Haiti: Identifying Competencies for International Agricultural Development Graduate Students. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from